Cite: Hao, H., & Wang, Y.* (2020). Leveraging multimodal social media data for rapid
disaster damage assessment. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 51, 101760.
Leveraging Multimodal Social Media Data for Rapid Disaster Damage Assessment
HAIYAN HAO1, YAN WANG2*
1. PhD Student, Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Florida Institute for Built
Environment Resilience, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida,
1480 Inner Road, Gainesville, FL, 32601, USA; Email: email@example.com.
2*Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Florida Institute for Built
Environment Resilience, University of Florida, P.O. Box 115706, Gainesville, FL 32611, U.S.A.
(corresponding author); Tel: +1(352) 294-1484; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; ORCID: 0000-0002-
During disaster response and recovery stages, stakeholders including governmental agencies
collect disaster’s impact information to inform disaster relief, resource allocation, and
infrastructure reconstruction. The damage data collected using field surveys and satellite imagery
are often not available immediately after a disaster while rapid information is crucial for time-
sensitive decision makings. Some researchers turned to social media for real-time situational
information of disaster damage. However, existing damage assessment research mostly focused
on single data modality (i.e. text or image) and made coarse-grained predictions, which limited
their practical applications in assisting city-level operations. The difficulties of retrieving useful
information from vast noisy social media data have been outlined by many studies. Thus, we
propose a data-driven method to locate and assess disaster damage with massive multimodal social
media data. The method splits and processes two data modalities, i.e. texts and images, using two
modules. The image analysis module uses five machine learning classifiers that are organized in a
hierarchical structure. The text analysis module uses a keyword search-based method. They
together mine various damage information including hazard types (e.g. wind and flood), hazard
severities, damage types (e.g. infrastructure destruction and housing damage). The method is
applied and evaluated with two recent hurricane events. In practice, the method acquires damage
information throughout extreme events and supplements conventional damage assessment
methods. It enables the rapid damage information access and disaster response for both first
responders and the general public. The research effort contributes to achieving more transparent
and effective disaster relief activities.
Keywords: computer vision; damage assessment; disaster management; multimodal data analysis;
social media; text mining.
In each year, different types of disasters including wildfires, storms, droughts, and flooding jointly
cause economic losses up to hundreds of billions of dollars and claim many lives in the United
States (Smith, 2019). Partly due to the impact of climate change and global warming, the past
decade has witnessed increased frequencies and more severe outcomes of natural disasters
worldwide (McWethy et al., 2019; Smith, 2019). In response, human society pays tremendous
effort to minimize the negative impacts of natural disasters. Disaster management thus devotes to
reducing disaster risk and relieving human suffering, with four continuous phases, i.e. mitigation,
preparedness, response, and recovery (Gordon, 2015). Disaster damage data such as the location
and extent of damaged facilities is critical for disaster management operations, which is often
collected in the response and recovery phases. The collected data helps official agencies convey
situational information to the general public, evacuate and rescue people in affected areas, allocate
resources, and plan for future repair and reconstruction.
The disaster damage data is conventionally collected with field surveys, post-disaster satellite
imagery, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery (Erdelj et al., 2017; FEMA, 2016; Yu et
al., 2018). However, none of these authoritative sources can be accessed immediately after the
disaster’s occurrence due to the restricted atmospheric or environmental conditions for the
deployment of labor and equipment (Zhong et al., 2016). While the timely knowledge of disaster
environments and situations is crucial for emergency managers to intervene in the disaster response
phase early and plan for time-sensitive operations such as rescuing affected people and optimizing
The necessity of timely disaster situation knowledge boosts research exploring user-generated data
such as social media posts for disaster management applications (Anson et al., 2017; Granell &
Ostermann, 2016). Some approaches have been developed to analyze the content of social media
posts with text mining and computer vision techniques. Compared to conventional data sources,
social media provides real-time streaming data with various data formats. Thus, the data can be
collected throughout the disaster event and the analysis can also be performed rapidly and even in
real time. In the context of assessing disaster damage, social media textual contents can describe
experienced or observed damage of affected people while images may represent ground-level
scenes comparable to field assessors’ perceptions. Social media data are also less susceptible to
adverse environmental conditions and do not require the extra deployment of field assessors or
UAV pilots for data collection.
Previous studies assessing disaster damage based on social media data mostly focus on a single
modality of data (e.g. textual or visual data) mine a single type of damage information, e.g. wildfire
perimeters or inundation depth (Zhong et al., 2016; Eilander et al. 2016). Although the massive
social media data are generally considered as a source of big data, the damage assessment uses
posts that are on-topic, posted in affected areas, and include location information. Researchers may
still experience data shortage when searching for specific information in social media data at fine
spatial- or temporal-scale. The damage-related information can reside in either texts or images.
People from different groups may also prefer different social media platforms. Prior studies based
on single modality and source did not maximize the use of available real-time social media data.
As a result, these studies often aggregated and reported results at coarse spatial scales (e.g. state-
and regional- level) (Deng et al., 2016; Wang & Taylor, 2018), which is insufficient for practical
applications such as assisting the city-level emergency operations.
Extracting useful information from vast and noisy background messages for fine-grained damage
mapping is challenging. Moreover, useful information can be delivered in different formats and
describe disaster damage from various perspectives. In this research, we propose a data-driven
method to automatically analyze the massive raw crawled social media data and extract various
damage information from social media texts and images. The method divides the overall task into
steps and implements them with two modules. Each step is responsible for a single task such as
filtering, classification, or keyword search. Jointly, they extract various damage information from
social media posts including hazard types (i.e. wind and flood), hazard severities, and some
specific damage types such as power outage, infrastructure destruction, and house/building
damage. We applied the proposed method in pinpointing damage locations and assessing damages’
extent in two recent hurricane damage cases, i.e. the city of Miami impacted by Hurricane Irma
and the city of Houston impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The proposed method offers an additional
data acquisition approach that supplements conventional damage assessment. The method
identifies eyewitness reports (i.e. social media posts) of affected people that show the impact of
disasters on human and community, which could be useful for humanitarian operations and
emergency decision making.
2. Relevant Work
An array of approaches is used to acquire disaster damage information. In practice, official
agencies send human assessors to disaster sites and collect detailed damage information such as
the location, number, type, and severity of damaged buildings and infrastructures (FEMA, 2016).
The field survey yields reliable and detailed damage information but is labor-intensive and time-
consuming. The field survey also inevitably exposes human assessors to dangerous environments.
