SMERST 2013: Social Media and Semantic Technologies in Emergency Response

Time and Duration
Venue City: 
Conventry
Basic Information
Date: 
15/04/2013 - 16/04/2013
Venue: 
Scarman Conference Centre, University of Warwick
Venue Country: 
United Kingdom
Event Organisers: 

University of Warwick

Language of event: 
English

This conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners in Emergency Response and Humanitarian Disasters who are interested in Social Media and/or Semantic Technologies. We seek both academic studies as well as practical applications and use cases across both areas of interest.

Social Media: The last few years have seen an explosive growth in the use of social media in all kinds of disasters (Fukushima, Australian Floods, Haiti, to name but a few). Most recently and dramatically has been the use of social media as well as a wide collection of Web 2.0 systems in the response to Hurricane Sandy. While a great deal has already been written on the use of social media in disasters and emergencies there is a continuous flow of new developments, further creative ways that people are using these technologies to help themselves in disasters. Equally, there is a growing use by emergency managers of social media to communicate in real time with the public and in some cases to establish two way dialogues. There is still much to be learnt in terms of best practice and in terms of the effectiveness both for authorities and the public in using these technologies. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The use of social media technologies to communicate and engage with the public during a Disaster, including case studies on the use of these technologies for responding to emergencies and disasters
  • Building resilience and protecting critical infrastructure through social media
  • Qualitative and quantitative studies on the use of social media for responding to emergencies and disasters
  • Understanding trust and the veracity of communication using social media
  • Policies and guidelines for the use of social media technologies for responding to emergencies and disasters
  • The barriers to adoption of new technologies for responding to emergencies and disasters
  • The potential for Web 2.0 technologies to support disaster and emergency response

Semantic Web and Structured data: The explosion of data in semantic web formats since the introduction of the Linked Data principles, and the corresponding growth of open data initiatives in the UK, US and now in many other countries both point to an opportunity for emergency and disaster systems to be built which integrate structured data, build on semantic technologies and provide new services for emergencies and disasters. Data silos currently exist between organisations who share responsibility for emergency response and the opportunity now arises to reduce these barriers in view of the technologies available. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

System Interoperability:

  • the use of open source software, including the compatibility of different systems

Data interoperability:

  • exchange and sharing of information between organisations

Ontologies and schemas:

  • modelling of the disaster domain
  • ontology-based data integration of heterogeneous data
  • evaluation of ontologies for disasters and emergency response

Data Sets for emergencies and disasters:

  • Data set requirements and practical experiences
  • Linked open data design.

The use of Geodata:

  • use of OpenStreetMap
  • use of LinkedGeoData
  • Other Geodata and related applications