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Using Twitter and GIS to support emergency response

This article was passed along to me, and it gave me a lot of ideas, and some very solid technical hints, on how we can integrate Twitter into our GIS mapping to support emergency response.

http://www.securitymanagement.com/article/birds-eye-view-008113

Read some samples of the golden nuggets (and I need to look into Tweetdeck!) below:

For the uninitiated, placing an “@” sign in a tweet followed by a user’s name references them and draws their attention by posting the tweet to his or her “mentions” feed. Hashtags, meaning the “#” symbol followed by a word, classifies the tweet’s topic or type of data being tweeted. Abbreviated hashtags like “#src” would precede the source attribution of information, and “#loc” the location of the poster or the matter at hand. For example, a coworker might tweet “@joestraw power outage #loc 1625 Prince St. Alexandria VA #src @ASIS_Intl” to let me know the power is out at my office.

Searches are further aided by free dashboard applications like TweetDeck. Within the program, users can create customized feed columns based on saved searches. Richard Barley, TweetDeck’s community manager, acknowledges, however, that the application does not handle location-based searches, because Twitter has not yet allowed that functionality, “though it is something we very much hope to be able to add soon.”

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