San Andreas fault fans, there's a new TED in town. The United States Geological Survey has developed the Twitter Earthquake Detection project, in an attempt to improve its handling of those natural disasters when they hit across the US
The USGSted project relies firstly on an application programming interface that collates tweets with earthquake-related keywords. You know, like earthquake, quake, tremor, theearthmoveddarling, that sort of stuff. The USGS then gathers data from the quake, like magnitude, location, depth below the surface and number of tweets received.
While the Twitter Earthquake Detection project may not give the USGS any serious information on tremors, here it's all about the qualitative. The reaction and memory of someone caught in an earthquake can end up being just as useful to scientists as mere cold, hard science. [USGSted on Twitter Via ecopolitology]