Twitcident: Fighting Fire with Information from Social Web Streams

The Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has developed Twitcident, a framework and Web-based system for filtering, searching and analyzing information about incidents.

During crisis situations such as fires, storms or other types of incidents, people nowadays report and discuss about their observations, experiences and opinions in their Social Web streams. Therefore, valuable information that is of use for both emergency services and the general public is available. However, (i) automatically filtering relevant information from Social Web streams and (ii) making the information accessible and findable in the given crisis context are non-trivial scientific challenges.

In this research, we engineer and evaluate solutions that solve these challenges. Therefore, we introduce Twitcident, a framework and Web-based system for filtering, searching and analyzing information about incidents or crises available on the Social Web. Given an incident, our framework automatically starts tracking and filtering information that is relevant for the incident from Social Web streams and Twitter particularly. It enriches the semantics of streamed messages to profile incidents and to continuously improve and adapt the information filtering to the current temporal context. Faceted search and analytical tools that are provided by our framework allow people and emergency services to retrieve particular information fragments and overview and analyze the current situation as reported on the Social Web.

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