Obtaining real-time information about a hazard event as it unfolds, such as a flood or earthquake, was, until relatively recently, largely limited to the professional media. However, social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr etc.) has in recent years been increasingly used to gain situational awareness. More and more people are looking to social media as an additional, more immediate source of information.
GeoSocial is a tool which allows users, including BGS scientists to display geoscience-related posts from social media sites such as Twitter. Social media provides a different channel for gathering potentially useful information for scientific analysis from the public. The aim of GeoSocial is to explore whether BGS can make use of the wealth of information, publically available through such sites, to help advance scientific understanding and provide better, or, more - timely, advice.
GeoSocial identifies potentially relevant postings about different Geoscience themes (e.g. landslides, aurora, flooding, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes) from Twitter and, if they can be locatable, displays them on a map interface. The application currently relies on keyword filtering. As such, some relevant postings may not be retrieved where they do not meet the predefined search criteria. Equally, although a level of filtering has been conducted, the posts that are displayed are content provided by Twitter and outside of BGS’ control. BGS therefore cannot guarantee that these postings won’t contain obscenities or cause offence. Over time, we hope to be able to build on the methods behind this data filtering to improve the relevance of the content that is displayed.
Use of your Information and BGS Disclaimer
Where through any error or misjudgement BGS is found to hold any of your personal information, we promise to:
- Make sure you know why we need it
- Protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn't
- Let you know if we share it with other organisations to give you better public services – and if you can say no
- Make sure we don’t keep it longer than is necessary
- Remove it from the site if it is identified and you no longer wish it to remain on the site
Please inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org of any content you wish removed from this site and we will promise to act to review and remove that content as required.