Immediate sharing

This week the east coast of Australia was blanketed in a dust storm. The worst day was on Wednesday the 23rd when Sydney was blanketed in errie red dust. The social networks were bombarded with people’s accounts of the events.

I decided to do a little analysis of how quickly people reacted to the event & how quickly they shared their experiences of the event. Using the Flickr API I exported all the photos that had been taken on the 23rd of September that had been tagged with Sydney and dust. I then looked at how long it took people to upload the photos. Out of these photos I removed those photos where the user wasn’t displaying the EXIF metadata and those where the camera time was obviously set incorrectly (where the time the photo was taken was later than the time it was uploaded).

Time to upload days

The bulk of the photos were uploaded to Flickr within 24 hours of being taken, with very few photos being uploaded 2 or 3 days after being taken. It was an immediate action. I then looked in more detail at what happened with those photos that were uploaded within 24 hours of being taken.

Time to upload hours

51% of photos were uploaded to Flickr within 4 hours of when they were taken. Given the time of day when the dust storms were happening, as people were going to work, there is also a small increase in the number of photos being uploaded 10-15 hours later, which corresponds time wise to people uploading images later that evening when they arrived home from work, quite possibly the first opportunity they would have had to upload their images.

I also did some analysis on those photos that were uploaded in the first 4 hours of being taken. Did this immediacy relate to the type of camera used?

Camera type

24% of images didn’t have the model of camera recorded in their EXIF metadata. What was surprising was that only 6% of these rapidly uploaded images came from mobile devices like iPhone and Nokia mobile phone cameras. Over 50% of images came from digital SLR cameras while the remainder were mostly compact cameras.

This demonstrates a desire for us to be wanting to immediately share what is happening in our environment with a wider audience, but we aren’t sharing it using our mobile devices.






3 responses to “Immediate sharing”

  1. Ruth Baxter

    So interesting Paul – I too thought the majority of fast uploads would come from a mobile device like an iPhone.

  2. derek

    perhaps flickr people are more photographic. interesting to compare source of images with those uploaded to social media sites – if this is possible.

  3. matt knutzen

    I’d love to see the geocoded subset timemapped together with stormtrack data.