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Snow Tweets

Main Project Information
Goal Help researchers calibrate accuracy of snow measurement tools
Task Measure snow where you are, tweet or upload your geotagged data

How much snow is on the ground where you are? Cryosphere researchers at the University of Waterloo want to know!

The Snowtweets Project provides a way for people interested in snow measurements to quickly broadcast their own snow depth measurements to the web. These data are then picked up by our database and mapped in near real time. We are especially interested in using web-based digital technologies to map snow data; currently, the project uses the micro-blogging site Twitter as its data broadcasting scheme.

To view the snow depth measurements (or Tweets), we have developed a data visualization tool called Snowbird that lets you explore the reported snow depths around the globe. The viewer shows where the reports are located and how much snow there is at each reported site.

The Snowtweets Project is in early stages of development and we plan to update and improve it as we go along. We rely on user participation to measure snow depth (including zero snow depth) and then send the measurements in.

How to Join

Head outside and measure the depth of the snow with your ruler.

Log in to your Twitter account (or sign up, it's free!) and tweet a message that looks like this:

#snowtweets 5 cm. at N2L 3G1

What we're looking for is a depth (in inches or centimetres) and a location (a ZIP code, postal code or lat/long coordinates in decimal degrees). Generally, your message should look like this (without the <brackets>):

#snowtweets <depth> at <location>

No snow on the ground? Tell us about that too.

Within minutes, you should be able to see your contributions in Snowbird, our 3D SnowTweet viewer, or with a KML viewer such as Google Earth.

See our website to see your tweets and for more information:

Any feedback? Please let us know!

Social Media
Required Gear

1) ruler
2) the postal code, ZIP code or lat/long coordinates in decimal degrees where the measurement is taken
3) Internet access
4) a Twitter account

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity In snow or rain
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags girl scouts, snow, twitter
Project Updated 05/23/2018