Detecting Flood Disasters by Analyzing Social Media Traffic

A new partnership between Breaking Data, Pacific Disaster Center, and Kontur Labs will hopefully reduce natural disaster risks with the help of social media.

Pacific Disaster Center will be bringing their best product, DisasterAWARE, to the table. The product is expert in hazard warnings, risk evaluation, and data analysis of extreme conditions, including floods. Breaking Data already focus on technologies relating to machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Kontur Labs pride themselves on creating complicated systems and data easier to work with using top-of-the-range technology and up-to-date software. Easy-to-use applications mean more people across the globe will get to grips with it. Kontur Labs will implement the final DisasterAWARE programme to the public. The companies hope to merge all aspects to create a programme that will analyse social media on floods and other extreme conditions. The programme will run in real time, and provide researchers with data from social media from across the globe.

DisasterAWARE is currently one of the best detection systems, which relies on historical and real time information, potential events, and the impact these events have on decision making in the run up and aftermath of extreme conditions. The system is one of the most elaborate yet user-friendly tools the US has for evidence-based decision making, and is also used by the UN, governments from over the world, and emergency response teams.

The data the programme contains can give valuable information about flooding, as well as information about the relevant affected populations, infrastructure, and strategies for dealing with the immediate aftermath. Breaking Data’s contribution will be to add social media analysis to DisasterAWARE’s already sterling data, and will be able to assess and understand algorithms from social media on various natural events, including identifying the source, the location, and filtering and sorting the most relevant information. This partnership will create the most trustworthy source of flood disaster data and other extreme weather events over the world. The CEO of

Breaking Data, Marvin Igelman, said:
“By working together we will be adding important functionality to a vital platform currently in use by their impressive client list which includes top federal and state agencies. This is an important step for us, as it demonstrates that our NLP and machine learning technologies have applications in different verticals beyond the successes we’ve seen in sports through our BreakingSports app.”

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) is used all over the world by humanitarian projects and communities who provide flood relief and other natural disaster support services. Emergency response teams find the programme essential in decision making. The PDC is affiliated with the University of Hawaii.

The executive director of the Pacific Disaster Centre, Ray Shirkhodai, has stated: “With this partnership we’re hoping to bring in yet another forward-leaning and innovative technology into DisasterAWARE, enhancing informed decision making and risk reduction practices. Once completed we are confident that all of our clients will instantly value the enhanced visibility on what’s happening on the ground.”