JDR Vol.11 No.2 pp. 198-206
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2016.p0198


Grasp of Disaster Situation and Support Need Inside Affected Area with Social Sensing – An Analysis of Twitter Data Before and After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster Occurring –

Shosuke Sato, Kazumasa Hanaoka, Makoto Okumura, and Shunichi Koshimura

International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University
Aoba 468-1, Aramaki, Aoba, Sendai 980-0845, Japan

October 1, 2015
January 21, 2016
Online released:
March 18, 2016
March 1, 2016
social media, Twitter, Common Operational Picture (COP), disaster information system, geo-information, disaster situation
There are increasing expectations that social sensing, especially the analysis of social media text as a source of information for COP (Common Operational Picture), is useful for decision-making about responses to disasters. This paper reports on a geo-information and content analysis of three million Twitter texts sampled from Japanese Twitter accounts for one month before and after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. The results are as follows. 1) The number of Twitter texts that include geotag (latitude and longitude information) is too small for reliable analysis. However, a method of detecting the tweet’s location from the tweet’s text using GeoNLP (an automatic technology to tag geo-information from natural language text) is able to identify geo-information, and we have confirmed that many tweets were sent from stricken areas. 2) A comparison of Twitter data distribution before and after the disaster occurred does not identify clearly which areas were significantly affected by the disaster. 3) There were very few Twitter texts that included information about the damage in affected areas and their support needs.
Cite this article as:
S. Sato, K. Hanaoka, M. Okumura, and S. Koshimura, “Grasp of Disaster Situation and Support Need Inside Affected Area with Social Sensing – An Analysis of Twitter Data Before and After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster Occurring –,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.11 No.2, pp. 198-206, 2016.
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