Building and Launching SafetyMap.co.uk
Online resource to alert the public on dangers associated with various water based locations from River and Sea Sense.
SafetyMap is a response to the need identified for better public awareness of dangerous locations and the opportunity this presents for wider water safety education. The technology used is being applied from knowledge gained working with online mapping technologies for agencies such as the Police. The project outlined below is what we consider as Phase 1, putting in place all the required elements into a working system. There will be opportunity to develop the individual elements further based on user feedback and response from other water safety stakeholders.
Often there are hidden dangers in a location that some people, especially young people, are not aware of. The resource will be the central point and database for a network of resources that will particularly appeal to young people – website, mobile phone app, social networks, signs with bar codes that can be scanned and an online mapping and alert system. There will be a section where it will be possible for the public to generate a printable sign with warnings and safety information. There will be an emphasis on education, to help young people make good decisions.
River and Sea Sense are currently developing an innovative water safety resource tool, ‘SafetyMap’ . The tool links locations where there have been water safety incidents together on a map for the first time, allowing the public to see where areas for concern are and be educated on the potential dangers at various locations.
Current accident statistics information reports are only available years later after official sources have collated them; this means that the public may not be aware of incidents that have happened in the last few years, particularly visitors to an area.
‘SafetyMap’ will use a technique called ‘Mashup’, this takes information from a variety of sources and puts it all in one place so that it is most useful. Another way of thinking about this is that information will be sourced from a number of existing resources and ‘presented in layers’ on an online map (for example using the well used Google Maps or similar to Google Earth). The various layers can be turned on or off to suit the information being sought and to present in as clear a fashion as possible.
The current dated information accident data (type of accident, accident details, date, conditions etc) will be augmented with more up to date information sourced from the community using a mixture of ‘crowd sourcing’ techniques (where a wider community is encouraged to provide information using the internet) and River and Sea Sense manual input, via an online control panel. An important point will be that all ‘crowd sourced’ data will be validated by a River and Sea Sense (RASS) administrator, or network of volunteers. We feel the additional benefit of this system will be that for the first time it will be possible to include ‘non-fatal’ and ‘near miss’ accidents.
Going forward the site will take full advantage of social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter, especially new developments like “Check-ins”, where a user’s smartphone can pull information based on its location from the built in GPS receiver. This will allow the public to be made aware that they are in proximity to a potentially dangerous location if they subscribe to an alert service. The social network users will also feed information through to the map on a real time basis, ready for moderation by SafetyMap administrators.
A facility to download a printable poster warning of the dangers of a particular location will be incorporated; the safety warning poster will have brief details of the previous incidents along with a link to full details online, via a web address and also QR codes to be read with smart phones.
Education is a core feature here as users are only able to make good choices regarding water safety following good information and awareness. The online part of the site will aim to be the most useful and usable source of water safety available, as well as a mobile phone app that can be downloaded to users phones containing water safety information.
Developed by Livetech using the most up to date technologies – www.livetech.co.uk .