Articles | Volume 5
30 May 2024
 | 30 May 2024

Multimodal Geo-Information Extraction from Social Media for Supporting Decision-Making in Disaster Management

David Hanny and Bernd Resch

Keywords: disaster management, social media, natural language processing, spatial machine learning

Abstract. Effective decision-making in natural disaster management relies heavily on a comprehensive understanding of the situation in affected areas. Social media has been established as a tool to monitor human response and damage assessment. Given the vast amounts of data available, computational methods such as topic modelling are typically employed to reduce information complexity. However, these methods mostly neglect aspects such as geographic location and emotional response, which frequently results in sequential workflows of initial semantic filtering and subsequent spatial or spatio-temporal analysis. This study presents a novel approach for multimodal information extraction from geo-social media data for aiding decision support in disaster management. The method leverages a spatial, temporal, semantic, and sentiment-based clustering approach of social media posts to extract clusters that provide insights into disaster-related content. A case study in the Ahr Valley region in Germany demonstrates the method’s effectiveness in providing actionable insights for disaster response and management. The approach offers a tool for the quick assessment of disaster-related information from social media, potentially aiding timely and informed decision-making.