With the proliferation of the Internet and mobile devices, cameras are everywhere. Countless practitioners take photos daily and receive photos from the public. Interviews tell us that over half of these photos have quality problems. Victims and store owners are heartbroken when a surveillance system exports low quality images.
We want to create tools that will let anyone produce photos that meet first responder needs. Imagine a camera that tells you how the image will look on a 24-inch monitor, offer suggestions on how to take a better photo, or tell you to clean the lens. A surveillance system could give laypeople insight into first responder needs. For example, officers will have trouble identifying people who walk into a store, because the field of view is too wide or the camera is too high.
Here is our plan in a nutshell:
Interviews help us understand quality of experience problems—situations when the camera makes a first responder’s job more difficult.
We need feedback from first responders on how their department uses photos and video. It is important that we get feedback from a large variety of first responders. Each department has different local problems, funding, geography, climate, and population density. Every first responder provides us with a new perspective, which helps build a more robust understanding of bigger problems.
We are collecting first responder photos:
We want to collect 10,000 images. Some problems are difficult to describe but easy to see. By sampling the enormous variety of digital images used by first responders, we can understand the image quality problems that impact first responders. This image database will support the development of new camera technologies.
We hope to encourage new technologies by freely distributing the database on the Consumer Digital Video Library (CDVL) for research and development purposes only (no commercial applications). The CDVL license terms are clarified in plain English (free registration). We also value images that must be kept internal to PSCR, due to licensing, litigation, or other usage restrictions.
The ability of public safety users to produce and receive high-quality photos is critical in effectively conducting their mission. This research seeks to improve the image quality by creating tools that meets first responder needs.