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Shideh Dashti, Leysia Palen, Mehdi P. Heris, Kenneth M. Anderson, T. Jennings Anderson, & Scott Anderson. (2014). Supporting disaster reconnaissance with social media data: A design-oriented case study of the 2013 Colorado floods. In and P.C. Shih. L. Plotnick M. S. P. S.R. Hiltz (Ed.), ISCRAM 2014 Conference Proceedings – 11th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 632–641). University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.
Abstract: Engineering reconnaissance following an extreme event is critical in identifying the causes of infrastructure failure and minimizing such consequences in similar future events. Typically, however, much of the data about infrastructure performance and the progression of geological phenomena are lost during the event or soon after as efforts move to the recovery phase. A better methodology for reliable and rapid collection of perishable hazards data will enhance scientific inquiry and accelerate the building of disaster-resilient cities. In this paper, we explore ways to support post-event reconnaissance through the strategic collection and reuse of social media data and other remote sources of information, in response to the September 2013 flooding in Colorado. We show how tweets, particularly with postings of visual data and references to location, may be used to directly support geotechnical experts by helping to digitally survey the affected region and to navigate optimal paths through the physical space in preparation for direct observation.