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A guide to social media emergency management analytics: Understanding its place through Typhoon Haiyan tweets


Social media can play a critical role in the dissemination of the information as well as collection of relevant data during natural disasters. The idea of leveraging social media data such as Twitter is intuitively attractive, given their natural ties to mobile devices with obvious disaster response implications.

However, as with any data analysis, the design of the analysis, from the objective definition, the data collection specifics, data management, valuation of the data contents, and analysis methodologies, can determine the ultimate effectiveness and validity of the analysis activities. This is exasperated in the context of disaster response given its time-sensitive nature. The disaster response resources and the analytical resources must work closely together to ensure that the analysis is fit for purpose and meets the ultimate objective. This study discusses the key considerations for such collaboration through an analysis of Twitter data surrounding the 2013 landfall of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.