The Evolving Role of Social Media in Emergency Management
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The Evolving Role of Social Media in Emergency Management

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  • The objectives of the presentation is to demonstrate and showcase how applications and tools can be utilized to  improve the quality, timeliness, and completeness of data collection and integration, and to improve response towards emergencies through better situational awareness and smarter governments. I will be demonstrating how key technologies can help to decipher socialauthority, trends, social identification, and analysis of the data by utilizing tools that are currently used today from across the globe
  • Understanding the interactions between new technologies, open data, and the evolving participatory response community is at the center of the work and meaning of social media in emergency management.Many individuals within the emergency response arena feel that we are in the midst of a transformative period because of the perceived value created through these interactions.
  • These interactions move towards the movement of capturing real-time information which allows emergency managers to understand the world faster and become more effective in saving lives.Toward this goal, there are three predominant reasons that emergency managers might want engage with social media:1. Meeting and managing citizen expectations2. Increasing situational awareness3. Crowdsourcing and leveraging citizens as force multipliers
  • Situation awareness, situational awareness, or SA, is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time. It is also a field of study concerned with perception of the environment critical to decision-makers in complex, dynamic areas from aviation, air traffic control, power plant operations, military command and control, and emergency services such as fire fighting and policing; to more ordinary but nevertheless complex tasks such as driving an automobile or bicycle.Situation awareness involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity to understand how information, events, and one's own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future. Lacking SA or having inadequate SA has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error.[1] Thus, SA is especially important in work domains where the information flow can be quite high and poor decisions may lead to serious consequences (e.g., piloting an airplane, functioning as a soldier, or treating critically ill or injured patients).Having complete, accurate and up-to-the-minute SA is essential where technological and situational complexity on the human decision-maker are a concern. SA has been recognized as a critical, yet often elusive, foundation for successful decision-making across a broad range of complex and dynamic systems, including aviation and air traffic control,[2] emergency response and military command and control operations,[3] and offshore oil and nuclear power plant management.[4]
  • From an emergency management perspective, situational awareness within the first 72 hours of an event is critical to the success of response operations. Moreover, experiences such as the 2007 San Diego County Fires have shown that disaster- relevant information will be posted by the community at large to provide SA for the public and for others to use. This information provides tremendous value in providing decision-makers with real-time situational awareness and was essentially one of the first cases using the web and geographic information to provide context around a crisis situation.In Oct 2007, KBPS, a local San Diego radio station used Google maps to report the real-time spread of fires and the status of evacuation centresThey captured details around Wildfire parameters Fire linesEvacuation Centers / sheltersRoad ClosuresEvacuation ordersInformation was captured from counties, fire response, Transportation and other key agencies who were responding to the fires and in a few days the information had over 1.1 million hits
  • BCeMAP is a Multi- Agency Situational Awareness tool that provides a framework for geospatial intelligence, data fusion and visualization. In conjunction with Emergency Management British Columbia, GeoBC and multiple stakeholders it is used to gain a timely accurate understanding of emergency management operations and the events that impact them.The BC Emergency Event Map system (BCeMap) is intended to:Provide real-time dissemination of a province-wide emergency event map to trusted partners in British Columbia, including local, regional, provincial and national emergency management organisations, other public safety agencies and critical infrastructure operators. Provide a Common Operating Picture that integrates incident, geographic, infrastructure, threat and hazard information to provide common situational awareness to multiple agencies while planning for and responding to emergency events of all types. Provide the ability to access and disseminate geospatial incident information to other trusted federal and provincial partners. This may include dissemination of information to other geospatially enabled systems
  • The Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS) initiative makes it possible to share location-based situational awareness information and alerts, between first response and emergency management agencies, using open standards and an open architecture.
  • Both are pretty strong statements in support of using SM…
  • Situation awareness involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity to understand how information, events, and one's own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future
  • Crowd sourcing and leveraging citizens as force multipliersSocial media tools, if used properly, provide the opportunity to turn individuals whom emergency managers and first responders previously perceived as liabilities in response into critical assets. The ability to crowdsource and leverage both affected and unaffected persons as force multipliers in response—be it as information providers or aggregators—is what separates new media from old, and this is where the new value is created.
