Companies, government mine social media for intel

Companies, government agencies and the intelligence community are using social media to provide early alerts of potential crises, Aviation Week reports.

For example, Northrop Grumman has been working on its own proprietary technology that collects publicly available data, such as Twitter posts, and recently applied for the Open Source Indicators program sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity that's looking for approaches to combining open-source data to help make specific predictions about future events, such as political protests, the story said.

Companies also are looking to combine social media and other open-source data with imagery to help the military and intelligence community forecast events geospatially. GeoEye has a proprietary program named Signature Analyst that blends the company’s experience with imagery and geospatial data with software that makes predictions about human activity such as roadside bomb attacks, the article added.

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