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University developing search website for first responders


August 22, 2019
By FFIC Staff

August 22, 2019, Riverside, CA – Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, are working on a tool that will help first responders better allocate resources during major incidents.

The technology searches real-time text, photo and video from social media and surveillance cameras alongside data from sensors, like fire detectors and security alarms. With this tool, firefighters could search the terms “fire” and crowds” in a particular location and time and receive data from multiple sources.

The research, supported by a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant, aims to develop a single search interface across all potential sources. The group’s goal is to make a functional tool—a website similar to Google—that can search keywords.

But while Google can only search websites and images, the UC Riverside tool will also be able to search space and time.

In addition to locating and analyzing information, the new tool will also collect data to constantly update databases. With a more integrated and holistic view of the situation, first responders can better allocate their resources. Work has already been done searching individual sources. But to date, there is no way to search multiple sources at the same time.