Recently, some researchers leveraged high-resolution satellite and UAV imagery for rapid
assessment (Jordan, 2015; Novikov et al., 2018). The broad-view imagery provides overviews of
disaster-affected areas, and the high resolution enables damage assessment for individual
structures. However, satellite and UAV imagery is not always available in the short aftermath of a
major disaster. The deployment of UAVs should consider technical issues such as system
reliability, power supply, and physical load (Erdelj et al., 2017). Both data collection methods can
be severely affected by adverse weather and atmospheric conditions accompanied by natural
disasters such as dense clouds, heavy rains, and strong winds (Erdelj et al., 2017; Robinson et al.,
2019). With the increasingly important role of social media and other Web 2.0 applications in
disaster management, some researchers have taken advantage of the user-generated data and
considered citizens as “human sensors” with five senses (i.e. touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell)
to perceive the external environment (Goodchild, 2007). This novel conceptualization opens new
avenues for disaster management and damage assessment research. We summarized damage
assessment works leveraging social media data in four categories according to the analyzed data
modalities, namely, activity-based, text-based, image-based, and multi-modal or fused methods.
2.1 Activity-based methods
The activity-based methods do not investigate the textual or image content of social media posts.
Instead, they depict damage severity indirectly with metrics derived from tweeting frequencies.
Thus the activity-based methods are computationally simple and often output results in coarser
spatial levels such as ZCTA- (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.), city-, and county-level. For example,
Kryvasheyeu et al. (2016) identified a significant positive correlation between the number of
hurricane-related tweets and the economic loss for New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy. Samuels
et al., (2018) considered possible loss of power or internet connection caused by the disaster, and
used the variation of tweeting frequencies as the metric of damage severity. In the work of Zou et
al., (2019), the ratio of disaster-related tweets and background tweets is considered as the damage
severity metric. In general, the activity-based methods provide limited disaster damage
information regarding both spatial and contextual details of the damage.
2.2 Text-based methods
Damage assessment methods based on social media textual posts have been studied mostly. Many
have used sentiment analysis, topic modeling, and keyword search to retrieve relevant information.
For instance, Wang & Taylor (2018) found a significant negative correlation between average
sentiment scores and the earthquake intensities in disaster-affected areas, while other studies on
hurricanes found little association between the social media text sentiments and damage severities
(Kryvasheyeu et al., 2016; Zou et al., 2019). Some researchers used topic modeling to detect and
locate trending events with geotagged social media texts (Resch et al., 2018). This approach may
not pinpoint the damage location accurately. A few recent studies included the geospatial
characteristics in topic modeling to locate and track small-scale crises during disasters (Wang &
Taylor, 2019; Yao & Wang, 2019).
Additionally, some studies using keyword search-based methods developed pre-defined keyword
lists or tables to identify useful textual posts. For example, Eilander et al. (2016) used keywords
such as “#(number) cm” and “#(number) m” to mine tweets containing flooding depth information
and constructed situational inundation map accordingly. Smith et al., (2017) considered tweets
including words such as “knee-deep” and “waist-deep” as qualified reports that are used to verify
the simulated flooding maps. Deng et al., (2016) divided disaster damage and risk information into
many subcategories such as infrastructure destruction, supply demands, and affected activities.
With keyword lists developed for each subcategory, the method can identify and categorize
qualified posts for more comprehensive situational knowledge. In general, keyword search-based
methods often look for particular information from the social media text corpus. The colloquial
nature of social media textual messages makes it expensive to enumerate all possible keywords
and phrases related to a topic, although some researchers paid substantial amounts of time and
effort to develop large lexicon tables for tweet collecting and mining (Temnikova et al., 2015).
2.3 Image-based methods
Compared to social media texts, images convey more objective and more useful information (Bica
et al., 2017), but much fewer studies explored the use of social media images and computer vision
(CV) for damage assessment. The limited quantity of studies relied on transfer learning and
convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for classifying damage severity levels and locating damage
contents (Alam et al., 2018b; Nguyen et al., 2017). Transfer learning is an approach that leverages
pre-trained deep learning models to solve new problems. The pre-training is often conducted on
large datasets such as the well-known ImageNet dataset, which contains more than ten million
images in twenty thousand categories. The pre-trained model is then re-trained on annotated
datasets for the new problem. Both Alam et al., (2018) and Nguyen et al., (2017) annotated more
than one hundred thousand social media images for the model retraining. ImageNet is a dataset for
object classification (e.g. pizza, bird, and soccer), however, some researchers argued that social
media images include more “scenes” (e.g. highway, bedroom, and parks) than “objects”. Thus they
experimented with the scene-level features that were obtained with models pre-trained for scene-
related CV tasks such as scene recognition or scene parsing (Ahmad et al., 2019). The scene-level
features are also used in some built environment studies (Liu et al., 2017).
2.4 Multi-modal and fused methods
A few prior works harnessed multi-modal social media data for damage type classification
(Mouzannar et al., 2018) and flood detection (Lopez-Fuentes et al., 2017, Huang et al., 2019).
These works considered pre-trained CNNs as feature generators and used two CNNs to extract
features from social media images and texts separately, in which the extracted features are
concatenated for the classification task. This concatenation did not consider the correlation
between different modalities. Pouyanfar et al., (2019) accounted for this by fusing the visual and
audio features into a ranking matrix with Multiple Correspondence Analysis. The final decision
was trained with the fused matrix. Similarly, Lazaridou et al. (2015) fused the visual and textual
in a cross-modal mapping matrix for a multimodal skip-gram model. The model is used for image
labeling and retrieval. Some research learned the common semantic information of different
modalities by forcing the models to learn similar representations for different modalities (You et
al., 2016, Feng et al., 2014) which were implemented by adjusting the objective function.
Research efforts are also found to integrate heterogeneous data sources for damage estimation. For
example, Smith et al., (2017) integrate the rainfall intensity data and social media posts for rapid
flood mapping. The method iteratively simulated flooding maps with rainfall intensity data. Valid
social media posts were used for verification purposes. The simulation result, which mostly
conforms to social media posts, was adopted as the final output. In a method proposed by Huang
et al., (2018), satellite imagery, high-resolution elevation data, and crowdsourced reports were
integrated for flood mapping. The method calculated flooding probability layers for each validated
crowdsourced report based on the elevation data and satellite imagery. The output flooding map
was the weighted combination of different flooding probability layers.
In summary, we identified a few research gaps in existing social media data-based damage
assessment works. Many methods relied on single data modality and text-based methods have been
mostly studied. Social media textual contents are limited by short text length, high subjectivity,
low information quality, and colloquial expression (Agarwal & Yiliyasi, 2010). The damage
information mined from textual posts could be inadequate and unreliable. Therefore, many
activity- and text-based methods aggregate and report results at state-, county-, and ZCTA-level,
with averaging or summation to alleviate individual estimation errors. Second, estimating the
disaster damage with social media images is still challenging due to the loosely-defined forms of
disaster damage, poor signal-to-noise ratio of raw crawled social media images, and the
subjectivity of the damage severity level (Nguyen et al., 2017). Although some researchers fused
two data modalities in a single model for prediction, not many social media posts contain both data
modalities. In addition, the semantic contents of social media texts and associated images are
weakly correlated in many cases (Vadicamo et al., 2017). The fusion of textual and visual features
may not yield promising results in these cases and possibly overlook valuable damage information
that only resides in one modality. Moreover, these image-based and multimodal models developed
for analyzing social media images are limitedly tested with lab-developed datasets, which
comprised human-sorted images with relatively balanced sample distribution. However, the raw
crawled social media images were extremely unbalanced and only included a small portion of on-
topic images for damage assessment (Ning et al., 2020). Models that perform well in lab-developed
datasets still need to be validated over raw crawled social media images.
