The potential of social networks for science – Kick-off for a new Priority Program

The potential of social networks for science (Fig. J. Fohringer, GFZ).

Participants of the Kick-off meeting in Würzburg (D. Burghardt, TU Dresden).

23.11.2016: Social networks, crowd sourcing, and internet-based data collection campaigns provide information complementing existing data resources. The new Priority Program of the German Research Foundation DFG “Volunteered Geographic Information” focusses on this topic. It investigates how volunteered geographic information can be used to contribute to societal challenges. The GFZ section Geoinformatics is involved via the project „Enhancement of scientifc environmental data by volunteered geographic information“.

The Priority Program will develop methods for extracting, processing, and visualizing relevant volunteered information from web-based data. Additionally, it investigates the motivation of volunteers to provide information. The Priority Program started with a kick off on November 18 and 19 in Würzburg, Germany.

The project focuses on two goals: The development of methods to automatically extract relevant information from continuous image data streams provided by social media such as Twitter or Flickr. Additionally, it investigates how the information derived from social media can be integrated with data from other sources like gauge stations or satellites with regard to data quality. The aim is to accelerate the assessment of flood situations and related damage. The project continues preliminary work by the section Geoinformatics, done in close collaboration with the GFZ section Hydrology. Further collaboration is with the department of Computer Science at the Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, Germany. (ak)