CHIME Research: Analysis of Data from Social Media Streams

The analysis of social media data seeks to investigate how people interact with, interpret, use, and propagate information about hazards from different sources in the digital sphere. The goal of our analysis is to uncover not just who is publicly posting about hazard threats and how much, but also what, why and how. This involves combining qualitative and quantitative investigation over a large number of data points at multiple levels of analysis. We do so by integrating data-driven exploration of very large data sets with social science theory of hazards and disasters.

The analysis is beginning with examination of Twitter and related data sets collected during the forecast and warning, event, and response and recovery stages of Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 Colorado flooding. Findings from the social media research will also be used to inform the focus groups with more vulnerable populations and the agent-based modeling.