Therefore, we proposed a method that takes raw crawled multimodal social media data (i.e. both
textual messages and images) and outputs various damage information. Instead of fusing different
modalities in one model, we split and analyzed them in different modules acknowledging that the
textual contents and images often convey different levels of information. The textual messages are
subjective in describing damage situations while images do not tell abstractive information such
as power outage. We used a pre-trained Resnet18 CNN to extract scene-level features from Twitter
and Flickr images. For textual messages, we adapted a keyword search-based method considering
that the disaster damage only occupied a small portion of the raw crawled texts. Other methods
either infer the damage severities with indirect metrics (e.g. activity-based methods and sentiment
analysis) or group textual messages for analyses (e.g. topic modeling), which may be manipulated
by other dominating disaster-related topics rather than disaster damage.
3. Multimodal Data-Driven Damage Assessment Method
The proposed method aims to automatically locate and summarize damage information from visual
and textual contents of the massive social media posts. It consists of four modules (Figure 1). The
Data Input module is responsible for data collection. The collected images and texts are separated
for analyses considering that their contents are often weakly correlated and describe damages from
different perspectives. In the context of disaster events, social media images can convey situational
information like ambient environmental conditions and hazard severities while texts often describe
damaged objects and consequent impacts. Images then go through five image classifiers in the
Image Process module and information including hazard types (i.e. wind and flood) and associated
severity levels is extracted. The Text Process module uses a pre-defined keyword search table to
examine whether the textual message contains any of six pre-defined damage types that are mostly
shared in the textual part of social media posts, including power outage, vehicle damage,
house/building damage, infrastructure destruction, fallen trees, and debris. The Result module
integrates the mined damage information from the Image Process module and Text Process
Figure 1. The Pipeline of Proposed Multimodal Data-Driven Damage Assessment Method.
Yes Presence of
Yes Type of
No Flood Hazard
•Wind Hazard Presence/Severity
Social M edia Data
( Tw it te r, F l ic kr, … )
3.1 Data Input module
We mainly use two sources of social media data: Twitter and Flickr in this study. Twitter is a
popular social media platform with more than 500 million tweets posted daily around the world.
Twitter allows users to post a maximum of 140-character (expanded to 280-character in November
2017) textual messages with links to images and videos. Around one percent of the messages are
geotagged. During disaster events, many affected people tweet to report observations, express
urgent needs, and seek helps, thus making Twitter an ideal data source for disaster management
related research (Olteanu et al., 2015; Tanev et al., 2017). Flickr is also a popular social media
platform, allowing users to share geotagged photos with optional textual descriptions. Flickr
photos are mostly high-resolution images of the natural and built environment, thus have been
used in some tourism studies (Hu et al., 2015). Both data can be accessed via their Application
Program Interface (API). As the Twitter streaming API only returns around one percent of tweets
due to the rate limit (Wang et al., 2017), we restrict the crawled tweets to be geotagged. For each
crawled tweet, we script to check whether it includes a link referring to images and download the
image if it does. Flickr API can return archived geotagged photos. We set the time and location
windows on Flickr API to access photos posted during disaster-affected periods and geotagged in
3.2 Image Process module
The processing of Twitter and Flickr images starts with converting images into numeric feature
vectors and then uses five classifiers to extract the disaster damage information. The five classifiers
are responsible for different tasks with a defined semantic hierarchy. Specifically: 1) one classifier
filters out images showing a perceived built environment; 2) one classifier identifies images
showing hazards; 3) one classifier classifies the damage type; and 4) two classifiers assign severity
levels to identified wind and flood hazards respectively. The five classifiers are organized in a
hierarchical structure (Figure 1). This design helps locate the limited images showing exposed
hazards from the sheer amount of posted images. The hierarchical processing can remove
irrelevant images in early steps and keep remaining images similar in contents, i.e. displayed
scenes and objects. As the succeeding classifiers work on the remaining images with less noise,
the classifiers can better focus on learning the difference between positive and negative samples
with defined semantic labels (Table 1). Therefore, the classifiers can achieve satisfactory
performance even with relatively small training data. In fact, we use 1,795 images for developing
the five classifiers. These images were collected from social media images posted in affected areas
during historical hurricane events and two existing databases: YFCC100M and CrisisMMD
(Thomee et al., 2016; Alam et al., 2018a). Two researchers worked together to annotate the images.
Table 1 summarizes the counts and labels of annotated images for different classification tasks.
Some images are repeatedly used in developing different classifiers. Note that we also include the
false positive images, predicted by preceding classifiers, in the training set of its succeeding
classifier during the training. In this way, the succeeding classifier can gain a certain ability to
remove false positive predictions and mitigate the Type I error with the proposed hierarchical
structure (Hao & Wang, in press).
Table 1. Images used for Developing Different Classifiers
# of Images
Positive (show perceived outdoor environment)
Negative (show other contents, e.g. selfies, maps.)
Hazard presence classifier
Positive (show the evident wind or flood hazard)
Negative (show normal environmental condition)
Hazard type classifier
Wind and flooding hazard
Hazard severity classifier
Little to none
Little to none
Feature extraction represents 2-D images with 1-D numeric features that are used for the following
image classifications. In this study, we adopt a ResNet18 CNN pre-trained on the Places365
dataset as the feature generator, which yields the scene-level features. The ResNet18 CNN has a
relatively compact size and performs well in many CV competitions (He et al., 2016) while the
Places365 is a dataset consisted of more than 10 million images for scene recognition (Zhou et al.,
2018). We made this selection after comparing it with two other feature generators, namely, an
Inception-v3 CNN trained on ILSVRC dataset that extracts object-level features (Szegedy et al.,
2016) and an AutoEncoder trained on the ADE20K dataset which also returns scene-level features
(Zhou et al., 2019). The ResNet18 CNN performs equally or better than the other two feature
generators for the five classification tasks and is hence selected for this study. Features are
extracted as the output of the penultimate layer of the CNN. We adapted the ResNet18 CNN model
with the PyTorch library in Python (Paszke et al., 2019). The features only need to be extracted
once for each crawled image and are repeated for use by the following image classifiers.