  • A visualisation of the response to the earthquake by the OpenStreetMap community. Within 12 hours the white flashes indicate edits to the map (generally by tracing satellite/aerial photography).Over the following days a large number of additions to the map are made with many roads (green primary, red secondary) added. Also many other features were added such as the blue glowing refugee camps that emerge.A lot of these edits were made possible by a number of satellite and aerial imagery passes in the days after the quake, that were release to the public for tracing and analysis.
  • A lot of these edits were made possible by a number of satellite and aerial imagery passes in the days after the quake, that were release to the public for tracing and analysis.
  • But for public safety, the fusion is serious – as seen here through VGI SupportOver the 12 days and counting a massive amount of information was captured identifying Collapsed Buildings, Partially Collapsed buildings, obstacles, damaged infrastructure, landslides, refugee camps, and other information
  • BACKGROUNDOn June 22 of 2011 EMBC, City of Vancouver, City of Richmond, NRCAN, DRDC, DHS, Washington State, ESRI Canada, GeoBC, EMERGEO, PlanetWorks and SFU had just finished the first cross boarder technology experiment simulating a catastrophic event using a number of different technologies: ETeam, BCeMAP, MASAS, MASAS Simulator, Emergeo, HAZUS-MH, SFU’s Emergency communications vehicle, Ushahadi, MyStateUSA, and IPAWS. This was the first experiment in Canada’s Interoperability Action Plan sponsored by DRDC, Centre of Security Sciences and the Department of Homeland Security.   CAUSE The CAUSE experiment showcased how technology can play a role in catastrophic events, this was an experiment jointly managed through centre of security sciences defence research and development Canada, and department of homeland security. Since the experiment has finished an associated video was produced for the emergency management community to view and identify how technology played a role in this particular vignette I am showcasing an example of Volunteering Geographic Information from an open source crowdsourcing application that has been used in mutliple emergency events, humanitatian events and others acrosss the goble, this is application is known as USHAHIDI which means “WITNESS” in Swahili. CAUSE Goals:Adoption of technology Resiliency of technology Cross boarder collaboration Future R&D Interoperability of existing tools
  • AS GOVERNMENTS increasingly develop Gov 2.0 initiatives, they are better able to answer the call to do more with less and meet citizens’ desire to connect with government. Technology is evolving with this movement as it naturally facilitates communication about place-based issues. Acknowledging citizens as powerful sources of data, smart governments are providing ways for them to deliver real-time information. A smart gov might have weather systems, stream gauges, environmental sensors, smart infrastructure monitoring systems, cameras, real time transportation flow analysis and other data collection systems providing city leaders with vast amounts of data that allows them to make better decisions. New technologies, such as Ushahadi, crowdmap and social networks are enabling citizens to report concerns, opinions, and requests directly to the government. Citizens can quickly and easily send photos and other information from their smartphones or computers to government agencies, volunteers and others to report issues, and the data can be automatically tied in to existing systems. Therefore creating a smarter government.The next few slides will show case how crowdsourcing/ social media can be leverage to derive intelligence.
  • Property damage
  • As citizen-generated data can become part of the government workflow, operations can move faster than ever. A citizen can instantly report damages, services needed, broken streetlights, or downed power lines, for example, from their smartphone right at the scene. That can automatically be integrated into exisiting workflow and business process, so a decision can be made quickly therefore improving citizen services, public safety and preparedness.Web and mobile apps help citizens report problems and save time and money for government to respond to those problems. The process is much more convenient for the public now. The rise of social media, crowdsourcing, open data, geo-location, mobile and Web applications is allowing government to go further in engaging citizens than with traditional means. Now citizens can simply click on a map, take a photo and enter the details of damages or service requests. Government wants citizens to be involved, and citizens can now participate more easily than ever with technology today. With constant improvements in the way data is analyzed and displayed, we can now gather tremendous insight to areas that require attention.
