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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 25;

Using Social Media for Emergency Response and Urban Sustainability: A Case Study of the 2012 Beijing Rainstorm

State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
School of Statistics and Mathematics, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China
Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44240, USA
College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yichun Xie and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 3 October 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 28 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geo-Informatics in Resource Management & Sustainable Ecosystem)
PDF [13963 KB, uploaded 28 December 2015]


With the proliferation of social media, information generated and disseminated from these outlets has become an important part of our everyday lives. For example, this type of information has great potential for effectively distributing political messages, hazard alerts, or messages of other social functions. In this work, we report a case study of the 2012 Beijing Rainstorm to investigate how emergency information was timely distributed using social media during emergency events. We present a classification and location model for social media text streams during emergency events. This model classifies social media text streams based on their topical contents. Integrated with a trend analysis, we show how Sina-Weibo fluctuated during emergency events. Using a spatial statistical analysis method, we found that the distribution patterns of Sina-Weibo were related to the emergency events but varied among different topics. This study helps us to better understand emergency events so that decision-makers can act on emergencies in a timely manner. In addition, this paper presents the tools, methods, and models developed in this study that can be used to work with text streams from social media in the context of disaster management and urban sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media; Sina-Weibo; emergency information; timely; Beijing rainstorm social media; Sina-Weibo; emergency information; timely; Beijing rainstorm

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Wang, Y.; Wang, T.; Ye, X.; Zhu, J.; Lee, J. Using Social Media for Emergency Response and Urban Sustainability: A Case Study of the 2012 Beijing Rainstorm. Sustainability 2016, 8, 25.

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