Global Flood Monitor

In 2019, researchers at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM – VU University Amsterdam) and Netherlands-based start-up FloodTags collaborated to develop a tool that enables large scale crowdsourcing and visualization of flood information. The Global Flood Monitor extracts data from Tweets to identify flood events across the world. Then, using geotags or generating location data with the customized TAGGS-algorithm2,3 (Toponym-based Algorithm for Grouped Geoparsing of Social media), the tool identifies where flood events are located and produces a real-time map on a global scale that estimates the severity of the event and displays information from tweets. By capturing passively-sourced citizen data about local conditions, this tool enables real-time monitoring of flooding events and rapid response. While floods are often detected using remote sensing and modelling at a larger scale, these techniques can overlook finer scale events and are often more time-consuming. The Global Flood Monitor attempts to reduce the time lag between the flood event and response efforts to minimize the damage and impact on peoples’ lives. Considering that this tool relies on social media usage, the maps and models may exclude floods that affect communities with limited access to smartphones, internet and social media, leading to an underrepresentation of events in the Global South. 

Reference: de Bruijn, J., de Moel, H., Jongman, B., de Ruiter, M., Wagemaker, J., & Aerts, J. C. J. H. (2019). “A global database of historic and real-time flood events based on social media“.


Citizen Science, Climate Change, Data, Ecological Modelling, Ecological Monitoring, Industry/Natural Commodities, Regulation