Friday, April 5, 2013

A Pandora's box of data to source for mapmaking

 The "fu" map What does it tells us about who is angry and why are they where they are?

The potential of social media to be mapped to tell a geogstory

A part of the georevolution which should not be igmored is the revolution in data sourcing created by the prevalence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This all-pervasive media has created a huge amount of data to harvest, map and interogate. As mentioned in the Map Porn posting, more and more maps are appearing on the Internet of limited use but of great interest. These maps are created from harvesting words, symbols and other features posted on social media. 
An example of this trend in data sourcing is reflected by the campaign for same-sex marriage sourced and mapped from Facebook. Recently as a response to the campaign people were changing their Facebook profile pictures to the Human Rights Campaign's symbol for equality -- that red equal sign . This all started to happen as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases concerning same-sex marriage. The change of symbol became viral on Facebook as 2.7 million more people changed their profile pictures on Tuesday, March 26 compared to the previous Tuesday.
The subsequent map displayed above shows that the well-known geographic divides are apparent in the mapped data. That is, same-sex marriage gets more support in the more liberal Northeast and West, less in the South of the US. Additionally, Facebook found that 30-year-olds were the most likely to change their profile picture, with around 3.5 percent doing so. The data also showed that, unsurprisingly, those living in college towns were the most likely to change their profile pictures.This is just one example of many, about how social media data is being harvested to create maps of interest, maps to be interogated and shared for the telling of some geogstories.

 A map of the US based on the number of Facebook users changing their profile pictures to a red-hued version of the logo belonging to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender in support of marriage equality. As the map shows, such support is not the same across the US

  Here are more based on social media across the US.

 * Mapping Tweets in Boston: By combining the linguistic analysis systems of TweetPsych with Twitter’s geo tagging data  and the Google Maps API, tweets were plotted on specific latitude and longitude codes based on their emotional content.
6 maps of various kinds of psychological traits and their occurrences around the city of Boston were created. Maps of happiness , sadness, sexulaity, anxiety, thinking and control. 

 * Potential use of social media, by intelligence agencies, to map out and predict social unrest.

* Using Twitter to track the flu
 Harvesting social media messages has become a popular way to track when and where flu cases occur, but a key hurdle hampers the process: how to identify flu-infection tweets. Some tweets are posted by people who have been sick with the virus, while others come from folks who are merely talking about the illness.

* Mapping happiness in US cities through Twitter 
A  fantastic set of maps that show how their findings correlate to geographic locations. In other words, it’s a map of how happy Americans are, right down to zip code.

* Disaster relief: Using Facebook data to map crisis points.
During teh 2011 Japanes Tsnamis a group of students in the United Statesworked with others in Japan to gather urgent information from social networking websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to help create a map pinpointing crisis areas across the island nation.

* Twitter maps show where rudest, friendliest Americans may live: In this example Twitter "heat maps" harvested the phrases, "Good morning," and "F--- you," and scanned tweets containing those phrases in 462 specific locations in the U.S., over several different days in July.

 * Facebook friend map

Most students have Facebook accounts...what is geographic distribution of their networks? What explains these patterns? Looking at personal life histories and geographies would be an easy way to make spatial analysis intensely personal and relevant. They are on social media; they just need to be prodded to start using it for intellectual pursuits as well.
This is a great site that combines the power of geography, social media and geospatial technologies. You can map where your twitter followers are (if they make the data publicly available). Additionally, you can pan, zoom and identify specific followers and map their networks.

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