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Sci Rep. 2013 Nov 5;3:3141. doi: 10.1038/srep03141.

Quantifying the digital traces of Hurricane Sandy on Flickr.

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1] Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Scarman Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK [2].


Society's increasing interactions with technology are creating extensive "digital traces" of our collective human behavior. These new data sources are fuelling the rapid development of the new field of computational social science. To investigate user attention to the Hurricane Sandy disaster in 2012, we analyze data from Flickr, a popular website for sharing personal photographs. In this case study, we find that the number of photos taken and subsequently uploaded to Flickr with titles, descriptions or tags related to Hurricane Sandy bears a striking correlation to the atmospheric pressure in the US state New Jersey during this period. Appropriate leverage of such information could be useful to policy makers and others charged with emergency crisis management.

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