  • Start with authoritative data. Leverage the dependable, accurate data you already have and use it as a foundation for the applications you deliver to citizens. When citizens contribute information through applications and technology you can bring it directly into your existing systems.Don’t create a citizen data silo. Create applications that work seamlessly with your existing systems to ensure that the data you collect from the public will work with your back-end office systemsLet citizens know what your monitoring. For citizens to be effective sensors, they need to know about the applications you are creating/ using to gather inputRespond to feedback. When citizens alert you to an issue or concern, generate automatic responses that let them know you have received their input and keep them up to date on the issue as it progresses or is resolved.Challenges and Risks:1. Resources2. Laws, policy, and guidance3. Engagement and community-building4. Buy-in and adoption through demonstrated value to others;5. Reliability and verification6. Structure and integration
  • That is all the time I have..Leave you with the idea that – exploring social media, SA, and crowdsourcing can lead you to some insightful ideas in applying technology that could benefit the population and effectively transitioning to a smarter government

The Evolving Role of Social Media in Emergency Management Presentation Transcript

  • 1. THE EVOLVING ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIAIN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT GIS COP RICHMOND, 2012 KRISTOPHER HAYNE- EMBC
  • 2. AGENDA Situational Awareness Social CrowdSourcing Technologies Smarter Governments
  • 3. SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES ARE BEING INTEGRATEDCreating New Sources of Information Validated Information Open Data CrowdSourcing MobileCommunityAwareness Social Situation Awareness Enriching GIS Systems with• Open Data Diverse Observations,• Mobile Tech Perceptions and Opinions Analysis• Geo-Location . . . Creating Opportunities and Challenges for EM
  • 4. Social Technologies are about understanding the world faster1. Meeting and managing citizen expectations2. Increasing situational awareness3. Crowdsourcing and leveraging citizens as forcemultipliers
  • 5. SITUATIONAL AWARENESSSituation awareness, is the perception ofenvironmental elements with respect to time and/orspace
  • 6. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS – 2007 San Diego County Fires… http://maps.google.com/help/maps/getmaps/#kpbs
  • 7. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TOOLS - BCEMAP
  • 8. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TOOLS – NOV 21 2011 STORM EVENT masas.ca
  • 9. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS “THE SOONER WE ARE ABLE TO COMPREHEND THE FULL SCOPE OF THE DISASTER, THE BETTER ABLE WE ARE TO SUPPORT OUR CITIZENS AND FIRST RESPONDERS. FOR THAT REASON, WE MUST SEEK OUT AND INCORPORATE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE PUBLIC.” Senate Homeland Security Hearing on Social Media as Disaster Communications Tool – May 5, 2011
  • 10. SA is about understanding the world through1. Time2. Space
  • 11. CROWDSOURCING“Crowdsourcing is how the power of the many canbe leveraged to accomplish feats that were oncethe responsibility of a specialized few” Jeff Howe.,2008.
  • 12. CROWDSOURCING / VGI… OPEN STREET MAP – PROJECT HAITI VGI HAITI EARTHQUAKE SUPPORT
  • 13. CROWDSOURCING /VGI HAITI EARTHQUAKE SUPPORT … VGI HAITI EARTHQUAKE SUPPORT
  • 14. CROWD SOURCING / VGI HAITI EARTHQUAKE SUPPORT…
  • 15. CROWDSOURCING… “CAUSE”
  • 16. SMARTER GOVERNMENTS
  • 17. SOCIAL TECHNOLOGIES ARE BEING INTEGRATEDCreating New Sources of Information Validated Information Open Data CrowdSourcing MobileCommunityAwareness Social Situation Awareness Enriching GIS Systems with• Open Data Diverse Observations,• Mobile Tech Perceptions and Opinions Analysis• Geo-Location Creating Smarter Governments…
  • 18. SOCIAL MEDIA IN CRISISTHINGS TO CONSIDER… 1. Start with Authoritative Data 2. Dont create a citizen data silo 3. Let citizens know what your monitoring 4. Respond to Feedback
  • 19. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION