Hacks/Hackers Rochester Message Board › What just happened?

What just happened? Finding news in the real world with GPS and image processing.

John Karahalis
user 34721022
Rochester, NY
Post #: 1
Yesterday, I shared a comment a friend once made as he drove past a police car on the side of the road. "I wish I could find out what happened there, but I never will. I wish news could come to me."

Here's my concept: I'm in Zuccotti Park when I see a group of people. Interested in what's happening, I open my "News" app and snap a picture of the event. The app reads my GPS coordinates and does some basic image processing on my photo (perhaps comparing it to other photos that were submitted from this location). The app determines that I'm witnessing an Occupy Wall Street demonstration and opens some news about the event.

See also: The Eatery, an iPhone app which also uses images for providing real-time feedback.

Just a crazy Thursday afternoon idea. Thoughts?
Matt Bernius
user 32250682
Rochester, NY
Post #: 5
Interesting idea. How would you imagine the image processing working here? Would it be comparing the picture against others in a database of photos about that event? Or would it simply be scanning for certain keyword/keyimages like ("people" or in your case "protesters") and then searching against stories in that location with those keywords?

And would there be some mechanism to verify the results, and thus add the uploaded picture to the dataset to compare against?
John Karahalis
user 34721022
Rochester, NY
Post #: 2
Thanks for the interest, Matt.

In an ideal world, the software would analyze your photo and compare it to other photographs taken around that location. If it determines that your photo is very similar to other photos taken about event X and your location is very similar to the location of event X, it would conclude that you are observing event X.

If it cannot draw any final conclusions about your data, it would give you some choices. "We're not exactly sure what you're witnessing, but it looks like your data relates to a twenty-first birthday party or the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Which of those sounds more accurate?" If you choose Occupy Wall Street, the service will store your data with other user-submitted data about Occupy Wall Street so that it could make more accurate predictions in the future.
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