Social Data at the Eye of the Hurricane

At Gnip, we are fascinated at the possibilities of how social data can be used in natural disasters. If you’re on Twitter, your newsfeed is likely flooded (pun intended) with tweets about Hurricane Sandy. Our customer VisionLink uses geotagged Tweets about Hurricane Sandy and overlays them in a map with the RedCross shelters. You can also overlay Tweets with the path of Hurricane Sandy. You can play around with their map here, but this screenshot gives you a snapshot of how social data can track events such as Hurricanes.

Mapping Tweets and Red Cross shelters

This map makes it easier for emergency response teams to map where the flooding and other potential hazards are happening. Using timestamps, social data can even show a timeline of how conditions are worsening over time.

We expect that this technology will get increasingly sophisticated in a short amount of time. If you’re looking for more resources to follow on Twitter about Hurricane Sandy, check out these Twitter accounts.