A multi-dimensional analysis of El Niño on Twitter: Spatial, social, temporal, and semantic perspectives

Xinyue Ye, Xuebin Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Social media platforms have become a critical virtual community where people share information and discuss issues. Their capabilities for fast dissemination and massive participation have placed under scrutiny the way in which they influence people's perceptions over time and space. This paper investigates how El Niño, an extreme recurring weather phenomenon, was discussed on Twitter in the United States from December 2015 to January 2016. A multiple-dimensional analysis, including spatial, social, temporal, and semantic perspectives, is conducted to comprehensively understand Twitter users' discussion of such weather phenomenon. We argue that such multi-dimensional analysis can reveal complicated patterns of Twitter users' online discussion and answers questions that cannot be addressed with a single-dimension analysis. For example, a significant increase in tweets about El Niño was noted when a series of rainstorms inundated California in January 2016. Some discussions on natural disasters were influenced by their geographical distances to the disasters and the prevailing geopolitical environment. The popular tweets generally discussing El Niño were overall negative, while tweets talking about how to prepare for the California rainstorms were more positive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberijgi8100436
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 4 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • El Niño
  • Geospatial methods
  • Multi-dimension analysis
  • Natural disaster
  • Twitter


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