Mixd Towers is apparently pretty deserted this afternoon… in fact, it is reported that the majority of folk who work in Harrogate are making a sharp get-away as the UK snow well and truly comes down across Yorkshire and the North East.
UK snow day
I, for one, didn’t venture into the office today owing to the snow and ice potentially making my journey around the 2-hour mark and rather treacherous. This was a decision that was made this morning based on a number of factors:
- local TV and radio weather;
- online travel and weather reports;
- phoning colleagues in Harrogate; and
Traditional media v Twitter
All of the above, except Twitter, are pretty traditional methods I think you’d agree. Now, Twitter was probably the most valuable and accurate tool to help me make my decision. Utilising its powerful search facility, I could find real-time Tweets from people actually in the places I wanted to know about. Through searches like ‘Harrogate snow’ and ’Yorkshire traffic’ and hashtags such as #uksnow, I was able to quickly piece together an accurate understanding of the situation before me… and it didn’t look good.
Of course, the traditional weather forecast gives an idea of what is to come and the online travel a snippet of the road situation; however, Twitter let me target that search into specific areas and roads not covered in the broader reports.
Twitter UK Snow App
One particularly interesting (and useful) piece of kit is the Twitter App ‘#uksnow Map‘. This App searches Twitter for real-time snow reports and displays them on a map of the UK; providing an immediate picture of what is happening at that precise moment across the nation, in terms of snow.
To get involved, Twitter users simply tweet the hashtag #uksnow and their location (postcode, town name or geotag their tweet), followed by their rating for the snow that is falling at that time, where they are (0/10 for nothing through to 10/10 for a blizzard). Tweeters can also include the depth of snow (cm or inches), attach a photo and add a description to their tweet if they so wish.
Understandably, the App could benefit from some refinements, including identifying place names on the map and working better with the zoom feature; however, this may well come, as the developer is looking for a sponsor.
As these snow fun and games will no doubt continue for a while yet, I’m definitely adding the #uksnow Map to my decision making arsenal of a morning.
Wrap up warm, keep safe and most of all… have fun folks!