A Visual Exploration of Twitter Streams
Twitter streams are curious things, especially the spatial data part. I’ve been using Tweepy to collect tweets from the public timeline and what did I discover? Tweets can have up to three different spatial references: “coordinates”, “geo” and “place”. I’ll still have to do some more reading on how to interpret these different attributes.
For now, I have been using “coordinates” to explore the contents of a stream which was collected over a period of five hours using
for global coverage. In the video, each georeferenced tweet produces a new dot on the map and if the user’s coordinates change, a blue arrow is drawn:
While pretty, these long blue arrows seem rather suspicious. I’ve only been monitoring the stream for around five hours. Any cross-Atlantic would take longer than that. I’m either misinterpreting the tweets or these coordinates are fake. Seems like it is time to dive deeper into the data.
Looks really nice. How did you produce the video?
The video frames were generated using pyprocessing, a python port of the popular processing framework. Then I used mencoder to create the final video by stitching the frames together.