Product Type: Web Application
Author(s): Smyrl, L., T. Kern, and J. Allen
Smyrl, L., T. Kern, and J. Allen. 2011. USGS Twitter Earthquake Dispatch (@USGSted). USGS Fort Collins Science Center: Fort Collins, CO.
This application was produced for the USGS Natural Hazards Program .
@USGSted (USGS Twitter Earthquake Dispatch) distributes Twitter alerts for earthquakes worldwide with magnitudes of 5.5 and above. When citizens feel shaking activity, they often use the popular social media application, Twitter, to "tweet" what they are experiencing. The @USGSted application, in general terms, searches for tweets that contain the word "earthquake" or certain related terms and stores these messages to a database. From this database, scientists at the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) can then produce maps of locations and discern how severe an earthquake event might be as soon as tweets are received. In today's electronic-device society, tweets are received almost instantly after an earthquake begins.
Twitter provides a Java-level interface (twitter4j) to allow applications to request a set of tweets. Using this interface, a Java developer wrote code that accesses the Twitter stream, requests tweets that contain a keyword (for example, "earthquake"), and stores that data in a database. Because earthquakes are a global natural event, the keywords include international terms like "temblor" and "terremoto."
Anyone can track the updates from @USGSted. Follow the USGS tweets on significant earthquake activity (or add your own during an event!) by logging into Twitter.com and searching for “@USGSted.” Or, go directly to https://twitter.com/USGSted and set up an account.