In a crisis, social media is ideal for spreading information fast — and helping disaster relief organizations get up-to-the-minute information about the situation on the ground. This week’s wildfires in Colorado are no exception. Grassroots campaigns, alongside major relief organizations, have analyzed social media data to help people in the fires’ way.
Two Colorado Springs, Colo. residents, Scott Seibold and Robbie Trencheny, crafted a Twitter application which aggregates tweets that use the hashtag #WaldoCanyonFire, #WaldoFire, #waldocanyon and Colorado Springs. The tool also separates out official tweets from the city and pictures.
The American Red Cross launched a social media response system in March — officially called the Digital Operations Center and casually called the Digidoc — which monitors real-time data from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. The Colorado wildfires and Hurricane Debbie earlier this week were the two largest disasters to occur since its launch.
“We’ve seen a lot of people being afraid and scared this week,” Gloria Huang, social engagement team member at the Red Cross, told sources. “We’re able to reach out to them and give them digital hugs and provide mental safety.”
HT to Mashable.