The raw-crawled crowdsourced images can include screenshots of texts, maps, selfies, posters,
cartoons, advertisements, and so on (Ning et al., 2020). These images occupied a large portion of
social media images but provide little information on disaster situations. So our first step is to sort
out “informative” images that show perceived real-world environmental conditions. We further
restrict the perceived environment to be outdoor environments. Images taken inside a building may
reveal damage conditions for that individual building, however, they vary too much in terms of
exhibited objects and backgrounds from the outdoor environment. Also, we found very limited
images to train a separate classifier for it. We use 585 positive samples showing perceived outdoor
environments and 645 negative samples for classifier development (Table 1). The samples are
divided into 80% training set and 20% testing set, which is stratified according to labels (the same
setting applies to the development of other image classifiers). We experiment with different
machine learning classifiers including logistic regression (LR) models, decision trees, and support
vector machines (SVMs). We used the Scikit-learn package in Python for the machine learning
classifiers (Pedregosa et al., 2011). The SVM with a linear kernel achieves the highest
classification accuracy of 94.31% (Table 2).
The next step distinguishes images showing evident natural hazards (positive) from images
showing normal outdoor environment views (negative). Examples of common hazard content in
social media images include inundated roads or uprooted trees. We select the binary LR model
with 88.53% accuracy for this step (Table 2).
The third step details the hazard types, which serves as a prerequired procedure for classifying
hazard severity levels. Some previous work modeled the disaster damage severity with social
media images directly without considering distinct hazard types. However, images showing
different hazard types are often highly disparate in terms of contents. For example, an image
showing flood hazards usually contains water body while an image showing wind hazards is
generally represented with uprooted trees or roofs with missing tiles. The classification of hazard
type is a typical multi-label task as an image can include either wind or flood hazard or both. We
use the artificial neural network (ANN) model for this classification task as ANN considers the
possible correlation between different labels. The ANN model can accurately predict both labels
for 82.01% of testing images (Table 2).
The final steps use two classifiers to determine the severity levels of wind/flood hazards. We assign
each image showing hazard contents with one of the following three severity levels:
• Little to None: images show no damage, minor adverse weather conditions, or little damage
that does not cause any economic loss or impact human activities (e.g. transportation);
• Minor: images show damage that requires money for repair or recovery, and partially affect
human activities; and
• Severe: images show severe damage that suggests extreme environmental conditions,
associated with significant economic loss, or severely impact human activities.
We select the multinomial logistic regression models for the severity level classification, which
achieves 83.94% accuracy for flood hazard severity classification and 74.24% accuracy for wind
hazard severity classification (Table 2).
Table 2 summarizes the selected classifiers and their associated accuracies for each classification
task. Note that these accuracies are based on test images.
Table 2. Classifier Selection and Performance for Each Classification Task
Perceived outdoor environment classifier
Hazard presence classifier
Hazard type classifier
Wind hazard severity classifier
Flood hazard severity classifier
3.3 Text process module
Social media users can describe their observations with different wording, phrases, and word
sequences in textual posts. The colloquial expressions impede conventional keyword search-based
methods with limited keywords and phrases from identifying much information, while developing
a large keyword table takes enormous efforts and time. Therefore, we adopt a two-list search
method in the Text Process module (Figure 1) aimed to detect on-topic texts maximally with fewer
efforts spent on enumerating possible word/phrases combinations for search. The two-list keyword
search method identifies pre-defined damage types with one list collecting physical damaged
objectives (e.g. roadway) and the other list collecting descriptive words of the damages (e.g.
submerged). A textual post is considered to describe a type of disaster damage when it concurrently
has words/phrases in both lists of the same damage type. This is performed after we remove the
punctuations, URLs, emoji, numbers, and stopwords in texts as well as stemming each word to its
root form. We defined six types of damage information that are mostly discussed on social media
platforms including power outage, vehicle damage, house damage, infrastructure destruction,
fallen trees, and debris. The fallen trees and debris are not damages themselves, however, they
indicate the presence of strong winds or flood water in reported locations and take money for
removal. The fallen trees may also damage properties like houses and vehicles.
The qualified textual damage reports should be the ones posted by affected people and discussing
their own experiences or observations. These texts often express damages with colloquial phrases
and details, such as the detailed damaged objects (e.g. “roofs” vs. “houses”), locations (e.g. “curbs”
vs. roads), and damage forms (e.g. “blow”, vs. “destroy”). We particularly include these words in
the keyword search table. Besides, we also refer to sources like EMTerms collection (Temnikova
et al., 2015) for keywords collection. Table 3 presents the two-list keyword search table. Note
some descriptive words such as “submerge” and “blown” indicate the type of hazards that cause
the damage. We also collect this information from the textual reports.
Table 3. Keyword (Stemmed) Search Table for Different Damage Types.
['power', 'powerlin', 'electr', 'nopow']
['fix', 'destroy', 'broken', 'damag', 'gone', 'knock', 'lost', 'without power', 'not
have power', "don't have", 'restor', 'cut', 'outag', 'no power', 'nopow', 'wait for
power', 'power back', 'outta', 'lack of', 'out of', 'went off', 'flick']
['car', 'truck', 'van', 'vehicl', 'bu', 'motorcycl']
['flip', 'overturn', 'smash', 'damag', 'submerg', 'flood-damag', 'flood', 'lost',
'destroy', 'wreck', 'in the water', 'under water', 'in water']
['roof', 'window', 'hous', 'home', 'wall', 'build', 'basement', 'porch', 'yard', 'door',
['crack', 'lose', 'lost', 'destroy', 'damag', 'destruct', 'corrupt', 'flood-damag',
'flood', 'rip', 'blow', 'reconstruct', 'clean', 'rebuild', 'reconstruct', 'pull', 'blown',
'collaps', 'submerg', 'shake', 'water in', 'water on', 'water over']
['street', 'road', 'dam', 'bridg', 'power cabl', 'trail', 'parkway', 'rd', 'hwi',
'highway', 'fwi', 'freeway', 'dr', 'drive', 'blvd', 'boulevard', 'ramp', 'lane',
'mainlan', 'curb', 'expressway', 'school', 'church', 'airport', 'chemic plant',
['destroy', 'damag', 'destruct', 'corrupt', 'flood-damag', 'flood', 'collaps',
'submerg', 'fallen', 'high water', 'under water', 'water on', 'water in', 'water
['tree', 'branch', 'limb']
['fall', 'uproot', 'down', 'fallen']
3.4 Result module
The Result module integrates different types of hazards and damage information mined with the
Image Process and Text Process modules. The outputs are individual-level estimations. Figure 2
shows some example outputs. The percentages in brackets are estimated probabilities.
Figure 2. Examples of Damage Information Mining Method Output.
