Today’s Story: Disaster Relief Teams Use Tweets and Maps to Help People After Typhoon Yolanda
On November 8, 2013 the Philippines was ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda (also called Typhoon Haiyan), the strongest storm to ever make landfall. Over 6,000 people in the Philippines were killed by the storm. Tacloban City and Guiuan were among the areas hit the hardest. Widespread damage throughout the country affected vital services and infrastructure.
Without power, hospitals were unable to treat the wounded, road navigability issues disrupted aid efforts, and lack of access to clean drinking water posed significant health risks. To further complicate matters, aid workers didn’t have a full understanding of all of the locations needing aid and the kinds of aid needed.
Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: International Transport Workers’ Federation via Flickr
One solution to this problem came in the form of combining tweets and maps. As a way to effectively communicate the need for aid in these areas, MicroMappers, a disaster response app developer, enlisted the help of digital humanitarian volunteers to sort, rate, and geocode tweets and images from the hurricane using the MicroMappers’ Clicker app.
Geocoded content was published to Esri Story Maps and shared online with humanitarian organizations and the media. Thanks to the digital volunteers, armed with the Clicker app, MicroMaps was able to organize a massive amount of social media data and display it in a visually intuitive story map that showed the severity of damage in any given area.
Learn how to make crowdsourced story maps at Esri UC.
At Esri UC, Ji Lucas from MicroMappers will demonstrate how digital humanitarian volunteers converted raw social media data from disaster events into intelligent maps to help coordinate relief efforts. Ji’s talk, Using Microtasking to Crisis Map Social Media During Disasters, is part of the Public Safety Showcase Demo Theater on Thursday.
Hear from Ji and hundreds of other GIS professionals at Esri UC.
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