Collaborative social media analysis for disaster response
During large-scale complex crises such as the Haiti earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami and the Arab Spring, social media has emerged as a source of timely and detailed reports regarding important events. However, individual disaster responders, government officials or citizens who wish to access this vast knowledge base are met with a torrent of information that quickly results in information overload. Without a way to organize and navigate the reports, important details are easily overlooked and it is challenging to use the data to get an overview of the situation as a whole.
We (researchers at Madeira University, University of Oulu and IBM Research) believe that volunteers around the world would be willing to assist hard-pressed decision makers with information management, if the tools were available. With this vision in mind, we have developed CrisisTracker.
CrisisTracker automatically collects millions of daily reports from Twitter and uses text processing and crowdsourcing to organize them around the 4Ws (who, where, what, when).
For further information about CrisisTracker or the study, please contact PhD candidate Jakob Rogstadius at email@example.com.
Upcoming field trial
During September 7-14 we will be running a first full-scale field deployment of CrisisTracker. The goal of this deployment is to evaluate how well CrisisTracker can support geographically distributed volunteers to successfully organize information from social media into a format that can improve situation awareness among on-the-ground responders and professional analysts.
The event that will be tracked is the Syrian Civil War. If you wish to help, all you need to do is annotate stories with meta-tags, and improving the way reports are grouped into stories (as illustrated in the video on the left). How much time you spend doing this is fully up to you. There is also a document with detailed instructions to get you started.
During the study, the collaboratively organized live reports will be evaluated with the help of experienced professional disaster responders. At the end of the study, we will also be collecting feedback from you and other volunteers.
We are also looking for disaster response professionals.
Please register below if you may be willing to participate.
You can at any time withdraw from participation and your contact information will never be used beyond the scope of this study.