Title

Assessing Relevance of Tweets for Risk Communication

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2018

Department

Computing; Geography and Geology

Abstract

Although Twitter is used for emergency management activities, the relevance of tweets during a hazard event is still open to debate. In this study, six different computational (i.e. Natural Language Processing) and spatiotemporal analytical approaches were implemented to assess the relevance of risk information extracted from tweets obtained during the 2013 Colorado flood event. Primarily, tweets containing information about the flooding events and its impacts were analysed. Examination of the relationships between tweet volume and its content with precipitation amount, damage extent, and official reports revealed that relevant tweets provided information about the event and its impacts rather than any other risk information that public expects to receive via alert messages. However, only 14% of the geo-tagged tweets and only 0.06% of the total fire hose tweets were found to be relevant to the event. By providing insight into the quality of social media data and its usefulness to emergency management activities, this study contributes to the literature on quality of big data. Future research in this area would focus on assessing the reliability of relevant tweets for disaster related situational awareness.

Publication Title

International Journal of Digital Earth

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