|QH99 Essex Police Helicopter|
For the most part, these channels exist to tweet regular updates on flights undertaken and I thought how great it would be for all these to conform to a common schema. It would allow these and any future ASU twitter channels to be combined from their respective RSS feeds into a UK composite. Here are the four examples of typical fight reports:
5 Nov 20:25 - Search for 2 people who had run from the scene of a burglary in Lymm. Open areas were confirmed to be clear.
S1465 22:45hrs 03/11/10 - Durrington - missing person search. Areas checked with no trace, enquiries to continue.
Heli activity Leics - http://helicopter.leics.police.uk/where/
01:00 01/11/10 Search area near Manor Way, Cardiff, for male wanted in relation to a robbery.
EMASUhelicopters doesn't seem to routinely tweet individual flight operations and when it does, it links to a website. The other three do and they follow virtually the same pattern with only subtle differences which I think could easily be standarised.
We have the date, time, location and operation details as 4 distinct aspects. I would suggest as potential standard format to follow could be:
1. Time: 22:45
2. Date: 03/11/10
3. Location1: Cheshire (represents the force area)
4. Location2: Lymm (more localised within that force area; suggest the main town or village)
5. Details1: Search (operation type from a standard list of agreed types)
6. Details2: Rest of the details of the flight
7. Link: optional - could be website, twitpics etc.
So a typical post could be:
~22:45 ~03/11/10 ~Cheshire ~Lymm ~Search Missing person. Areas checked with no trace, enquiries to continue. http://bit.ly/flightdatalink
By carefully formatting the tweets, they could be interpreted via the RSS feed and re-combined with other similar feeds.
This concept could be an interesting development of Twitter in its own right. The publication of 'Twitter Schemas' that people can use for specific types of posts could allow a more sophisticated opportunity to combine data together, moving things on from the rather basic hashtag method. Maybe a hashtag at the end to denote the 'schema type' could be used? #ASU
As usual - all views welcomed! :¬)
Added - November 5th 2010
Just remembered a fifth police ASU channel which is no longer operating. @suspol_heli