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iPhone Detective: App Ends Inflated Snowfall Numbers at Ski Resorts

Like moths drawn by a campfire, skiers flock to the slopes with the promise of fresh powder. But what happens when you ditch work, only to find that those six inches of fresh snow reported in the paper are more like two inches on the mountain? If you're a couple of Dartmouth College professors, you research why these false reports occur.

According to The Globe and Mail, Professors Eric Zitzewitz and Jonathan Zinman discovered that ski resorts, which usually self-report snowfall totals, were exaggerating numbers. Most notably, resorts were inflating snowfall by nearly 23-percent on the weekends in order to draw more skiers. However, thanks to this research and a new iPhone application, the "weekend effect" is becoming much less common.


Skireport.com's app
has one key feature that makes false snowfall reports nearly impossible -- users can publish firsthand reports from wherever they're located. Suddenly, the exaggerated reports diminished. "The weekend effect drops to zero where the iPhone is heavily used," Zitzewitz said. Aside from firsthand reports, the app also features live ski cams, gives accurate weather reports, and locates nearby ski areas.

You won't catch us sliding down the slopes (Ed. Note: Speak for yourself!), but features like this are valuable tools for all consumers. Whether it's a restaurant, retail store, or ski resort, the ability to quickly share firsthand information about a product or place will make it much harder for anybody to pull a "snow job" on consumers. [From: The Globe and Mail]

Tags: application, cellphone, iphone, iphone app, IphoneApp, research, ski resorts, snow, top