Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The US Curfew Map

The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations - like police curfews. Customers of wireless companies that sign up to the Wireless Emergency Alerts system receive geographically targeted WEAs on their mobile phones. This involves receiving text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.

Over the last few days many Americans will have received WEAs warning them of curfews being imposed in their areas. If you want to see where in the United States curfews are currently in place then you can refer to PBS's Realtime WEA Alert Map. The map shows all the current WEAs that have issued in the USA. The colored polygons on the map show the areas currently covered by a WEA and the color of the polygon relates to the severity of the warning.

Obviously not all the WEAs shown on the map relate to curfews. It is also possible that some city curfews are not being shown on the map.

Another way to get a real-time picture of what is happening around the country is Snap Map. Snap Map allows you to see where other Snap Chat users are in real-time and view any media that they may have submitted using the application. At the moment Snap Map in the United States is providing a pretty accurate view of where protests against the killing of George Floyd are taking place.

Obviously Snap Map is not a heat-map of the current protests. All the map really shows is where the most people are currently using Snap Chat to share their locations and videos. However the map does seem to provide a fairly accurate picture of where protests are presently taking place. Snap Map has the added benefit of allowing you to view video being shot by people on the ground. If you zoom in on any of the hot-spots shown on the map then videos will appear which you can view directly from the map. Most of the videos at the moment seem to be from and of the protests.

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