Use of low-cost online tools to estimate the public’s interest in the changing conditions of their existence under the conditions during COVID-19, as a model for the emergency information assessment
Keywords:disaster, COVID-19, South Africa, emergency management
Online tools such as Google Trends and search volume trackers provide potential low-cost methods to evaluate the interest of the public in the current topics once a disaster strikes. A low-cost plugin is available commercially to extract the public interest data from Google and it is tested in this letter to the editor. The plugin was used to assess the time trends in the South African public's interest in working from home which became a relevant topic during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Results of the data extraction and analysis are presented and potential applications in emergency management are proposed.
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