Our location data can be used for a lot of different things, from targeted advertising to real estate site selection. But sometimes it’s the non-enterprise use cases that interest us the most. With our new Picket initiative, we provide free data to non-profits and research institutions who otherwise may not have access to it. Check out what researchers at William & Mary have been doing with our data, in our first ever Picket case study.
Professor Natasha Zhang Foutz at the University of Virginia, along with colleagues at UVA, Old Dominion University, and the College of William & Mary, teamed up with X-Mode and the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, to develop a smarter, more efficient way to dispatch ambulances during and after a disaster. The study by Professor Foutz et. al. is, to their knowledge, “the first work for ambulance dispatching under dynamic catastrophic conditions.”
The need for ambulances increases during and after a disaster in a major city — an earthquake, flood, fire, etc. — but common dispatch routes are also more likely to become clogged or even blocked during this time. If, during a disaster, there is a larger-than-average volume of patient pick-ups in one area, but the access roads to that area have been damaged, ambulance dispatchers may be unprepared to operate optimally.