Anatomy of a Protest

Using Twitter to monitor news also offers people a tool for mobilising public gatherings and capturing events as visual information.

Applications that provide this kind of visual data are not new, take for instance Ushahidi a free open-source software, first developed in early 2008 to map reports of violence in Kenya after post-election fallout. But Twitter has trending power and a platform universally recognised around the world – now managing over 465 million accounts.

In this article by John Nelson, Twitter coverage is integrated into a visual graph that offers insight into the anatomy of an event as it trends in space and time.

An analytical reference sourcing data from a huge resource of Twitter users (supporters, detractors and everybody in between) to examine behavioural aspects, influence and impact of large-scale movements like the example illustrated here of March’s Mayday protest in Manhattan.

The visual coordination of three dimensions of data: location, time, and topic, provides an up-to-the-second profile of a social event as it forms, moves, and dissipates. A catalyst for geospatial awareness with valuable application for understanding and interpreting the organic nature of social phenomena so as to anticipate events before they happen!

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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