A 2011 paper by Penn State researchers describing a geovisual analysis approach to support locational awareness of crisis events using social media has been selected to host the 2021 IEEE Symposium on Science and Technology. visual analysis technology. Trial of Time Award.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Test of Time Award is a distinction awarded to recognize papers published at previous conferences whose content is still alive and useful today and has had a major impact and influence. within and beyond the visualization community. The award was presented at the IEEE VIS: Visualization and Visual Analytics 2021 Virtual Conference held October 25-29 in New Orleans.

The research for this article, SensePlace2: Support for GeoTwitter analysis for situational awareness, was chaired by Alan MacEachren, Professor Emeritus of Geography and Information Science and Technology, who retired last June. Other co-authors include Anuj Jaiswal, Anthony Robinson, Scott Pezanowski, Alexander Savelyev, Prasenjit Mitra, Xiao Zhang, and Justine Blanford.

According to the selection committee, the article has over 400 citations and is still regularly cited today as one of the earliest examples of visual analysis for aggregated social media data. Posted as Twitter was still gaining momentum, the document described the use of tweets and their location data for situational awareness in an emergency. It includes a survey of emergency practitioners and a useful situational awareness discussion. This work has led to important discussions on the ethics of location data in crisis situations.

“We were able to accomplish what we did thanks to a team of researchers specializing in geovization, visual analysis, technology development, user-centered design, and large-scale data processing and management.” said Anthony Robinson, associate professor of geography. at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

“With our combined strengths, we were in a very good position to capture and use the rapidly growing data generated by Twitter – a relatively new platform at the time. For the SensePlace2 article, we were among the first to take advantage of geotagged tweets and combine them with geographic text analysis, which meant that we applied geographic information retrieval methods to extract and geotag mentions of places in tweets. The research was also grounded in real-world use by including an assessment of practitioners in the crisis management community, and we leveraged what we learned in designing the system.

The research was a collaborative effort and included researchers from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Information Science and Technology.

“This work has shown that social media data can be used to find useful information among all the junk, bogus, chatter and noise data, and presented it as a way of real-time sensor of what’s going on in the world. world since it became available. more easily, without any intervention and in real time, ”said Prasenjit Mitra, professor of information science and technology. “The project team was a truly collaborative group and included people who were working on very different types of issues. Map design, natural language processing, web mapping technology, user-centric design – none of these areas would have been enough on their own.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to the advancement of technology. The IEEE has more than 400,000 members in more than 160 countries, including engineers, scientists and related professionals with technical interests rooted in electrical and computer sciences, engineering and related disciplines.