IGARSS 2010 - 2010 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium - July 25 - 30, 2010 - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Community Remote Sensing: Air Twitter (part of Earth Science Information Partners)


Use of commercial social networks to 'discover' events for remote sensing analysis. Air Twitter uses social media contributed to Twitter, Flickr, Delicious and other Web 2.0 sites to augment air quality event identification. Once the events are identified a wiki ‘EventSpace' is created to bring together social media and scientific data, such as satellite imagery, to fully describe the event.


Washington University in St. Louis, as part of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners


Many organizations are "listening" to the social-media chatter on the web in order to better serve their users. The FUNding Friday award supports the development of Air Twitter at Washington University in conjunction with the ESIP Air Quality Workgroup (ESIP AQ WG), to "listen" for air quality phrases attached to user generated content like Twitter, blogs, Delicious links and Flickr photos. This listening tool will allow the ESIP AQ WG to identify air quality events as they happen and harvest user concerns and requirements for the AQ Community.

Using existing aggregation services, we mashup the search results from the social media sites using Yahoo Pipes. This aggregate feed will be tweeted with the air quality "community hash-tag" (e.g., #airquality). This is a unique feature, which has allowed a community of over 250 followers to follow the air quality twitter stream. The aggregation also outputs a time series of the number of tweets hourly and daily. By monitoring the time series, AQ events are identified from the background chatter about air quality.

As the events are identified, collaborative EventSpaces are created using the ESIP wiki to collect the social and scientific material about the event. The EventSpace is used to bring together satellite data such as MODIS for true color, AOT and Fire pixels or OMI Absorbing Aerosol Index provide some evidence of an air quality event, surface observations from EPA's Airnow and AQS networks are incorporated to identify the elevation of the aerosol and models such as the Naval Research Laboratory's NAAPS models provide further validation for the given space and time to support AQ event evaluation. All of the air quality data is accessed through the federated data system, DataFed. By using the community as an AQ event indicator, specific effort is made to ensure that the scientific data is retrieved and analyzed. Once the EventSpace has been created, the ESIPAQWG twitter account tweets the link to a relevant EventSpace wiki page in an effort to involve the public AQ community.


To be posted when available.


Project Lead Erin Robinson (emr1@wustl.edu)
Project Websitehttp://wiki.esipfed.org/index.php/Twitter_FUNding_Friday_Project
ESIP Websitehttp://www.esipfed.org/


Diagram of the Air Twitter discovery and analysis process.

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