Tweets, Google Maps Help Solve Mystery of Portland Explosion

On Sunday night, a loud boom shook parts of Portland, Ore.–and drove residents onto Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet to figure out the cause.

On Twitter, people used the hashtag #pdxboom to relay news about the noise. And in a sign of the potential for using social media in emergencies, one resident soon set up a Google (GOOG) map that residents could use to indicate how loud the sound was in their area. Marshall Kirkpatrick at tech blog ReadWriteWeb has the story here and writes that “in just a few hours, a pattern emerged, with reports clustering around one city park.”

The Portland police cited “local blogging information” as one of the factors that led investigators to return to the area, where they found evidence of a large pipe bomb.

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