Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Twitter tweets chart the social whirl

Date:
November 14, 2011
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
The senior project of two computer science students aggregates Twitter 'tweets" into a real-time events guide.

Data mining Twitter "tweets" may produce a gold mine for two University of Cincinnati computer science students.

William Clifton and Alex Padgett have developed a web-based application called The Tweetographer that allows users to learn about events in their cities or neighborhoods. The app works by collecting tweets sent by large numbers of Twitter users and extracting information about events -- parties, concerts, games, etc. -- happening nearby. It's like a real-time events guide.

The Tweetographer was the senior project for the pair, who are graduating during the 2011-12 academic year, Padgett in December and Clifton in June.

"We wanted to explore data mining, which is an important area of research in Computer Science, in the context of social media," Padgett said. "Although the concept will work with many social media platforms, Twitter was the most accessible. Everything is out there in public domain, a giant pool of untapped data, tagged with latitude and longitude. It's very precise and lends itself to so many uses."

That broad utility created some difficulty for the developers as they tried to formulate a focused project.

"We realized that we could do all sorts of things with this data. We could add all sorts of functions, but we worked really hard to avoid 'feature creep' and decided to focus on events," Clifton said.

The Tweetographer, in practice, answers a common question for socially active people: "What's happening?" Since people who use Twitter often tweet about where they are going or what they want to do, The Tweetographer answers that question by listening in to the chatter. A user can get a sense of not only what is going on, but how popular various events are.

The application is so effective that it was initially overwhelmed the volume of data streaming in through millions of tweets in some large cities.

"Eventually we were able to come up with a solution for this with a kind of queuing system that let us handle a stream of that magnitude," Clifton said.

Another obstacle was making sense of all the available data. Although Twitter offers upwards of 140 million tweets a day, they are not posted in a uniform format.

"So many people type in their own shorthand," Padgett said.

The solution, according to Clifton, was to create a "thesaurus" of multiple Twitter synonyms.

"Do you know how many ways people type 'Tuesday'?" Clifton said.

All of the technical obstacles needed to be overcome on a tight deadline -- just six months from assignment to presentation.

"If we had a couple of years, we could come up with something a lot more sophisticated," Padgett said. "Everyone is their own worst critic, and we had very high standards. We wanted to show an elegant, simple solution."

The Tweetographer got an enthusiastic reception at its unveiling.

"It blew people's minds," Clifton said. "One skeptic, in particular, wanted to test us. He said, 'If I tweet right now, it will show up,' and we said yes. He tweeted, and it popped up onscreen right away."

The future of The Tweetographer is yet to be written. Padgett and Clifton are making plans beyond graduation, yet still actively working on improving and evolving this project. Clifton thinks the "engine" developed for The Tweetographer has other useful applications, such as predicting election outcomes, or compiling product reviews.

"So much is out there," Clifton said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Twitter tweets chart the social whirl." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108201415.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2011, November 14). Twitter tweets chart the social whirl. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108201415.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Twitter tweets chart the social whirl." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111108201415.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

Newsy (July 23, 2014) Amazon's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, is set to ship this week, and so far the reviews have been pretty mixed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 22, 2014) Apple is asking suppliers to make 70 to 80 million units of its new larger screen iPhone, a lot more initially than its current model. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins