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Using MarCom, Biz & Gov 2.0 in new ways

October 14, 2010

How woud you use the Eye-Fi card as a tool to streamline your family, business, or community disaster planning?

On the surface, it’s an innovative (what’s that mean?) wi-fi powered SD camera card that enables you to quickly geotag and upload images from your digital camera to sites like Flickr without tethering it to your computer or removing the SD card. Once your digital camera gets near your home wireless router, it can start uploading the pictures on it without getting your laptop involved. It’s pretty brilliant and was intended to be the sole topic of my crisis blog today.

If a first an emergency responder or anyone for that matter used an Eye-Fi to upload pictures of his family online, well that’s not too MarCom 2.0. What if he uploaded pictures of the station’s new fire engine for the town to see? Maybe a bit XX2.0, but missing the mark.
What if after a damaging storm he uploaded pictures of damage throughout the town to a central destination, and encouraged the public to do the same to quickly assess what needs to be fixed throughout the city?  To me, that’s Communications 2.0.
Now for those who love the tech, here’s how the above Eye-Fi for Crisis Response experiment turned out as test By Chris Bennit.
The equipment he used was a regular digital camera (Canon PowerShot), a Verizon MiFi card (creates a wireless hotspot anywhere for internet access) and an Eye-Fi Pro X2 card ($129). He says he could  have used the 4GB $69 Geo X2, but he opted for the 8GB version. After a quick configuration on his PC to have the Eye-Fi detect my MiFi as a wireless network and upload shots to his Flickr account, he was ready to hit the field and start taking pictures.

While visiting his parents in the Philadelphia area one weekend, he stepped outside and took this shot of a tree that crashed through a roof (well, a picture of a picture for some added punch). As soon as he took the photo, the Eye-Fi card began uploading to Flickr (view album) via the MiFi card in my pocket. By the time he went back inside and looked at the laptop, it was not only online, but geotagged with a location just 100 ft from the house.

He tried the same thing later that night from a rooftop garage in center city. The upload worked perfectly as well, but without location this time. The location is determined by nearby wireless networks and he figures  there weren’t many near the parking garage. Still, the picture was up in a jiffy.


After a crisis, whether you have workers sending pictures back to base through a private Flickr album, or opening it up to residents with a public album, the Eye-Fi is one great way to get high quality photos to a central location for evaluation.
What I like about this is while smart phones can do the same thing, I for one always wish I have a “real camera” for sending important pictures live from an event.
Here’s  a possible solution. Also exciting is that Eye-Fi announced an API (Application Programming Interface), meaning developers could create government-specific applications that do things like upload pictures to private agency servers.
Seems like a great project for business, communities, citizens, families and maybe even for some specific agencies to adopt.
Thanks Chris this is great stuff!
  1. October 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    “Brand” consitency or social profile consistency is an important element.
    I change the topics, not the look and feel.
    That would be like coloring my hair a different color every week.
    Not a good idea.

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