Early Flood Detection for Rapid Humanitarian Response: Harnessing Near Real-Time Satellite and Twitter Signals

Brenden Jongman, Jurjen Wagemaker, Beatriz Romero, Erin de Perez
2015 ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information  
Humanitarian organizations have a crucial role in response and relief efforts after floods. The effectiveness of disaster response is contingent on accurate and timely information regarding the location, timing and impacts of the event. Here we show how two near-real-time data sources, satellite observations of water coverage and flood-related social media activity from Twitter, can be used to support rapid disaster response, using case-studies in the Philippines and Pakistan. For these
more » ... s we analyze information from disaster response organizations, the Global Flood Detection System (GFDS) satellite flood signal, and flood-related Twitter activity analysis. The results demonstrate that these sources of near-real-time information can be used to gain a quicker understanding of the location, the timing, as well as the causes and impacts of floods. In terms of location, we produce daily impact maps based on both satellite information and social media, which can dynamically and rapidly outline the affected area during a disaster. In terms of timing, the results show that GFDS and/or Twitter signals flagging ongoing or upcoming flooding are regularly available one to several days before the event was reported to humanitarian organizations. OPEN ACCESS
doi:10.3390/ijgi4042246 fatcat:exinwk6c35dkzjvhyfuodgaiia