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Seeking Volunteers for Post-Disaster Updates

Seeking Volunteers for Post-Disaster Updates

In an effort to help, We’d like to launch focus sections of the Disaster.Com site dedicated to coverage of major active disasters – air crashes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. When something terrible happens, We would like to create a new section of the site and have links to articles, press releases and other factual (not opinion) pieces aggregated on a 24×7 basis for that specific disaster. To make 24×7 work, We need to have 5-10+ (preferably 10 or more) people from various timezones around the world participate in finding and posting information. It may last for a few days. It may last for a few weeks. There’s no way to know. What we do know is that there is always a significant amount of non-factual information out there (for example – “What air travel experts say may have happened to the Air Asia flight”). These aren’t helpful, and they make real information harder to find. Until we get full coverage, we won’t be able to launch this. If anyone is interested in volunteering (and this is a serious thing – we don’t want people to volunteer and then, when it comes time to do the work, not show up) please fill out a volunteer form or private message us (on the forums) with your timezone, when you would normally be able to dedicate time to doing this, and a list of languages you can speak/translate. Anyone who does participate will get a “FocusWriter” badge, and also be allowed to state on their resume/CV that they are a volunteer here. We’re probably a bit late to do this for the Air Asia tragedy,...
A Free Open Source Tool to Analyze Twitter

A Free Open Source Tool to Analyze Twitter

This article is a bit technical, but the end result will help you to search Twitter, analyze the tweets and then export them into a CSV file for loading into a spreadsheet application - all with a free open source tool. This article is just the beginning. We'll take a look at graphing, wordclouds and sentiment analysis in the next few weeks. All of these things are critical in identifying trends during disaster response and recovery. Twitter is great for emergency management, emergency response, and trend analysis but getting the tweets into a program for manipulation can be expensive or require a significant knowledge of programming. We're going to explore the use of "R" and "RStudio" to perform a Twitter search. While it's not simple, it does allow you to (fairly) easily get data into other programs where things ARE much simpler. "R" is an open source and free "language and environment for statistical computing and graphics". It is part of the "GNU Project", a collection of software including applications, libraries and developer tools. The GNU project has been around since 1984 and the project software is used, in some way, on almost every UNIX machine in existence. In our case, however, we're going to use the Microsoft Windows version of R, and don't be scared off by the description of what the software does. This guide may seem daunting, but it's not too complex. I'll bring you through the process step by step. Installing "R" and "R Studio" We're going to install both R, and R Studio. R is the component that actually executes our work, retrieves the data...
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