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                   Friday, April 29, 2016

Call-out: stop exaggerating storm chaser traffic with Spotter Network screen grabs

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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A common item of anti-chaser propaganda we see on social media is the decrying of storm chaser traffic using widely-zoomed-out screen grabs of maps plotted with Spotter Network data. The resulting image appears to show a densely-packed, apocalyptic mass of chaser/spotter icons. For those who aren't familiar with Spotter Network: it's a platform that allows chasers and spotters to beacon their GPS positions and submit storm reports in real time via the internet. Some radar applications, such as the popular GRLevel3, allow Spotter Network icons to be overlaid onto the map along with the radar data. Here's an example from today (April 29) southwest of Oklahoma City:

Spotter Network storm chaser traffic

These images are horribly deceptive of what is actually happening on the ground. To demonstrate this, all one has to do is zoom in on the map:

Spotter Network storm chaser traffic

Spotter Network storm chaser traffic

Spotter Network storm chaser traffic

Spotter Network storm chaser traffic

Then, toggle off the radar data to view the underlying aerial image, which reveals the actual scale of chasers per square mile:

Spotter Network storm chaser traffic

Contrary of what the original image seems to suggest, the actual chaser densities are on the order of hundreds of yards apart minimum! Sure, one must take into account that not all storm chasers beacon on Spotter Network, but it's quite obvious with a little critical thinking that the appearance of the zoomed-out map is a misrepresentation of reality.

Spotter Network storm chaser dots
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Related Posts:
Video evidence refutes claims of storm chaser traffic problems >
A derived parameter for storm chaser traffic impacts: the "Chaser Traffic Index" or CTI >

The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

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