Social Media, Open Data and Bushfire Connect


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The last year has seen a rapid take-up of social media, crowdsourcing and mapping tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Ushahidi in managing disasters in Queensland, Victoria, Christchurch and Japan.

Now that the use of social media for emergency management is becoming more or less ‘established’ and even accepted in the Response and Recovery phases, the next question is how this can be extended into Planning and Preparation, to strengthen community resilience?

Attendees will see actual examples from e.g. the RFS and community initiatives such as Random Hack of Kindness and BushfireConnect, and learn how to best harness the power of crowdsourced crisis information to empower both citizens and responders.

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  • This is challenging to the Emergency Services, who have a strong Command & Control Culture,that deals with verified, trusted & accountable information.A process that is slow by necessity
  • On the other hand: the “Crowd” is radically different:It’s all about citizen reporting: telling a local storyIt’s immediate, self organising, and self correcting
  • These two, complimentary, ecosystems connect through two bridgesagency to community: broadcasting alerts through social mediaAnd the other way around: harvesting information from the crowd
  • Social Media, Open Data and Bushfire Connect

    1. 1. Social Media +Open Data=Community ResilienceMaurits van der Vlugt – Bushfire Connect<br />
    2. 2. Hurricane Irene<br />Many Online Resources<br />
    3. 3. Google Crisis Map<br />Evacuation Routes (FEMA)<br />Storm Surge (NOAA)<br />Evacuation Zones (<br />20 others<br />Utilities<br />Local Gov<br />Fed Gov<br /><br />
    4. 4. Tweak the Tweet<br />Maps Real Time Tweets<br />Citizen Reports<br />Categorised<br />
    5. 5. Irene Recovery Map<br />Community Reports<br />Tweets<br />News Feeds<br />People helping People<br />
    6. 6. What do they have in Common?<br />Non-Government<br />Integrating Official & Citizen Sources<br />Self-Reliance & Empowerment<br />Social Media + Open Data<br />
    7. 7. Social Media<br />
    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10. Complementary Ecosystems<br />
    11. 11. Timely and Reliable<br />Timely<br />Agencies<br />Reliable<br />Social Media<br />
    12. 12. Open Data<br />
    13. 13. Jan 2011: Floodmaps as PDFs<br />
    14. 14. Publish Open Data!<br />Machine Readable<br />Free<br />Open licensing (CC-By)<br />
    15. 15. 7 Feb 2009 - Black Saturday<br />Official Agencies & Emergency Services<br />Slow & Overwhelmed<br />000 overloaded<br />No alternative sources<br />Rumours & Misinformation<br />Evacuations: too late and misdirected.<br />
    16. 16. Community Need<br />Grass roots community reporting<br />Fast, localised, community driven<br />Integration with Official Sources<br />Integrate with agency feeds<br />Inform Emergency Services<br />
    17. 17. Bushfire Connect<br />Community Powered<br />Community Resilience<br />Integrate Crowd Sourced and Official Information<br />
    18. 18. Incident Reports<br />SMS<br />Web-Form<br />Geo-RSS<br />Emails<br />Tweets<br />
    19. 19. Incident Alerts – OPT IN<br />SMS<br />Email<br />RSS…<br />
    20. 20. Where are we now?<br />Since May 2010<br />’Live’ site since Feb 2011 (<br />Small team of volunteers (up to 7 people)<br />$2000 cash<br />Next steps (next season)<br />High performance server environment<br />Team of volunteer moderators<br />National Coverage <br />All Hazards<br />
    21. 21. Long-haired hippie activists?Let’s hear from the Experts<br />
    22. 22. ”<br />Emerging and traditional communication tools should be used together to distribute information quickly and accurately<br />Sir Ken Knight, UK Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser<br />”<br />
    23. 23. ”<br />FaceBookwas more useful than government websites and media reports during the cyclone Yasiemergency<br />Dr. Deanne Bird<br />”<br />
    24. 24. ”<br />the only thing that <br />saves people in extreme events is timely and accurate information<br />Mark Crosweller, Commissioner ACT ESA<br />”<br />
    25. 25. ”<br />There is a need for change […] <br />Empower communities with Timely, Relevant and Tailored information<br />Craig Lapsley, VIC FSC<br />”<br />
    26. 26. Social Media +Open Data=<br />
    27. 27. That’s it… Thanks for listening<br /><br /><br />Twitter: @bushfireconnect<br />@mvandervlugt<br />