Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Twitter Tweets Chart The Social Whirl

09.11.2011
The senior project of two University of Cincinnati 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.

Greg Hand | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uc.edu

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Product placement: Only brands placed very prominently benefit from 3D technology
07.07.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

nachricht NASA Goddard network maintains communications from space to ground
02.03.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Sea ice hit record lows in November

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

New material could lead to erasable and rewriteable optical chips

07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>