4. Empirical Case Study
4.1 Case descriptions and data collections
This section presented two case studies that applied the proposed method to assess damage
situations in 1) the city of Miami, Florida as affected by Hurricane Irma; and 2) the city of Houston,
Texas as affected by Hurricane Harvey. Both cities were impacted severely during hurricane
events. Miami experienced sustained winds of 45-55kt during Hurricane Irma (Cangialosi et al.,
2018). The storm tide and urban runoff caused a 3-5 ft. inundation along Biscayne Bay shoreline
and in downtown Miami. There were also widespread tree and power pole damage reported in the
metro area (Cangialosi et al., 2018). Houston was less affected by the wind hazard during
Hurricane Harvey compared to Miami. However, the exceptional rainfall and storm tides caused
massive flooding that inundated nearly one-third of the city, disabled major roads, and cut power
connections to households (Blake & Zelinsky, 2018). The severe impacts and versatile damage
types make these two cases ideal for evaluating the proposed method.
Text: “The Morning After # cocowalk #coconutgrove
#saturday#flood #flooding #waterflood #traffi c ……”
Perceived outdoor environment?: Yes (97.75%)
Damage presence?: Yes (99.91%)
Damage type: Flood (100.00%)
Damage severity: Minor (92.92%)
Damag e (text): ()
Text: “Justo a esta hora! @ SchenlyPark”
Perceived outdoor environment?: Yes (99.38%)
Damage presence?: Yes (99.91%)
Damage type: Wind (100.00%)
Damage severity: Minor (92.29%)
Damag e (text): ()
Text: “I'm in Houston. House flooded and I have no idea
what the status of my @lindsaylohancollection
Perceived outdoor environment?: Yes (96.62%)
Damage presence?: Yes ( 99.67%)
Damage type: Flood (100.00%), Wind (0.00%)
Damage severity: Severe (97.23%)
Damag e (text): (‘house damage', 'hous', ‘flood')
We collected social media posts that were posted within two weeks after hurricanes’ landfall from
Twitter and Flickr. Table 4 shows the data sources, volumes, and temporal spans of collected data,
and in Figure 3 plotted the spatial distribution of collected data for the two cases. Retweets were
not included in the analyses.
Table 4. Geotagged Social Media Data Volume
Count of Records
1,555 images and 4,006 texts
09/10/2017 – 09/23/2017
94 images and associated textual descriptions
09/10/2017 – 09/23/2017
8,642 images and 24,696 texts
08/25/2017 – 09/07/2017
1,011 images and associated textual descriptions
08/25/2017 – 09/07/2017
Figure 1. Spatial Distribution of Tweets (left column) and Flickr Photos (right column) in
Houston (top row) and Miami (bottom row) during Hurricanes
4.2 Identified damage reports
For each social media post, the method examined whether it contained any of the ten defined
hazard/damage information. 89 (2.17%) and 793 (3.08%) posts were identified to include at least
one type of damage/hazard information (as reported by either text or image or both) for the Miami
and Houston case respectively. We presented the counts of identified damage reports in Table 5.
It was found that Miami suffered from both wind and flood hazards during Hurricane Irma.
However, Houston was mainly affected by the flooding with most identified damage reports, i.e.
180 images and 563 texts, indicating flood hazards. In Figure 4, we showed the distribution of
identified damage reports in points and densities. We used the bandwidth of 500 m for the density
mapping. The density is weighted by the ratio of the damage report counts and the raw
crowdsourced posts counts. Figure 4 shows that the identified damage reports clustered in the
central downtown area and distributed along roadways for the Houston case. The damage reports
were generally located along the shoreline for the Miami case, which indicated that these areas
experienced noticeable damage during hurricanes.
We plotted the counts of identified damage reports by days in Figure 5. Irma hit Florida on
September 10, 2017 and Harvey struck Texas on the night of August 25, 2017. We found that most
damage reports were posted in the first three to four days following the hurricanes’ landfall. These
reports can be mined immediately once they were posted.
Table 5. Counts of Different Reported Damage Information.
# of Reports
# of Reports
Wind Hazard (Image)
Flood Hazard (Image)
Power Outage (Text)
Vehicle Damage (Text)
House/Building Damage (Text)
Fallen Tree (Text)
Flood Hazard (Text)
Wind Hazard (Text)
Figure 4. Spatial Distribution and Density Map of Damage Reports.
Figure 5. Temporal Distribution of Damage Reports
4.3 Mining hazard types and severity information with Image Process module
More widespread flood hazard reports (180) were found in Houston during Hurricane Harvey
compared to wind hazard reports (20). In comparison, Miami received slightly more wind hazard
reports (41) than flood hazard reports (21) during Hurricane Irma (Table 5). Figures 6-9 show the
density maps of identified wind and flood hazards as well as some representative images for the
two cases. The densities were weighted according to estimated severity levels. Images showing
wind hazards for the Houston case were located very sparsely across the city (Figure 6). In general,
wind hazards were represented as fallen trees and wrecked boats (Figure 6 and Figure 8). Some
images showing debris piles were falsely identified as wind hazard reports (Figure 6). The
proposed method can identify flooding in different environments including residential, downtown,
and streets (see Figure 7 and Figure 9).
9/10 9/11 9/ 12 9/13 9/14 9/15 9/16 9/ 17 9/18 9/19 9/20 9/21 9/ 22 9/23
(a). Miami case
30 36 21 25 20 17 19
8/25 8/26 8/ 27 8/28 8/29 8/30 8/31 9/1 9/2 9/3 9/4 9/5 9/6 9/7
(b). Houston case
Figure 6. Density Map of Wind Hazard Reports in Houston during Hurricane Harvey
Figure 7. Density Map of Flood Hazard Reports in Houston during Hurricane Harvey
Figure 8. Density Map of Wind Hazard Reports in Miami during Hurricane Irma
Res i den ti a l
Figure 9. Density Map of Flood Hazard Reports in Miami during Hurricane Irma
4.4 Mining damage types with Text Process module
We mined six types of damage information from textual messages (Table 1). Most textual reports
identified with the proposed two-list search approach were related to disaster damage. Some of
them did not reflect situations that happened at the geotagging locations and some may not refer
to the damage experienced or observed by users who posted the textual message. Table 6 shows
some representative examples of truly and falsely identified textual damage reports. The falsely
identified damage reports included general concerns and comments on the disaster events
expressed by affected people (e.g., e2 and e7) or official accounts (e.g., e9), situations about other
affected people (e.g., e10), negation (e.g., e3), assumption (e.g., 13), and advertisements (e.g., e6).
Moreover, some texts are too vague to determine whether the contents are about users’ own
experiences or observations (e.g. e4, e11, and e14).
Table 6. Examples of Mined Damage Information from Textual Reports.
