Social media are increasingly recognized as a useful data source for understanding social response to hazard events in real time and in post-event analysis. This article establishes social media–enhanced decision support systems (SME-DSS) as a synergistic integration of social media and decision support systems (DSSs) to provide structured access to native, near real-time data from a large and diverse population to assess social response to social, environmental, and technological risk and hazard events. We introduce a prototype SME-DSS entitled socio-environmental data explorer (SEDE) to explore the opportunities and challenges of leveraging social media for decision support. We use a winter storm during 25–28 January 2015 that accumulated record amounts of snow along the East Coast of the United States as a case study to evaluate SEDE in helping assess social response to environmental risk and hazard events as well as evaluate social media as a theoretical component within the social amplification of risk framework (SARF) that serves as a theoretical foundation for SME-DSS.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This paper resulted from a synthesis project funded by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) under National Science Foundation Award [DBI-1052875].
© 2016 Cartography and Geographic Information Society.
- Social media
- decision support systems
- social amplification of risk framework