To increase awareness and the availability of environmental information, the Media Watch on Climate Change provides a comprehensive and continuously updated account of news and social media coverage on climate change and related issues. The portal aggregates, filters and visualizes environmental content from various sources including Anglo-American news media sites, blogs, Web 2.0 platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, etc.), environmental organizations, and Fortune 1000 companies.
Managing Environmental Knowledge. Acquiring, exploring and applying relevant knowledge are crucial steps in addressing environmental issues effectively, and ensuring that change is conceived and implemented on regional, national and society-wide scales. The Media Watch on Climate Change captures the evolution of knowledge and uses semantic technologies to collect, classify, annotate, filter and visualize large document repositories. The user interface provides interactive means to access this knowledge base, to analyse the perceptions of various stakeholders, and to identify and track emerging trends. This resonates well with the vision of a Geospatial Web that promotes the convergence of geographic information, Internet technology and social change.
Technology Development. Based on the Gentics J2EE enterprise portal, the platform has been jointly developed by S. Kamran A. Ahmad (knowledge planet), S. Belk (data export), A. Brasoveanu (news flow diagram), A. Dickinger (usability studies), J. Duong (document pre-processing), M. Foels (Facebook application), S. Gindl (sentiment detection), A. Hubmann-Haidvogel (user interface, portal management), H.-P. Lang (system architecture), W. Rafelsberger (tag cloud), M. Sabou (crowdsourcing), A. Scharl (project lead), H. Stern (geotagging service), A. Weichselbraun (technical lead), T. Wenter (topic management, editor), G. Wohlgenannt (ontology services), and D. Zibold (ontology map). The information landscape has jointly been developed together with V. Sabol and M. Muhr from Know-Center Graz.
Acknowledgement. The Media Watch on Climate Change has been developed as part of the IDIOM, RAVEN and DIVINE research projects, funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency within the strategic objective FIT-IT Semantic Systems. Based on webLyzard core technologies, the platform is currently being extended into a Climate Change Collaboratory through a two-year research project funded by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund within the ACRP program line. Active collaboration with environmental organizations helps align the platform with the expectations and requirements of different stakeholder groups. The consortium partners behind the listed projects share an interest in the determinants and impacts of anthropogenic climate change, and in the potential of new media to support communication and collaboration in virtual communities.
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