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Twiphoon for Typhoon : Typhoon Information by Participatory Media (Twitter Version)
Japanese | English

'Twiphoon' is a service for collecting tweets on typhoon information from Twitter users, and retweet them by each typhoon. Read more...

How to Use This Website?

Twiphoon for typhoon! Twiphoon is typhoon information by participatory media (Twitter version), aggregating typhoon information using a micro blogging service Twitter. (Notice, News).

This website stores a message within 140 characters called a "tweet." With the help of users, tweets from many places are automatically classified into each typhoon. Real-time situation at many places may be revealed from the collection of tweets.

You don't need any registration for browsing typhoon information on Twiphoon website and Twitter website, because those websites are open to the public. You need registration to Twitter, not to Twiphoon, to participate in Twiphoon.

How to Send Typhoon Information to Twiphoon?

You need to register Twitter to send information to Twiphoon. Please search for many resources on the Web on what Twitter is and how to make a registration on Twitter.

You then login on your user account, and tweet writing situations around you. When writing a tweet, we would like you to check the following rules.

  1. Reply to @twiphoon.
  2. Add hashtags (later introduced) for distinguishing each typhoon. The hashtags of typhoons are available at @DigitalTyphoonE and @twiphoon also tweets hashtags when a typhoon is formed (in Japanese).
  3. Set the current location as much as possible because location is crucial for typhoon information. If you cannot set the current location, we will try to analyze the text of the tweet to extract place names.
  4. In summary, an ideal tweet is something like "@twiphoon Winds and rains are getting stronger. #melor Shibuya, Tokyo."
  5. Users who sent their tweets with a valid hashtag is recognized as cooperators and @twiphoon starts following.
  6. The aggregated "tweet" typhoon information is organized on Twiphoon website and published as the archive of tweets by each typhoon.
  7. Lastly, these tweets are retweeted from @ReTwiphoon. You can follow this to see aggregated typhoon information (waiting for the official release of retweet API).

What is Hashtag?

A hashtag is a word starting with "#" and subsequent alphabets and numbers, and they are used for organizing information. Twiphoon uses hashtags based on Asian names of typhoons such as "#melor," and on typhoon numbers such as "#TY200918," for specifying the typhoon that a tweet is talking about (*1). These hashtags help us to identify the typhoon of each tweet, and improve the utility of information. These hashtags are hence strongly recommend for Twiphoon.

In addition to hashtags above, the following hashtags can also be used for other purposes. The rule is the same, however, to include "@twiphoon" as a reply.

#bug Use this hashtag to report bugs of the system.
#question Use this hashtag to make a question on the system.
#message Use this hashtag to make a comment on the system

Please note that hashtags for each typhoon are valid only for the period that the typhoon is active, and hashtags are invalidated after 24 hours of the typhoon's death. Those hashtags are not recognized after invalidation, and tweets are treated as ones on general information (which means that they are not good tweets that contain valid hashtags). Also note that only the first hashtag is recognized when one tweet has multiple hashtags. This means that we request a tweet to write about one and only one typhoon.

(*1) The reason for not using a hashtag "#typhoon" is to cope with a situation where multiple typhoons coexist. Referring to Activity Calendar, mutiple typhoons coexist on about 30 days in a year. The maximum record is the coexistence of 5 typhoons. This indicates that a hashtag that does now allow the identification of a typhoon will bring about confusion, so we decided to assign a different hashtag for each typhoon.

Flow of Information

At this moment, Digital Typhoon (Twitter Version) has Twitter accounts as follows.

  1. @DigitalTyphoon - Provides basic typhoon information from Japan Meteorological Agency (in Japanese).
  2. @DigitalTyphoonE - Provides basic typhoon information from Japan Meteorological Agency (in English).
  3. @AMeDASrain - Provides heavy rain information extracted automatically from AMeDAS Data (in Japanese).
  4. @twiphoon - Account for collecting information for Twiphoon and for making announcements.
  5. @ReTwiphoon - Account for retweeting information collected at Twiphoon.
  6. @TyphoonNow - Account for answering queries on Typhoon Now!.

Relationship between@DigitalTyphoon and @twiphoon might be difficult to understand, so I explain the difference from the viewpoint of "retweet." Retweet means re-tweeting tweets received from other people and tweeting from its own account. Here if we focus on the flow of information, two types of people are involved in retweeting; people who submit primary information, and people who disseminate received information as secondary information. How five accounts introduced above play the role in the flow of information?

Tweet Retweet
-> Follower -> Followers' followers
Other Twitter users
All Twitter users -> @twiphoon -> @ReTwiphoon (*2)
Users of Twiphoon website

Firstly, @DigitalTyphoon is a bot for submitting typhoon information, and the followers of @DigitalTyphoon disseminate (retweet) information wider to followers' followers. On the other hand, @twiphoon is a bot for collecting information, so Twitter users are the source of primary information, and Twiphoon is a receiver. Then information collected is disseminated (retweeted) at Twiphoon website and @ReTwiphoon. In this sense, Twiphoon is a system for supporting retweets specialized in the domain of typhoon information.

In summary, we decided to use different accounts to avoid confusion because the flow of information is opposite at @DigitalTyphoon and @twiphoon.

(*2) Tweets replied to @twiphoon are retweeted not from @twiphoon itself, but from a different account named @ReTwiphoon. This is because retweeting in this account is not a good idea for using @twiphoon for announcements, because a large number of retweets may totally occupy the timeline. Twiphoon website is not beneficial for Twitter users, however, so we also started a new account @ReTwiphoon that is dedicated for retweets. This functionality is now waiting for the official release of retweet APIs from Twitter.

Related Publications

About Website Naming

The name of the website "Twiphoon" is named after Twitter + Typhoon. About the comparison of various classification of tropical storms, please refer to Digital Typhoon: Typhoons, Hurricanes and Cyclones.