In September I posted about forest firefighters using portals (my definition of portal: one-stop web shopping for information and/or working space on a project or topic – often updated from multiple sources).  In October, Wired’s Damon Tabor wrote about the LAFD’s 23-year veteran Brian Humphrey – calling him a one-man geek squad. 

The article talks about how Firefighter Humphrey is building resources for the LAFD and the public using Twitter (microblogging, see related posts here & here), Yahoo Pipes 
(free data aggregating tool – you can build a custom pipe, or subscribe to ones built by others), mobile alerts 
(subscription to get messages on your mobile phone when something happens), and map mashups (they already use a Google Maps mashup, he wants to link to more detailed info like USGS topographical maps.)  LAFD’s portal.  LAist article with even more examples of LAFD’s efforts. Clearly real-time data is crucial for firefighters.  But given all the firefighting I hear about in business organizations, perhaps there is something to be learned here.  What data could you be accessing, mashing up, aggregating, or just tapping into that would enhance your work?  Situational awareness has to be balanced against information overload, but if done well may support immersive performance.  Always looking for examples…