Example of textual damage report
e1: “Almost 10 days after #hurricaneharvey hit #Houston our building is still closed without power…”
e2: “I know many are without power, if you know someone that may need help being evacuated
e3: “Trying to enjoy the electricity before it goes out @ [user] Houston, Houston, Texa”
e4: “Some of you can't live without power!!!Always have a good book on hand during storms!”
e5: “Not pictured... half of my car sitting in water. @ [user] -…”
e6: “This is the new must-have vehicle in Houston! Rule the flood! #hurricaneharvey #houstonstrong.”
e7: “People have lost everything, due to Hurricane Harvey's damage. Homes, lives, memories,
e8: “The work doesn't stop! Carpet cleaning because of roof leaks. Support the long term recovery…”
e9: “Flooded Home??Here are some helpful tips on what to do with your the wet or damaged
e10: “This is Baby Susie, my new best friend. Her and her dad, Dennis lost their home in Meyerland”
e11: “I went out in the back yard in my wellies last night to inspect the flood and came back with…”
e12 “Closed due to flooding. in #Baytown on I-10 Baytown E Fwy Inbound between Crosby Lynchburg
e13 “Day 4. More rain. Luckily the water runs off to the street. If the street floods, we're screwed”
e14 “Flooding, what flooding? @ Briargrove Drive Townhousescondominium Association”
e15 “Oak Tree down in Memorial Northwest subdivision @ Memorial Northwest, Spring, Texas”
e16 “Water has receded down to the trees. Like the Stars Spangled Banne”
e17 “Harvey bags and more debris on front yards in the greater Meyerland borough of Houston a
e18 “Full day of unloading relief supplies & 18-wheeler trailers, cleaning flood debris at a partner”
e19 “ #debris removal guidelines #FEMA #harvey #texas @ Houston, Texas”
We then checked the textual posts that were identified to convey damage information. Table 7
records the number of identified true and false positive cases. The indeterminate ones are the
textual posts that we cannot tell whether the user observes a damage based on the present text (e.g.
e4, e11, and e14 in Table 6).
The negative cases are not counted as the false negative cases can always be reduced with more
keywords considered. It can be seen from Table 7 that the method works for most predefined
damage. Especially for the “Infrastructure Damage”. However, the prediction of “House Damage”
is associated with low precision. We found that most of the false positive predictions are due to
Table 7. Counts and percentages of true and false positive predictions of the Text Process
4.5 Performance of image classifiers on identifying wind and flood hazards.
To evaluate how the hierarchical image classifiers performed with raw crawled data, we annotated
the 1,555 Twitter images collected for the Miami case and tracked how these images flow through
the Image Process module. The process was demonstrated in Figure 10.
Figure 10. The filtering and classification of Twitter images collected for the Miami case.
When working as an integral, the image classifiers correctly identified 29 and 14 images showing
wind and flood hazards (true positive) from the 1,555 raw crawled Twitter images, and only missed
very few images that present one of the two hazard types (false negative) and only 5 and 6 images
were falsely predicted. Overall, the image classifiers are effective in dealing with the noisy
semantic contents of social media images. We summarized the performance metrics of the
hierarchical image classifiers on identifying the two hazards in Table 8.
Table 8. Performance metrics of the hierarchical image classifiers on identifying hazards
A data-driven method is proposed to assess damage information with multimodal social media
data. The method leverages a set of machine learning approaches to process textual messages and
visual images separately. While many previous studies relied on single data modalities and
aggregated results in coarser spatial levels, our method outputs individual estimations that can
assist city-level emergency operations. A few studies (e.g. Lopez-Fuentes et al., 2017, Mouzannar
et al., 2018) concatenated image and textual features for disaster damage assessment. They were
not efficient in analyzing posts with missing modalities or which the two modalities were weakly
correlated. The separation of two data modalities also allows the method to include more data
sources with visual and textual data formats.
Social media textual messages are limited by its short text length, subjectivity, low information
quality, colloquial expressions, and so forth (Agarwal & Yiliyasi, 2010). We addressed some of
•Fals e: 6
•Fa ls e:16
•Fa ls e:7
Po s itiv e Po s itiv e
•Tru e :52
•Fals e: 12
•Tru e :7
•Fa ls e:3
•Tru e :14
•Fa ls e:6
•Tru e :29
•Fa ls e:5
these limitations with the proposed two-list keyword search method that uses two keyword lists
for each pre-defined damage type. We adopt this method intending to detect damage efficiently
from texts with few efforts spent on enumerating word/phrases combinations. The results show
that the textual damage reports identified with this approach are generally on-topic, though some
do not talk about the users’ own experience or observations. Previous related works (Nguyen et
al., 2017) also found it difficult to assess the damage with social media images due to the poor
signal-to-noise ratio and loosely-defined damage forms. We address these challenges by devising
five image classifiers with a defined semantic hierarchy to find out images providing information
of interest, i.e. wind and flood hazards. The hierarchical structure also serves as a robust filter that
removes irrelevant and less informative images in early steps, which is effective for the noisy and
unbalanced social media images. Our method shows satisfactory performance when tested with
raw crawled social media data.
The proposed method is possibly limited in a few aspects and is open for further improvements.
First, we used around 1,800 training and testing images for the development of five classifiers.
Though the classifiers show comparable performance to other related works analyzing social
media data (e.g. Nguyen et al., 2017, Alam et al., 2018, Ning et al., 2020), the performance can
always be improved with more annotated images for classifier development. Second, both studied
cases found few (2-3%) posts containing damage information and yielded few qualified reports as
a consequence. A reason is that we downloaded images about two years after the event occurrence
and many image links were invalid. Also, we restricted crawled posts to be geotagged. Some recent
works using approaches such as geoparsing and reverse geocoding can extract location information
from textual messages (Middleton et al., 2018). The method can yield more estimations once these
approaches are considered. Future research in this direction should also keep paying attention to
other emerging data courses for disaster management operations. Third, the data-driven damage
assessment approach is built based on the assumption that the crawled eyewitness reports
accurately reflect the ground truth scenarios at the time when the post is created for the location
where the report is geotagged. This assumption may not always be true as affected population
sometimes do not immediately report their observed damages. They may report damages when
they moved to a safer location (Eilander et al., 2016). However, the result of this study showed
that most damage reports were posted within two to three days after the hurricanes’ landfall (Figure
5), which suggested that most affected people reported their observations without much time lapse.
Figures 6 - 9 also showed that the built environment scenarios (e.g. residential, commercial,
natural) identified from the images correspond to their associated locations. For the textual damage
reports, the infrastructure destruction reports were found located on major roadways and bridges.
