The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
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Articles | Volume XLII-3/W4
Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XLII-3/W4, 75–82, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-3-W4-75-2018
Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XLII-3/W4, 75–82, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-archives-XLII-3-W4-75-2018

  06 Mar 2018

06 Mar 2018

THE EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR NATURAL DISASTERS MANAGEMENT: A BIG DATA PERSPECTIVE

N. Athanasis1, M. Themistocleous1, K. Kalabokidis2, A. Papakonstantinou2, N. Soulakellis2, and P. Palaiologou3 N. Athanasis et al.
  • 1University of Piraeus, Department of Digital Systems, Greece
  • 2University of the Aegean, Department of Geography, Greece
  • 3USDA Forest Service International Visitor Program, Oregon State University, USA

Keywords: Social media, Big Data, Twitter, real-time disaster management, civil protection, GIS

Abstract. Social media is rapidly emerging as a potential resource of information capable to support natural disasters management. Despite the growing research interest focused on using social media during natural disasters, many challenges may arise on how to handle the ‘big data’ problem: huge amounts of geo-social data are available, in different formats and varying quality that must be processed quickly. This article presents a state-of-the-art approach towards the enhancement of decision support tools for natural disaster management with information from the Twitter social network. The novelty of the approach lies in the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling outputs with real-time information from Twitter. A first prototype has been implemented that integrates geo-referenced Twitter messages into a Web GIS for wildfire risk management and real-time earthquake monitoring. Following a highly scalable architecture that relies on big data components, the proposed methodology can be applied in different geographical areas, different types of social media and a variety of natural disasters. The article aims at highlighting the role of social big data, towards a more sophisticated transfer of knowledge among civil protection agencies, emergency response crews and affected population.