snow depth measurement

Calling all citizen scientists

Contribute to real-time science research! Snow and ice researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada, ask you to tweet snow depths in your area, or wherever you are. Sign in to your Twitter account (or sign up, it's free!) and write a message from your laptop, desktop or smart phone that looks like this (choose one that is easiest for you):

#snowtweets 2.5 cm at N2L 3G1
#snowtweets 4 in. at Palmerston North 4414
#snowtweets 2 cm at 102-8166 Japan
#snowtweets 8.3 cm at 41.500, -120.750

Just replace the snow depth measurement and the location with your own. Inches? No problem! We try to be flexible with spelling and abbrevations too, so don't worry. Your location can be a postal code, ZIP code, address or coordinates. In general, your tweet should look like this (without the brackets):

#snowtweets <depth> at <location>

Now sit back and see your tweet come to life in near-real time ! Want to know more? Have any quesions on how to do it? Here's a more technical description...

Snow visualization & verification

See your data mapped in near real time using our visualization tool called Snowbird. You can also see where you are in relation to satellite observations of global snow. We are also interested in using the data to help us verify satellite observations of snow. Testing satellite estimates needs data! You will find more about this under the science link above.

You can also download a KML for Google Earth. Your tweet should show up within a minute or two from posting.

News & Events

Recent Conferences
Eastern Snow Conference 2013. Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, 4-6 June, 2013
CAG 2012 Wilfrid Laurier University | University of Waterloo 28 May - 2 June 2012.
Eastern Snow Conference 2012. Claryville, NY, USA, 5-7 June, 2012

Media and Interviews
National Public Radio: Science Friday with Ira Flatow. 7 January, 2011, Doing Real-World Science, But Skipping The Ph.D.
Science for Citizens, 2011. The Snowtweets Project
Discover Magazine, January 6 2012: Interview with Darlene Cavalier (from Science for Citizens)
CBC Radio One, Breakaway with Jacquie Czernin (broadcast throughout Quebec). Snowtweets. Interviewed on Feb. 3, 2011.
CBC Radio One, Ontario Morning with Wei Chen (broadcast throughout much of Southern Ontario and parts of Northern Ontario). Snowtweets. Interviewed on Feb. 3, 2011.
CBC Radio One, The Bridge. Snowtweets. Interviewed on Feb. 2, 2011.
The Windsor Star. Tweet snow data from Windsor by Sharon Hill. Feb. 2, 2011.

What is the Snowtweets project?

The Snowtweets Project is all about obtaining snow depth data from community scientists using social media to broadcast their data. 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, such as Twitter, to map snow depth data.

Data mapping tools are used to visualize reported snow depth observations and can be compared with satellite observations of snow cover from NASA.

The Snowtweets Project began in 2009 and we have been developing our system through time. We rely on user participation to measure snow depth (including zero snow depth) and then send the measurements in.

Please note that this project does not seek to replicate other existing community-based projects. Rather we aim to attract as many new contributors as possible through widely used web-media, such as Twitter, who might not be aware of these other projects.

Any questions? Feedback? Contact us. We'd like to hear from you!