Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nikolaos Bourbakis (Committee Member), Soon Chung (Advisor), Vincent Schmidt (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Although Twitter has been around for more than ten years, crisis management agencies and first response personnel are not able to fully use the information this type of data provides during a crisis or natural disaster. This thesis addresses clustering and visualizing social media data by textual similarity, rather than by only time and location, as a tool for first responders. This thesis presents a tool that automatically clusters geotagged text data based on their content and displays the clusters and their locations on the map. It allows at-a-glance information to be displayed throughout the evolution of a crisis. For accurate clustering, we used silhouette coefficients to determine the number of clusters automatically. To visualize the topics (i.e., frequent words) within each cluster, we used the word cloud. This tool could be easily used by first response and official management personnel to quickly determine when a crisis is occurring, where it is concentrated, and what resources to best deploy to stabilize the situation.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Year Degree Awarded