A recent article from The Verge talks about how Twitter may be more accurate than NOAA in terms of identifying flooded areas. MIT Media Lab also came up with an app that allowed crowdsourcing storm and flooding data. But that required downloading and installing the app.
The general idea that is interesting is the use of crowdsourcing, whether passive or active, to gather data about climate change risks. This new data can complement existing models – models which may no longer be accurate due to the uncertainty of climate change. This means that these crowdsourcing platforms may be more accurate. But there are drawbacks. Who is likely to use social media or specific apps? There may be populations in certain areas that are not providing this data. But this is a concern that stretches across many new urban informatics applications.
I think another more interesting approach is not just the one way gathering of data but a communicative strategy. I’ve been involved in a number of serious gaming exercises which help provide information to community members. But they can also provide those deploying these interactive exercises new information.
It’ll be interesting to see how this evolves.