Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ESRI Tsunami Map Portrays Social Media

Here's some really cool technology I just saw at the ESRI Developer's Summit.  Unfortunately, its first major application came rather quickly - an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster has struck Japan.  And we all feel it. 

There don't appear to be any Twitter feeds yet, but there are YouTube and a few Flickr feeds integrated in the map, which also features the quake events and magnitude, a shake map (which shows this was a strong, strong shake throughout most of Japan) and other interactive features.

Here's how the social media feeds are integrated - yes folks, let your imaginations run wild here, it gets a little technical, but this technology is for You, for you to make social media maps about your bank, your customers, your word of mouth, and emergencies of a lesser though doubtlessly significant nature.

  • News Feeds: ESRI gathers the headline news from various online news agencies and pass each link through the RSStoGeoRSS web service that geocodes RSS content from any RSS Web link and returns the content as GeoRSS and serves it through ArcGIS Server as a map service.
  • Ushahidi: This public content from Ushahidi is added to the site by directly accessing the Earthquake Tohoku service through the Ushahidi API . The Ushahidi platform allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, e-mail or the web and visualize it on a map or timeline. The feed aggregates information from the public for use in crisis response. ESRI requests the incidents from Ushahidi in JSON format and adds to the map based on the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.
  • YouTube Videos: The videos are added to the application using the YouTube API which allows you to request videos given a latitude and longitude position along with a search radius and keywords.
  • Tweets: The Twitter API is used to identify tweets that match a specified query and area. In this case, only the tweets that return a coordinate value within the current visible map extent are added to the map. The Twitter API also sends the results of the query back to the application as JSON.
  • Flickr: The Flickr API is used to identify Flickr photos that match search terms and a collection of other parameters identified in the Flickr API help pages, and the API sends the results of the query back to the application as JSON.
So sad that we need to find and catalog these victims.  So glad we have the technology which will help, be furthered, and extended.

No comments:

Post a Comment