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Twitter has been the media darling for 2009 — it looks like there’s no stopping it in 2010. In one of the more unusual (and definitely innovative) uses of Twitter, the USGS (United States Geological Survey) is using the social media tool to detect earthquakes. Called Twitter Earthquake Detection (USGSted), it is a system that gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from the social networking site Twitter and applies place, time, and key word filtering to gather geo-located accounts of shaking.

Currently, scientific alerts can take between 2 to 20 minutes — let’s see if social alerts can do better.

If you’re on Twitter, follow USGSted : @USGSted

[ via Ecopolitology ]

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