These demonstrate the overall validity of the assumption for a course-grained time period (e.g. a
day) and spatial scale (e.g. a neighborhood). Future studies can inspect the temporal and locational
consistency between the reported damage and the ground truth for individual posts once data is
available. Moreover, social media data can suffer from spatial bias (Zhang & Zhu, 2018). Regions
with no damage report identified do not translate to no damage presence (Zhong et al., 2016).
Potential users of similar data-driven methods should also be informed by this limitation when
using analysis results of social media data. Last, though the method can process social media data
rapidly, a real-time setting could facilitate the method in practical applications.
A data-driven method is proposed to mine rapid, fine-grained, and comprehensive damage
information from multimodal social media data, and its effectiveness is tested with two recent
hurricane cases. Emergency managers and first responders frequently engage in time-sensitive
decision-making and operations throughout the disaster events. The early access to fine-grained
disaster damage information can largely relieve uncertainties in these processes, which in turn
improves the rapidity and efficiency of disaster response and reduce consequent losses. Our
method offers a supplementary resource for the acquisition of timely disaster damage information,
which could be useful in the absence of authoritative data acquisition approaches. The proposed
method also provides experience for future research in this direction on countering the noisy,
unstructured, and unbalanced social media data, especially for research looking for specific
information that only resides in few social media posts. In addition to our presented case study,
the general research framework also applies to other disasters and extreme events with data of
similar modalities from other sources.
This material is based upon work supported by the early-career faculty start-up fund and graduate
research assistantships at the University of Florida. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the University of Florida.
Declaration of Interest
Agarwal, N., & Yiliyasi, Y. (2010). Information quality challenges in social media. Proceedings
of the 2010 International Conference on Information Quality (ICIQ). 12-14 November 2010
Little Rock, Arkansas, SA.
Ahmad, K., Pogorelov, K., Riegler, M., Ostroukhova, O., Halvorsen, P., Conci, N., & Dahyot, R.
(2019). Automatic detection of passable roads after floods in remote sensed and social
media data. Signal Processing: Image Communication, 74, 110–118.
Alam, F., Ofli, F., & Imran, M. (2018a). CrisisMMD: Multimodal Twitter Datasets from Natural
Disasters. In Proceedings of International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
(ICWSM), Stanford, California, USA. 465-473.
Alam, F., Ofli, F., & Imran, M. (2018b). Processing Social Media Images by Combining Human
and Machine Computing during Crises. International Journal of Human-Computer
Interaction, 34(4), 311–327.
Anson, S., Watson, H., Wadhwa, K., & Metz, K. (2017). Analysing social media data for disaster
preparedness: Understanding the opportunities and barriers faced by humanitarian actors.
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 21, 131–139.
Bica, M., Palen, L., & Bopp, C. (2017). Visual representations of disaster. Proceedings of the
ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW, 1262–1276.
Blake, E. S., & Zelinsky, D. A. (2018). HURRICANE HARVEY. Retrieved from
Cangialosi, J. P., Latto, A. S., & Berg, R. (2018). HURRICANE IRMA. Retrieved from
Coronese, M., Lamperti, F., Keller, K., Chiaromonte, F., & Roventini, A. (2019). Evidence for
sharp increase in the economic damages of extreme natural disasters. In Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(43), 21450–21455.
Wallemacq, P., and Below, R. (2015). The human cost of natural disasters: A global perspective.
Brussels, Belgium: Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. 1-55.
Deng, Q., Liu, Y., Zhang, H., Deng, X., & Ma, Y. (2016). A new crowdsourcing model to assess
disaster using microblog data in typhoon Haiyan. Natural Hazards, 84(2), 1241–1256.
Eilander, D., Trambauer, P., Wagemaker, J., & Van Loenen, A. (2016). Harvesting Social Media
for Generation of Near Real-time Flood Maps. Procedia Engineering, 154, 176–183.
Erdelj, M., Król, M., & Natalizio, E. (2017). Wireless Sensor Networks and Multi-UAV systems
for natural disaster management. Computer Networks, 124, 72–86.
FEMA. (2016). Damage Assessment Operations Manual. Retrieved from
Feng, F., Wang, X., & Li, R. (2014, November). Cross-modal retrieval with correspondence
autoencoder. In Proceedings of the 22nd ACM international conference on Multimedia, 7-
Goodchild, M. F. (2007). Citizens as sensors: The world of volunteered geography. GeoJournal
Granell, C., & Ostermann, F. O. (2016). Beyond data collection: Objectives and methods of
research using VGI and geo-social media for disaster management. Computers,
Environment and Urban Systems, 59, 231–243.
He, K., Zhang, X., Ren, S., & Sun, J. (2016). Deep residual learning for image recognition. In
Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern
Hao, H., & Wang, Y. (in press). Hurricane Damage Assessment with Multi-, Crowd-Sourced
Image Data: A Case Study of Hurricane Irma in the City of Miami. In 17th International
Conference on Information System for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM).
Hu, Y., Gao, S., Janowicz, K., Yu, B., Li, W., & Prasad, S. (2015). Extracting and understanding
urban areas of interest using geotagged photos. Computers, Environment and Urban
Systems, 54, 240–254.
Huang, X., Wang, C., & Li, Z. (2018). A near real-time flood-mapping approach by integrating
social media and post-event satellite imagery. Annals of GIS, 24(2), 113–123.
Huang, X., Wang, C., Li, Z., & Ning, H. (2019). A visual–textual fused approach to automated
tagging of flood-related tweets during a flood event. International Journal of Digital
Earth, 12(11), 1248-1264.
James A. Gordon. (2015). Comprehensive Emergency Management for Local Governments::
Demystifying Emergency Planning. Brookfield, CT: Rothstein Associates Inc.
Jordan, B. R. (2015). A bird’s-eye view of geology: The use of micro drones/UAVs in geologic
fieldwork and education. GSA Today, 50–52.
Kryvasheyeu, Y., Chen, H., Obradovich, N., Moro, E., Van Hentenryck, P., Fowler, J., &
Cebrian, M. (2016). Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity.
Science Advances, 2(3) 1-11.
Lazaridou, A., Pham, N. T., & Baroni, M. (2015). Combining language and vision with a
multimodal skip-gram model. In 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the
Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, 153–163.
Liu, L., Silva, E. A., Wu, C., & Wang, H. (2017). A machine learning-based method for the
large-scale evaluation of the qualities of the urban environment. Computers, Environment
and Urban Systems, 65, 113–125.
Lopez-Fuentes, L., Van De Weijer, J., Bolaños, M., & Skinnemoen, H. (2017). Multi-modal
Deep Learning Approach for Flood Detection. In Proceeding of the MediaEval 2017
McWethy, D. B., Schoennagel, T., Higuera, P. E., Krawchuk, M., Harvey, B. J., Metcalf, E. C.,
Schultz, C., Miller, C., Metcalf, A. L., Buma, B., Virapongse, A., Kulig, J. C., Stedman, R.
