Semantic Systems and Visual Tools to Support Environmental Communication


Scharl, Arno, Herring, David, Rafelsberger, Walter, Hubmann-Haidvogel, Alexander, Kamolov, Ruslan, Fischl, Daniel, Föls, Michael and Weichselbraun, Albert. (2017). Semantic Systems and Visual Tools to Support Environmental Communication. IEEE Systems Journal, 11:762-771


Given the intense attention that environmental topics such as climate change attract in news and social media coverage, key questions are how different stakeholders perceive observable threats and policy options, how public media react to new scientific insights, and how journalists present climate science knowledge to the public. This paper investigates the potential of semantic technologies to address these questions. After summarizing methods to extract and disambiguate context information, we present visualization techniques to explore the lexical, geospatial and relational context of topics and entities referenced in these repositories. The examples stem from the Media Watch on Climate Change, the Climate Resilience Toolkit and the NOAA Media Watch - three applications that aggregate environmental resources from a wide range of online sources. These systems not only show the value of providing comprehensive information to the public, but also have helped to develop a novel communication success metric that goes beyond bipolar assessments of sentiment.

Keywords: annotation, climate science, context information, relation extraction, visual analytics, web intelligence

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