Social triangulation: A new method to identify local citizens using social media and their local information curation behaviors

Rob Grace, Jess Kropczynski, Scott Pezanowski, Shane Halse, Prasanna Umar, Andrea Tapia

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

6 Scopus citations


Local citizens can use social media such as Twitter to share and receive critical information before, during, and after emergencies. However, standard methods of identifying local citizens on Twitter discover only a small proportion of local users in a geographic area. To better identify local citizens and their social media sources for local information, we explore the information infrastructure of a local community that is constituted prior to emergencies through the everyday social network curation of local citizens. We hypothesize that investigating social network ties among local organizations and their followers may be key to identifying local citizens and understanding their local information seeking behaviors. We describe Social Triangulation as a method to identify local citizens vis-à-vis the local organizations they follow on Twitter, and evaluate our hypothesis by analyzing users' profile location information. Lastly, we discuss how Social Triangulation might support community preparedness by informing emergency communications planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)902-915
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the International ISCRAM Conference
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Event14th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM 2017 - Albi, France
Duration: May 21 2017May 24 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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