Tweet My Street presented in Montreal

World Social Science forum logo

Dr Graeme Mearns, Scoiety reearcher and Rebecca Simmonds, PhD student presented their research on ‘Tweet My Street’ at the World Social Science forum in Montreal. The paper was entitled Tweet My Street: Utilising ‘Big Data’ to Understand Local Needs in the Information Society

Abstract

With the growth of computational social science and an unfolding epistemological turn towards ‘big data’ for wider social inquiry, arguably, there has been a concurrent shift away from considering the ‘smaller scale’ geographies where the implications of digital technologies are often lived and felt. Network and information society scholars have drawn attention to the potential of tools like social media (from which much of the deluge of big data derives) to promote new forms of networked civil engagement at the global level, particularly among politically committed ‘communities of practice’. Less is known about what these tools mean for communities at a local level, the patterns of interchange and meanings of communications both within territorially-bound communities and interaction with the actors beyond these. Tweet My Street is a cross-disciplinary project using qualitative and quantitative research methods and involving geographers, urbanists and computer scientists who are seeking to respond to this knowledge deficit. In particular, the project focuses on an urban setting where civic disengagement, apathy and a lack of ‘cohesion’ between disparate groups are frequently reported as barriers to inclusive local communities. In this paper we focus on the methods employed in utilising big data derived from Twitter and other social media networks, and on the patterns of communications uncovered in the early stages of our work.

For further information on the Tweet My Street project please see: http://www.side.ac.uk/technology/case-studies/tweet-my-street

Image taken from World Social Science forum website.