The US Geological Survey's Twitter Earthquake Detection Program gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from Twitter and applies place, time, and keyword filtering to gather geo-located accounts of shaking.
This approach provides rapid first-impression narratives and, potentially, photos from citizens at the hazard’s location. The potential for earthquake detection in regions that are populated but where seismic instruments are sparse is also being investigated.
Data from the project will support other earthquake projects that rapidly detect and report earthquake locations and magnitudes in the United States and globally. The Program will also determine the best way to broadcast scientifically confirmed earthquake alerts via Twitter.