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Your One-Stop Hurricane Irene Tracking Machine

As Hurricane Irene swirls towards the east coast, residents are snapping up bottled water, checking evacuation maps and hunkering down for the first hurricane to hit the United States since Ike slammed the Texas coast in 2008. This week’s earthquake is already old news, except for the weirdo in Brooklyn who got a “Survived the Quake” tattoo and now has a daily reminder of the high profile, yet low intensity, shaking.

And not surprisingly, everyone is relying on social media to stay connected. Hurricane Irene is expected to impact more than 55 million people, many of whom have never had to deal with a major storm. There have only been five hurricanes on record that came within 75 miles of New York City, so the city is taking every precaution it can—hundreds of flights have been canceled, mandatory evacuations are in place and the city’s subway and bus systems will be completely shut down on Saturday.

Social media is great for getting current info on what Hurricane Irene is up to (and who she’s affecting) but with changes happening every minute, how do you keep on top of it all?

Luckily, the folks over at ESRI Canada have solved this social problem. As geographic information system (GIS) solutions specialists, they’ve found a way to combine hurricane tracking data with real-time news headlines, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and Flickr photos. They include data based on latitude and longitude, plus search radius and keywords, so you’ll only get the most relevant information.

The interactive map also lets you check out fun stuff like storm surges, past hurricanes, weather warnings and precipitation.

Behold! Very cool.

  • If the embedded map doesn’t work below, please click here to see it on

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