Paper Accepted to SWDM’15

A paper by Slándáil collaborators has been accepted into the SWDM’15 Workshop, co-located with the WWW’15 conference (May 2015, Florence, Italy).
The paper, entitled ‘Trust-building through Social Media Communications in Disaster Management’ was co-authored by Maria Grazia Busa, Maria Teresa Musacchio (both UNIPD), Shane Finan (TCD) and Cilian Fennell (Stilllwater). This collaborative paper expands on ideas about trust and communication that were developed during the first nine months of the Slándáil project.


Read the abstract on our related publications page.

Presentation at EU Social Media and Crisis Management Event

On Friday, February 27th members from different EU FP7 Security projects were invited to present their current projects with feedback from End User partners at the ERC offices, EU, Brussels.

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Presentation at COSMIC’15

Slándáil were represented at COSMIC Final Conference, the last event to be held by COSMIC FP7 Project. The conference was held in Hotel NH Brussels Du Grand Sablon, Brussels, Belgium. Shane Finan (TCD) spoke at the conference, giving a presentation on how trust and communications influence research in Slándáil.
The presentation was given as part of a series of talks on social media use in disaster management, which included independent speakers, speakers from other FP7 projects, and speakers from COSMIC. The FP7 project ran for twelve months and their final deliverable is online in draft form. They have encouraged other FP7 projects to read and give feedback on this document.


Shane Finan presenting at COSMIC'15

Shane Finan presenting at COSMIC’15

Sign up for the Slándáil Digital Magazine

As you may know, Slándáil (Empowering Emergency Services through Social Media) is an EU-funded project that will use social media information in times of natural disasters to better inform emergency services of the worst affected areas. The project also provides –

  • better ethical guidance and support with which to make use of such data during times of crisis,
  • the technological capabilities to aggregate information from all the separate forms of social media that reliably transmit data, and
  • help to communicate effective emergency messages in a range of languages.

We are putting together our first digital magazine for your attention and are very much looking forward to sharing our results and innovations with you as the project progresses. To sign up to receive our digital magazine, please join our mailing list.

If you would like to suggest a colleague for our mailing list, or should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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Legal Meeting on Ethics and Data Protection at TCD

On February 20th 2015 Trinity College Dublin organised a legal round-table meeting with the Usability Sub-committee, hosted in The Irish School of Ecumenics, TCD. The sub-committee invited two legal experts to attend and take part in a discussion about the legal and ethical implications of using social media as a tool in disaster response: Rob Corbet, Partner, Head of Technology and Innovation at Arthur Cox, Dublin, and Emanuele Sommario, Assistant Professor of International Law at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa, Italy.

Rob Corbet and Emanuele Sommario during the discussion, with partners on Skype joined behind both speakers

Rob Corbet and Emanuele Sommario during the discussion, with partners on Skype joined behind both speakers

The round-table meeting included a presentation by Dr. Sommario on the implications of governance in state of exception situations. Dr. Sommario gave examples of case studies where preparedness was an issue, and where states acted legitimately or illegitimately in protecting their populations in situations of natural disaster.

This was followed by a round-table discussion, where project partners, in attendance in person or via Skype, asked questions that drew out a discussion on both the legal aspects of data capture, and the legal and ethical aspects of emergency management. The results were added to project documents. The key findings of the day showed that our current methods of data capture and storage are in safe legal and ethical grounds, and both legal experts commented on how the emphasis on legal and ethical concerns is commendable in this project.


Key areas that were and found and that will be incorporated into the project are the importance of putting in place adequate data security measures, that data collected should not be excessive, and that trust in the data controller is key, but this should be monitored independently through a logging system. These suggestions were included in the initial guidelines for harvesting data, and are being incorporated in the technical construction of Slándáil prototypes.

The 3rd International Workshop on Social Web for Disaster Management (SWDM’15)

The 3rd International Workshop on Social Web for Disaster Management (SWDM’15) will be co-located with the WWW’15 conference (May 2015, Florence, Italy).

This workshop, now in its 3rd edition, provides a venue for research on disaster management as it relates to the real-time social web. Social Media in Emergency Management (SMEM) is an area that attracts researchers across a variety of specialties (e.g. natural language processing, machine learning, geographical information systems).

These different perspectives are connected by social media as a common data source, and by disaster management as a common task. This workshop brings together researchers who strive to meet the urgent needs of the public and disaster response professionals during a crisis, by creating and improving Web-enabled disaster management methods and systems.

SWDM’15 invites submissions in the following workshop topics. Each submission will be evaluated by at least 3 program committee members. Accepted submissions will be published by ACM and included in the ACM Digital Library. To find out more about the Workshop and the submission process, click here.

Slándáil to present workshop at UCAml Belfast

Xin Wei, Hui Wang, Gongde Guo and Huan Wan will present their paper “Recognition by Enhanced Bag of Words Model via Topographic ICA” at the Video Soft Sensing (VSS) Workshop Program as part of UCAml Belfast next month.

To read more about the paper, follow this link to Slándáil’s new “Related Publications” page. This page will be updated with similar and complimentary publications throughout the duration of the Slándáil project.

UNIPD FP7 cover

University of Padua Research Update

Slándáil partner University of Padua have published an update to their current research projects under the FP7 Framework, including the work being undertaken as part of Slándáil. The full text is available to read online – click here to read.

“I remain firmly convinced of the importance of participation in international research and I am sure that our recent results will pave the way for an ever-growing research commitment within the framework of Horizon 2020.” – The Rector, Giuseppe Zaccaria

UNIPD FP7 cover

Slándáil Belfast Plenary Group Photograph

Plenary Meeting, Belfast, 09-10-2014

The Slándáil project had its first 6-month plenary meeting at the Titanic Centre in Belfast on 9th October, 2014. The meeting was organised by members of the PSNI who are involved in the project. Members from all twelve partners attended, and the Strategic Advisory Board were also in attendance for a Q&A session.

The day featured talks from the different partners that were responsible for compiling and submitting the first six project deliverables, submitted over the first six months of the project. There were discussions on the research and suggestions made for progress from an open and vibrant group of attendees.

Professor Khurshid Ahmad (Trinity College Dublin) chaired the meeting and gave a talk outlining the goals for the project over the coming months.

Slándáil Belfast Plenary Group Photograph

The day finished with three round-table discussions by the three sub-committees – Usability, Technical Implementation, and Ethics – and plans were laid out for the next six months of progress.

DIMPLE Workshop Presentations Available

The DIMPLE – DIsaster Management and Principled Large-scale information Extraction – workshop took place on 31st May 2014 in the Harpa Conference Centre, Reykjavik, Iceland. Presentations from the workshop are now publicly available here.



Workshop Abstract:

The aim of this workshop is to explore the intrinsic connection between civil protection, information gathering and analysis, and societal impact. The mediation of these connections through the agency of language will be the central theme of the workshop. The workshop will explore how this mediation can be situated in the context of broader societal impact especially the impact of the value system of one stakeholder on others.