Geography of social media in public response to policy-based topics

Xinyue Ye, Shengwen Li, Adiyana Sharag-Eldin, Ming Hsiang Tsou, Brian Spitzberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter examines social topics across social media and social networks, using voting tweets of water bond in California as the case study. A group of measurements have been used to explore the space-time dynamics of social media and topic distribution. This research employs effective and accessible data processing, visualization, and analytical tools for social scientists to study human dynamics in the space-time context. The relative attention on “water bond” tweets was greater than that on “vote” tweets in cities located in the drought area in California, which shows the place-based situational awareness in the social media platform. From the spatial distribution perspective, the topic of “water bond” draws more attention in coastal cities. Tweeting behavior is highly sensitive to the timing. November 4th 2014, the Water Bond Referendum day, recorded the largest volume of “water bond” related tweets. Temporal variation at the hour level reveals that “water bond” tends to be a serious issue for discussion while the general topic of “vote” tends to be more relaxing. Tweets have been posted across various platforms with many user participations. In addition, people tend to use computers to post more specific topics such as “water bond,” compared to the preference over mobile phone in tweeting general posts related to “vote.” In summary, space, time and topic matter in the interaction of perceived space and real space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeospatial Data Science Techniques and Applications
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351855990
ISBN (Print)9781138626447
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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