Twitris: Taking crisis mapping to the next level


Twitris—the techy marriage of “Twitter” and “Tetris”—is a platform that aims to help civil society win the “game” of big data, creating layers and layers of analysis that provides a holistic picture of an event. The idea for Twitris was born out of the chaos of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on January 26, 2008, when Amit Sheth and his team of Ph.D. students at the Kno.e.sis center noted that social media users played a key role in feeding information to the media.

Kno.e.sis stands for the Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing at Wright State University in Dayton and Sheth is the founder and director of the center where he oversees the Twitris project.

The platform uses algorithm-based technology to aggregate existing information on Twitter, Wikipedia, and news sites in order to provide a fuller picture of events, disaster scenarios, as well as political movements and campaigns. The Kno.e.sis team works closely with social scientists in order to understand behavior and what types of information would be useful to aggregate. They also work with civil society groups, like humanitarian organizations, to understand how this information can be effectively applied during a disaster to speed up aid delivery.


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