Spatial, temporal, and content analysis of Twitter for wildfire hazards

Zheye Wang, Xinyue Ye, Ming Hsiang Tsou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Social media data are increasingly being used for enhancing situational awareness and assisting disaster management. We analyzed the wildfire-related Twitter activities in terms of their attributes pertinent to space, time, content, and network, so as to gain insights into the usefulness of social media data in revealing situational awareness. Findings show that social media data can characterize the wildfire across space and over time, and thus are applicable to provide useful information on disaster situations. Second, people have strong geographical awareness during wildfire hazards and are interested in communicating situational updates related to wildfire damage (e.g., containment percentage and burned acres), wildfire response (e.g., evacuation), and appreciation to firefighters. Third, news media and local authorities are opinion leaders and play a dominant role in the wildfire retweet network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-540
Number of pages18
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Disaster
  • Emergency management
  • San Diego
  • Social media
  • Twitter
  • Wildfire


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