Vital Information Compressed - California Fire Disaster Response

August 22, 2018



My name is Greg Crutsinger and I was the volunteer data analyst for the public safety drone teams recently on the Carr fire. I also helped on the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa last October.


As part of this digital first responder effort, we used 360 drone panoramas as a rapid tool to visualize fire damage for the city of Redding and for surrounding Shasta County. Now the teams did an amazing job during the situation in the first 48 hours we went from an initial drone flight in the air to maps going public to the residents of the evacuated neighborhoods that we were working in.


While I think that 48 hours is fantastic. I think we can do better. Forty hours or four hours or even four minutes. And I think that we can scale this from Redding to Rio to Riyadh and here's how. Those of us in the drone industry know that drones are really all about the data. But drone data is overwhelming in these situations. For example we captured about 100 panos in each of these panoramic was made 23 photos. This is about 12 gigs of data to upload to the cloud.


For those of you who is slow internet at home you know that this can be near impossible under normal circumstances let alone an emergency. So during the Carr fire I thought and racked my brain that there must be a better way and I think I came up with one.

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