Title: The Use of Social Media within the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS)
Authors: STOLLBERG Beate MonikaDE GROEVE Tom
Citation: Proceedings of the 21st international conference companion on World Wide Web (WWW '12 Companion) p. 703-706
Publisher: ACM
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC70719
ISBN: 978-1-4503-1230-1
URI: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2187980.2188185
DOI: 10.1145/2187980.2188185
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) collects near real-time hazard information to provide global multi-hazard disaster alerting for earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones, floods and volcanoes. GDACS alerts are based on calculations from physical disaster parameters and used by emergency responders. In 2011, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission started exploring if and how social media could be an additional valuable data source for international disaster response. The question is if awareness of the situation after a disaster could be improved by the use of social media tools and data. In order to explore this, JRC developed a Twitter account and Facebook page for the dissemination of GDACS alerts, a Twitter parser for the monitoring of information and a mobile application for information exchange. This paper presents the Twitter parser and the intermediate results of the data analysis which shows that the parsing of Twitter feeds (so-called tweets) can provide important information about side effects of disasters, on the perceived impact of a hazard and on the reaction of the affected population. The most important result is that impact information on collapsed buildings were detected through tweets within the first half an hour after an earthquake occurred and before any mass media reported the collapse.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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