MIT to use social media to map flooding from Hurricane Irma

You must be aware that it is not the best of the times for America lately, at least climate wise. There was Hurricane Harvey, followed by Hurricane Irma. The latter one is hitting the Florida peninsula this weekend. There are millions of lives at stake; people are evacuating the place and seeking shelter somewhere else. In situation likes these, MIT has come as a ray of hope. Their Urban Risk Lab has launched which is an open-source platform. It will track flooding in Southern Florida. This initiative will save many people from impending threat.

The project is being headed to provide much-needed updates in real time to inhabitants and emergency planners. It even allows people to submit the latest reports through social media handles like Twitter, Facebook, or Telegram.


What the system does is that it makes use of a chatbot where users can drop messages directly through any of the three social media sites as mentioned. Then the users are given a link to upload their location, depth of the water with a description and a picture of the situation. The submitted intel will be displayed on a map and can be shared on social medias.


The makers say that the goal of the project is present an up-to-date status on changing flood conditions coming from a large population of people. For the time being, the test will cover Florida’s Broward County. It lies north of Miami and also contains Fort Lauderdale. Both, MIT officials and officials from Broward County warned that the map is only to gather and provide information and people in need of help should seek 911.


The project is a result of collaboration between the county and the MIT Lab. The system was tested out in Indonesia during a flood earlier this year. The system noticed 300,000 users making reports via an integration with Uber’s App. the makers are working to launch a similar initiative in India later this fall. The team sincerely hopes this system proves to be helpful to people in distress. They are planning to expand in terms of pushing out alerts from emergency officials.


We pray that people are out of the reach of Hurricane Irma and whoever is in the threating position finds aids that he is looking for.


Keep reading for further updates, we are working our best to provide you with the latest developments.


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