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Google, ­-M to Build Digital Tools For Flint Water Crisis

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Researchers at Google and two campuses of the University of Michigan are working on a smartphone app and other digital tools to help residents and officials of Flint, MI, manage their lead-contaminated water crisis.


Researchers at Google and the University of Michigan's (U-M) Flint and Ann Arbor campuses have teamed up to develop a smartphone app and other digital tools that can help Flint, MI, residents and officials manage the water crisis.

The app and other tools will help predict where lead levels will be highest in the city's water, and will pull together information and resources designed to make the crisis easier to navigate for those affected.

A student team at U-M Flint already has developed a prototype smartphone app, and Google and U-M Ann Arbor's Michigan Data Science Team will add mapping features that use predictive analytics. The Android app is slated for rollout this summer.

Initial work by the research team has shown some success at predicting which homes and neighborhoods have a high risk of lead contamination. In the coming months, they will apply predictive algorithms and machine-learning techniques to data from a wide variety of sources including Google, the state of Michigan, and the city of Flint.

"Finding the best way to put resources close to where high lead levels are is a big part of managing this crisis, and it's the kind of problem that analytics can solve," says U-M Flint professor Mark Allison.

From University of Michigan News Service
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