About GeoSocial

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

This BGS website interacts with the Twitter website at from which information is accessed from the Twitter site in line with the Twitter Privacy Policy and Twitter’s Information Collection and Use terms and conditions. This site supports Twitters services which are aimed at helping and supporting users to share information with the world. Tweets are then displayed on the map using positional information contained in the tweet, either as coordinates or text. BGS will endeavour to locate the social media post (e.g. tweet) as accurately as possible on the map using this positional information. Since the positional accuracy cannot be guaranteed, BGS has limited the zoom scale of the application. BGS abides by the UK Data Protection Act of 1998 and by Twitter’s Developer Policy and Developer Agreement.

Where through any error or misjudgement BGS is found to hold any of your personal information, we promise to:

For further information about how BGS treats personal information, please see our privacy policy. This website is made available in accordance with BGS terms of use.

Please inform us at of any content you wish removed from this site and we will promise to act to review and remove that content as required.