We thought we’d share with you a unique and inspiring way in which location intelligence has recently helped raise awareness of a plight in the US. Esri software has been used as part of a project in a special episode of the very popular TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The episode aired in the US a few days ago and showcased a new home built for Jeannie and Johnnie Mac Brown, who tragically lost their teenage daughter, Alex, in a car accident as the result of texting while driving.
The show chose to help the Brown family to help them spread the word to people, particularly young people, about the dangers of texting while driving. The Brown’s formed the Remember Alex Brown Foundation, and the foundation’s website invites people to tell their stories, learn from others, and make a difference.
The new home that the TV show provided the family with features a special office for the parents to continue their work to make texting while driving illegal across the United States.
Esri got on board to help spread this important message. “We wanted to help because what the Brown family is doing is important,” says Simon Thompson, Director of Commercial Solutions at Esri. “They’re honouring their daughter while getting a valuable message out: before you drive, please put your cell phone away and drive safely.”
During the episode, the Browns asked teenagers and others to go to the foundation website and pledge not to text while driving. Esri donated software and services to help build and host a map application for the foundation’s command centre. Staff at the command centre can view a digital U.S. map showing the states using three different categories: those that have passed texting laws, those with such laws pending, and those with no texting laws yet. Every time someone submits an online pledge, the web map in the command centre flashes bright red, showing which state received the petition.