I’ve had this in my inbox… for a presentation on a whole series of “Twitter Saves Lives” type scenarios. For those who remember the tragic events of 9/11, we all know, if we had Twitter in those days, communication would have spread like wild-fire and countless lives would have been saved when Cell networks went down, but SMS stayed up.
This has been said for lives being saved and communication on Twitter during EarthQuakes and other situations, but here is a direct story of how lives were saved recently with Lost Skiers’.
Twitter, Google Maps Used To Track Down Two Missing Skiers – from TechCrunch
by Robin Wauters on March 3, 2009
Update: Tragically, one of the skiers, Rob Williams, was not able to be saved. Our thoughts go out to his family.
Yesterday, a group of technology entrepreneurs from the UK on a skiing vacation in the Swiss Alps (Verbier) lost two of their party around 4 PM CET. Other members of the group put out arequest on Twitter in order to learn the numbers of their mobile phones, so they could use the signals to track them down.
According to follow-up tweets, one person (Jason) was rescued using a combination of GPS, Google Maps to determine longitude and latitude, and the signals returned from his iPhone, but another one (Rob) was still missing as the two had apparently been split up. It’s been 7 to 10 hours since the last Twitter messages at this point, so unfortunately we can only hope and not confirm if Rob has been found by now.
Below are a number of screenshots with Twitter messages from some of the group, includingAlex Hoye (CEO of digital marketing agency Latitude, Michael Acton Smith from Mind Candy,Joshua Marsh and Hermione Way (TechFluff.tv) Michelle Dewbs (winner of The Apprentice).
Let’s hope everything is alright. We’re frantically tracking Twitter to learn more, and we’re not the only ones.
(Hat tip to Google Maps Mania)
Hats off to those who took advantage of the medium, and TechCrunch for covering it. And it just goes to show, Twitter is a community of people who want to share information, but also share in the lives of others, often including saving lives whether it is something as direct as freezing cold or even losing ones job and needing to find a new way.
This isn’t the first time Twitter has helped save someone’s life, and it won’t be the last.