Spatial Analysis of Social Media Content (Tweets) during the 2012 U.S. Republican Presidential Primaries

GIScience 2012, Columbus, Ohio, 18-21 September 2012

Ming-Hsiang Tsou and Jiue-An Yang

“Social media (such as Twitter and Facebook) are powerful communication platforms for idea exchange, breaking news (Sankaranarayanan et al. 2009), personal networking (Lerman and Ghosh 2010), political opinions (An et al. 2011), and collective actions (Earl 2010). By using smart phones, personal computers, and mobile devices, people can communicate and coordinate their activities geospatially, and to a significant degree, to accomplish these social communication functions in near-real time.

The tweet spatial search output file by using the keyword, "Mitt Romney", within the radius of 84 miles from the city center of Miami on February 02, 2012.

The tweet spatial search output file by using the keyword, “Mitt Romney”, within
the radius of 84 miles from the city center of Miami on February 02, 2012.

“The impacts of these tools were so vividly demonstrated in the most recent anti-government protests, including the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the London Riots. The rich information available in social media can now be monitored, traced, and analyzed in ways that may assist researchers understanding of various diffusion processes, human behaviors, and the collective moods around the world (Golder and Macy 2011).”