Software aids crisis response

Computer scientists are to give pioneering software to emergency services to help them respond to crisis situations.

Ambulances outside an emergency department

Emergency service workers will be able to use the technology to co-ordinate a response from a virtual three-dimensional command centre.

Remote monitoring

Researchers at the University, who created the software, say the approach would enable emergency workers to remotely monitor and plan responses to an unfolding crisis, such as an earthquake or tsunami.

Scientists have created the tool by combining technology used in virtual three-dimensional environments such as Second Life and networking sites such as facebook.

Global collaboration

The software, developed jointly with online event management company Clever Zebra, would allow speedy communication between members of response teams simultaneously.

Specialists across the world would be able to offer their expertise and assistance.

Real-time response

The technology’s designers say the system will enable response teams to better respond to events as they unfold.

Developers also hope the software, known as the Open Virtual Collaboration Environment, may eventually be adapted for use in a range of business, teaching and social applications.

We hope that by making this software available, we can help support the work of emergency services in coping with crises as they break and develop.

Professor Austin TateSchool of Informatics