University of Twente Student Theses


Visualization of social media data: mapping changing social networks

Ma, Ding (2012) Visualization of social media data: mapping changing social networks.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Recently, countless social networks have been built via social media. Of those two kinds of networks are most popular: user-centric social network which develops from online relationships around a user (e.g. one’s friends in Facebook or followers in Twitter etc.), and object-centric social network which develops from online interactions around a social object (e.g. photo in Flikr, video in Youtube or hashtag in Twitter etc.). In order to understand these social networks, people already visualized them based on all kind of criteria, however, seldom based on geography. Since increasing number of geo-information in form of place name, GPS coordinates etc. exist in social media data generated by user, location becomes a criterion to help people physically understand these networks. This can be strengthened by including time as well to understand, the spatio-temporal dynamics of social networks. This for, both individual movement with changing friend composition (user-centric network), and spatial diffusion of information (object-centric network), also need to be investigated and explored. The aim of this research is to visualize spatio-temporal dynamics of social networks. The starting point is Peuquet triad framework. This allows one to approach social network data from a spatial, temporal and attributes perspective, and uses it as the basis to analyze related user tasks. Based on the data framework and user tasks, a multiple linked view visualization environment combining social node-link diagram and map based visualizations together is proposed to reveal the spatio-temporal characteristics of changing social networks. Two case studies are used to illustrate this approach: one is my Facebook friend network (user-centric network) and another is trending topic (Japan earthquake) network in Twitter (object-centric network). The designed prototypes for the two case studies consisting of the implemented graphic representations and designed working environment were evaluated by the focus group method. Finally, conclusions and recommendations are presented. Keywords: social networks, social media data, user-centric social network, object-centric social network, Facebook, Twitter, triad framework, social node-link diagram, map based visualization
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page