Chute worked with NBC to launch Stormgrams, a site where people can share Instagram photos of the storm using a common hashtag, a way of marking posts to make them more easily searchable by topic. The photos are organized by location, laid out on a ‘‘heat map’’ that paints the most actively sharing states red.
Countless mobile apps encourage photo-taking, Gujral says, adding that a big reason there is so much thirst online for the endless stream of photos is because there has never been a bigger supply of it. The next task, something he’s hoping to do with Chute, is creating ‘‘ways to make sense of this cacophony of imagery.’’
So what’s lost in this endless stream of snow-updates, Instagram photos and Facebook news? Serendipity, Jones says. Running into people and sharing a moment, offline, while events are unfolding.
And challenges remain. Drivers got stuck in the snow in the storm of ‘78, they did in the storm of 2013 and will likely continue to for storms to come.
‘‘One thing we haven’t overcome is what you do if you don’t have electricity or if you are stranded in a car without a cellphone signal,’’ Jones says.