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Social Media

Tweeting Up a Storm: The Promise and Perils of Crisis Mapping

Authors: Lea A. Shanley, Ryan Burns, Zachary Bastian, Edward S. Robson

Crisis mapping is an inter-disciplinary field that aggregates crowd-generated input data, such as social media feeds and photographs, with geographic data, to provide real-time, interactive information in support of disaster management and humanitarian relief. This article, published in the October 2013 issue of Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, provides a brief overview of the emerging legal and ethical issues within crisis mapping.

New Visions for Citizen Science


The Wilson Center Presents a Roundtable in Open Innovation and Science:

New Visions for Citizen Science


Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management: Workshop Summary

The growing use of social media and other mass collaboration technologies is opening up new opportunities in disaster management efforts, but is also creating new challenges for policymakers looking to incorporate these tools into existing frameworks. The Commons Lab, part of the Science & Technology Innovation Program, hosted a September 2012 workshop bringing together emergency responders, crisis mappers, researchers, and software programmers to discuss issues surrounding the adoption of these new technologies.

Social Media in Emergency Management

Quite a bit is known about the public’s social media habits, including the public’s expectations concerning emergency management agencies’ use of social media. For example, 76 percent of adults responding to a 2012 American Red Cross survey expect help to arrive in less than three hours if they post an emergency-related request on social media. However, what has not been well document are the perspectives of emergency managers toward social media. Do they feel emergency management agencies should be monitoring social media?

What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact

Think tanks and research organizations set out to influence policy ideas and decisions—a goal that is key to the very fabric of these organizations. And yet, the ways that they actually achieve impact or measure progress along these lines remains fuzzy and underexplored. What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact is the first practical guide that is specifically tailored to think tanks, policy research, and advocacy organizations.

Transforming Earthquake Detection and Science through Citizen Seismology

Authors: Jason C. Young, David J. Wald, Paul S. Earle, and Lea A. Shanley

Study Director: Lea Shanley. Editors: Aaron Lovell and Zach Bastian. On behalf of the Commons Lab within Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center, with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.