A Case Study for Monitoring Fires with Twitter

Robert Power, Bella Robinson, John Colton, Mark Cameron


This paper presents a user configurable monitoring system to track in near-real-time tweets describing fire events. The system targets fire related words in a user defined region of interest published on Twitter which are further processed by a text classifier to determine if they describe a known fire event of interest. The system was motivated from a case study that examined a corpus of tweets posted during active bushfires. This demonstrated that useful information is available on Twitter about fire events from people who are in the vicinity.

We present an overview of the system describing how it is initially configured by a user to focus on specific fire events in Australia, the development of a text classifier to identify tweets of interest, especially those with accompanying photos, and the monitoring system that can track multiple events at once.

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