C., Ratajczak, Z., Nelson, C. R., & Kolden, C. (2019). Rethinking resilience to wildfire.
Nature Sustainability, 2(9), 797–804.
Middleton, S. E., Kordopatis-Zilos, G., Papadopoulos, S., & Kompatsiaris, Y. (2018). Location
extraction from social media: Geoparsing, location disambiguation, and geotagging. ACM
Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), 36(4), 1-27.
Mouzannar, H., Rizk, Y., & Awad, M. (2018). Damage Identification in Social Media Posts
using Multimodal Deep Learning. In 15th International Conference on Information System
for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Rochester, NY, May, 529-543.
Nguyen, D. T., Ofli, F., Imran, M., & Mitra, P. (2017). Damage assessment from social media
imagery data during disasters. In Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE/ACM International
Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2017, 569–
Ning, Li, Hodgson, & Wang. (2020). Prototyping a Social Media Flooding Photo Screening
System Based on Deep Learning. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 9(2), 1-
Novikov, G., Trekin, A., Potapov, G., Ignatiev, V., & Burnaev, E. (2018). Satellite imagery
analysis for operational damage assessment in emergency situations. Lecture Notes in
Business Information Processing, 320, 347–358.
Olteanu, A., Vieweg, S., & Castillo, C. (2015). What to expect when the unexpected happens:
Social media communications across crises. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on
computer supported cooperative work & social computing. 994-1009
Paszke, A., Gross, S., Massa, F., Lerer, A., Bradbury, J., Chanan, G., ... & Desmaison, A. (2019).
Pytorch: An imperative style, high-performance deep learning library. In Advances in
Neural Information Processing Systems. 8026-8037.
Pedregosa, F., Varoquaux, G., Gramfort, A., Michel, V., Thirion, B., Grisel, O., ... & Vanderplas,
J. (2011). Scikit-learn: Machine learning in Python. the Journal of Machine Learning
Research, 12, 2825-2830.
Pouyanfar, S., Tao, Y., Tian, H., Chen, S. C., & Shyu, M. L. (2019). Multimodal deep learning
based on multiple correspondence analysis for disaster management. World Wide Web,
Resch, B., Usländer, F., & Havas, C. (2018). Combining machine-learning topic models and
spatiotemporal analysis of social media data for disaster footprint and damage assessment.
Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 45(4), 362–376.
Robinson, T. R., Rosser, N., & Walters, R. J. (2019). The Spatial and Temporal Influence of
Cloud Cover on Satellite-Based Emergency Mapping of Earthquake Disasters. Scientific
Reports, 9(1), 1-9.
Samuels, R., Taylor, J., & Mohammadi, N. (2018). The Sound of Silence: Exploring How
Decreases in Tweets Contribute to Local Crisis Identification. In 15th International
Conference on Information System for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM),
Rochester, NY, May.
Smith, A. (2019). 2018’s Billion Dollar Disasters in Context | NOAA Climate.gov. Climate.Gov.
Retrieved from https://www.climate.gov/.
Smith, L., Liang, Q., James, P., & Lin, W. (2017). Assessing the utility of social media as a data
source for flood risk management using a real-time modelling framework. Journal of Flood
Risk Management, 10(3), 370–380.
Szegedy, C., Vanhoucke, V., Ioffe, S., Shlens, J., & Wojna, Z. (2016). Rethinking the Inception
Architecture for Computer Vision. In Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society
Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2016-December, 2818–2826.
Tanev, H., Zavarella, V., & Steinberger, J. (2017, May). Monitoring disaster impact: detecting
micro-events and eyewitness reports in mainstream and social media. In 14th International
Conference on Information System for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM).
Temnikova, I., Castillo, C., & Vieweg, S. (2015). EMTerms 1.0: A terminological resource for
crisis tweets. ISCRAM 2015 Conference Proceedings - 12th International Conference on
Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, 2015-January, 147–157.
Thomee, B., Shamma, D.A., Friedland, G., Elizalde, B., Ni, K., Poland, D., Borth, D. & Li, L.J.
(2016). YFCC100M: The new data in multimedia research. Communications of the
ACM, 59(2), 64-73.
U.S. Census Bureau, (n.d.). ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs). Retrieved from
Vadicamo, L., Carrara, F., Cimino, A., Cresci, S., Dell’Orletta, F., Falchi, F., & Tesconi, M.
(2017). Cross-Media Learning for Image Sentiment Analysis in the Wild. In Proceedings -
2017 IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision Workshops, ICCVW 2017, 2018-
Wang, Y., Wang, Q., & Taylor, J. E. (2017). Aggregated responses of human mobility to severe
winter storms: An empirical study. PLOS ONE, 12(12), e0188734.
Wang, Y., & Taylor, J. E. (2018). Coupling sentiment and human mobility in natural disasters: a
Twitter-based study of the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. Natural Hazards, 92(2), 907–925.
Wang, Y., & Taylor, J. E. (2019). DUET: Data-Driven Approach Based on Latent Dirichlet
Allocation Topic Modeling. Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 33(3), 04019023.
Yao, F., & Wang, Y. (2019). Tracking urban geo-topics based on dynamic topic model.
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 79, 101419.
You, Q., Luo, J., Jin, H., & Yang, J. (2016). Cross-modality consistent regression for joint
visual-textual sentiment analysis of social multimedia. In Proceedings of the Ninth ACM
international conference on Web search and data mining. 13-22.
Yu, M., Yang, C., & Li, Y. (2018). Big data in natural disaster management: A review. In
Geosciences (Switzerland) 8(5). 165.
Zhang, G., & Zhu, A. X. (2018). The representativeness and spatial bias of volunteered
geographic information: a review. Annals of GIS, 24(3), 151–162.
Zhong, X., Duckham, M., Chong, D., & Tolhurst, K. (2016). Real-time estimation of wildfire
perimeters from curated crowdsourcing. Scientific reports, 6, 24206.
Zhou, B., Lapedriza, A., Khosla, A., Oliva, A., & Torralba, A. (2018). Places: A 10 Million
Image Database for Scene Recognition. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and
Machine Intelligence, 40(6), 1452–1464.
Zhou, B., Zhao, H., Puig, X., Xiao, T., Fidler, S., Barriuso, A., & Torralba, A. (2019). Semantic
Understanding of Scenes Through the ADE20K Dataset. International Journal of Computer
Vision, 127(3), 302–321.
Zou, L., Lam, N. S. N., Shams, S., Cai, H., Meyer, M. A., Yang, S., Lee, K., Park, S. J., &
Reams, M. A. (2019). Social and geographical disparities in Twitter use during Hurricane
Harvey. International Journal of Digital Earth, 12(11), 1300–1318.