Item: Graphic avalanche information for the new media
Title: Graphic avalanche information for the new media
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2006 International Snow Science Workshop, Telluride, Colorado
Authors: Bruce Tremper and Jim Conway, Utah Avalanche Center
Abstract: As recently as ten years ago, the only way to deliver avalanche information to the public was through the recorded telephone advisory. Most avalanche centers now utilize the Internet as the primary vehicle for the dissemination of their products. The Internet is an ideal medium because of its rich ability to display graphics. The Utah Avalanche Center has developed a number of graphics-based products for the public to not only communicate critical avalanche conditions, but to provide education about avalanche phenomenon, avalanche rescue procedures and safe travel techniques. The paper discusses the philosophy, development and implementation of these products as well as future trends. Graphics-based avalanche products include: • Avalanche advisory, which uses a mixture of graphics and text. Graphics include an aspect elevation diagram, icons for various avalanche problems, likelihood of triggering, avalanche size and future trend. • Avalanche encyclopedia, which uses text and graphics as a tutorial on various avalanche terms, concepts and procedures. Many of the graphics are flash animations that can clearly show complex phenomena such as temperature gradient metamorphism, wind loading, melt freeze metamorphism, among others. • Daily web photo gallery of backcountry avalanche conditions and avalanche phenomena. • Video clips of avalanches and tutorials. • Regular snow profiles displayed in a public-friendly graphical format. • Avalanche danger ratings displayed graphically for cell phones and media outlets. • Trailhead information posters. • Podcasting of audio avalanche advisories for rebroadcast on radio stations. • Possible future development of video podcasting, which will distribute video tutorials and daily avalanche advisories in TV weather forecast format. We have found that the public is extremely enthusiastic about these new graphical products and we hope that their increased understanding of avalanche danger and avalanche phenomena will translate.
Keywords: avalanche advisory, graphics, media, communication, avalanche hazard, public
Digital Abstract Not Available