Emergency response with mobile geosocial sensing in the post-app era

Yilankiran F. C., Güney C.

TRANSACTIONS IN GIS, vol.25, no.2, pp.897-922, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/tgis.12706
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.897-922
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Disaster and emergency management is inherently a spatial problem. In case of disaster, the use of real-time location-based social media posts within the spatial decision support processes has great potential so that resource distribution can be planned, damage areas can be determined, the amount of damage can be estimated, and evacuation and/or help routes can be defined. Crowdsourced data and collaborative platforms like OpenStreetMap and Twitter can be widely employed for near-real-time mapping to support emergency management. After a disaster occurs, the aim is to quickly assess and triage damage, injury, and loss of life, and respond with medicine, food, water, housing, and basic infrastructure. In the scope of the study, in a similar manner, a solution, called WITNER, is proposed, designed, and developed. The difference is that WITNER is a cloud-native geo-enabled solution. The value of WITNER lies in the fact that it acts only as a mediator in translating help requests posted on a social media platform into spatially readable form, while keeping original social media post requests intact and accessible. The main purpose of WITNER is to help more people and save more lives in case of emergency response, with the intention of preventing the same help request locations being concurrently targeted by multiple relief, search, and rescue efforts. Moreover, it reveals more viable and less costly help requests that might take less time for potential help providers to assist with.