Remember this? If you’re outside the USA and especially the state of Kentucky (or just not that into basketball), perhaps not; but it was big news for a short while:
Now read about how the news of the “chaos” was spread in our paper, now available from Cartography & GIS. It examines the geographies of Tweeting about the events, and how Twitter grabbed hold of the live, online police scanner the local police were using and retweeted it.*
Classic retweets include “Uh, we have a partially nude male with a propane tank” and “shots fired” (in fact, a pistol had accidentally discharged, hitting someone in the foot).
Although this was a minor event, with few injuries, the social media of events like this is brought into sharp relief with the Boston marathon bombing, and the news this morning that Reddit users had ID’d a suspect before the FBI had done so. With the further news this morning of some kind of shootout and death of a suspect, it really raises the question of not just information and the geoweb, but what role new spatial media play in society today.
*A similar scanner form the Boston PD was, at least for a while, available here. It now appears to be non-functioning.
Update 4/22/13: A draft of our paper is now available on the open-source SSRN.