A group of computer science researchers from the University of Missouri has developed a visual cloud computing architecture that streamlines the process of providing first responders and law enforcement personnel with visual data created by security cameras, personal mobile devices and aerial video.

The data can be critical in knowing where to send emergency personnel and resources, tracking suspects in man-made disasters, or detecting hazardous materials.

“In disaster scenarios, the amount of visual data generated can create a bottleneck in the network,” said Prasad Calyam, assistant professor of computer science in the university’s College of Engineering.

“This abundance of visual data, especially high-resolution video streams, is difficult to process even under normal circumstances,” Calyam said. “In a disaster situation, the computing and networking resources needed to process it may be scarce and even not be available.”

The researchers are working to develop the most efficient way to process data and study how to quickly present visual information to first responders and law enforcement. The research team developed a framework for disaster incident data computation that links the system to mobile devices in a mobile cloud.

Algorithms designed by the team help determine what information needs to be processed by the cloud and what information can be processed on local devices, such as laptops and smartphones. This spreads the processing over multiple devices and helps responders receive the information more quickly.

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