A new data-driven study on the flooding of River Elbe in 2013 (one of the most severe floods ever recorded in Germany) shows that geo-data can enhance the process of extracting relevant information from social media during disasters. The authors use “specific geographical features like hydrological data and digital elevation models to prioritize crisis-relevant twitter messages.” The results demonstrate that an “approach based on geographical relations can enhance information extraction from volunteered geographic information,” which is “valuable for both crisis response and preventive flood monitoring.” These conclusions thus support a number of earlier studies that show the added value of data integration. This analysis also confirms several other key assumptions, which are important for crisis computing and disaster response.
ROBERT STEELE: I told the General Defense Intelligence Program (GDIP) annual meeting in 1988 — chaired by Marty Hurwitz with Keith Hall less than 10 feet away from me — that we would never reach machine-speed all-source data fusion unless we first required and enabled geospatial attributes in addition to Date-Time-Group (DTP) stamps on all data from all disciplines. 1988. The National Geospatial Agency (NGA) and GoogleEarth are largely useless on this function because that simple point continues to be resisted by most data stream managers. Add to that the lack of a sparse matrix “stack” for non-geospatial information in all mediums and languages that can interact with Keyhole Markup Language (KML) and other automated geospatial feeds, and you have grid-lock. This would be one of the first challenges I would ask my colleague Patrick to focus on within CrisisMappers and OpenStreetMap, if a national or independent Open Source Agency were ever to be established.