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Space, Place and Flows: Spatiotemporal Analysis of Twitter During Natural Disasters

Authors: Nastaran Pourebrahim*, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Selima Sultana, University of North Carolina Greensboro
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Geographic Theory
Keywords: social media, place, GIS, Situational awareness, topic modeling, geographical random forest, clustering
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The emergence of social media has provided new opportunities to reconcile place in the GIS domain. With a focus on the theories of space and place, this paper addresses the potential use of social media for spatio-temporal awareness in the context of disaster management. The paper explores the spatial, temporal, and content of New York City tweets and model human flows during Hurricane Sandy. Places of activities during the hurricane were identified and specific events were recognized. In addition, the analysis of NYC census tracts’ out-flows showed the extent to which these flows can be predicted by the place vulnerability.

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