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Valerio Lorini, Javier Rando, Diego Saez-Trumper, & Carlos Castillo. (2020). Uneven Coverage of Natural Disasters in Wikipedia: The Case of Floods. In Amanda Hughes, Fiona McNeill, & Christopher W. Zobel (Eds.), ISCRAM 2020 Conference Proceedings – 17th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 688–703). Blacksburg, VA (USA): Virginia Tech.
Abstract: The usage of non-authoritative data for disaster management provides timely information that might not be available through other means. Wikipedia, a collaboratively-produced encyclopedia, includes in-depth information about many natural disasters, and its editors are particularly good at adding information in real-time as a crisis unfolds. In this study, we focus on the most comprehensive version of Wikipedia, the English one. Wikipedia offers good coverage of disasters, particularly those having a large number of fatalities. However, by performing automatic content analysis at a global scale, we also show how the coverage of floods in Wikipedia is skewed towards rich, English-speaking countries, in particular the US and Canada. We also note how coverage of floods in countries with the lowest income is substantially lower than the coverage of floods in middle-income countries. These results have implications for analysts and systems using Wikipedia as an information source about disasters.