Five ad agency execs have created a visualization map to track the haze in real time that is crowdsourced from mobile snapshots by Internet users from all parts of Singapore.
Singapore's PSI (pollutant standards index) shot to hazardous levels last week as the island-state was engulfed in haze caused by raging forest fires from Indonesia.
The wind has since blown the haze to Malaysia, which has declared a state of emergency in some parts of the country and forced schools to shut on Monday.
The agency execs noticed that people were uploading their own photos of the haze online and statistics from We Are Social's infographic revealed 11,829 photos were posted on Instagram alone.
They wanted to leverage on crowdsourced images to collectively map the effects of the haze in Singapore and allow the public to update one another on the haze situation in their part of the island.
While most people would visit the National Environment Agency to check the PSI readings, some feel that the three-hour readings are not accurate in depicting the conditions in real time and would rather believe the images that they could see.
"The project was also to demonstrate the way we believe digital technology should be deployed - in a quick and agile way in response to something happening and leveraging on existing consumer behaviors and trends," says Vincent Teo, one of the agency execs from BBDO/ Proximity Singapore.
The focus is developing something quickly and deploying it, worrying less about perfection than speed to market, he adds.
Teo notes that this is not an official agency project.
From the #hazemap:
Hazemap pulls all images on Instagram tagged with #sghaze and #hazemap, which are visualized on Google maps based on the location tags in the respective images.
Singapore haze at its worst
The team recently added the PSI readings onto the map and will slowly add new functions and content as the need arises.
Meanwhile, the National Environment Agency has created a microsite on Sunday to provide PSI forecasts.
Here's how to participate in the #hazemap:
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March 19, 2014