The Institute of Interdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (CSIC-UIB) has monitored the “Diada de Catalunya” building a map with tweets geolocated in Barcelona without any prior selection of users or hashtag.
This monitoring has allowed see how in the hours previous to the demonstration geolocated tweets are progressively concentrated at the Meridiana Avenue in Barcelona, how during the demostration most of the tweets were geolocated at this Avenue and how after the demonstration the tweets are dispersed.
According to the data processed by IFISC, between 16 and 18h there were 374 geolocated tweets in the city of Barcelona issued by 308 user. This is the double of tweets than on an typical day at that time.. For example, on the day before, September the 10th, 160 geolocated tweets have been issued during the same period of time.
On September 11, 2014, 1.594 geolocated tweets were issued in the same period of time in Barcelona by 1.044 unique users. In 2013, with the “Catalan Via” going from the North to the South of the region, the data collection process was different and IFISC compiled 414 geolocated tweets issued with the specific hastag #ViaCatalana in all Catalonia by 353 unique users. The reduction in the amount of data with respect to the two previous years may be due, to a large extend, to the policy change regarding geolocation which has introduced Twitter earlier this year, according to which every user has to geotag explicitly every Tweet. Thus tweets are no longer automatically geolocated even if access to GPS data is available to the Twitter app.
This activity is a follow-up of the research started two years ago with geolocated tweets to follow human mobility during the “Diada de Catalunya and has been carried out by a team of researchers from the IFISC integrated by Antonia Tugores, mathematics; José Javier Ramasco, physicist; and Pere Colet, physicist, all specialized in the analysis of data from social networks.
During the time of the demonstration, IFISC has provided on its website a map that is updated every 15 minutes with the tweets from the previous hour. Now the web page with the data posted and includes a video which shows the evolution of Tweets issued September 10 and 11.