Visualizing Global Marathon 2012 – Challenge 3

The U.S. Presidential Election in Social Media

Nearly all our communication and activity online leaves traces or “data exhaust,” which can be turned into data. Everything from social media and mobile usage to Internet browsing and shopping offer rich sources of information about the ways we live, think, and relate to one another. Marketers are already mining this data to sell products more effectively; it could also be used to gain insights about our society.

The U.S. presidential election this week was a major event for the United States, with important ramifications for the rest of the world. As one would expect, the election was widely discussed on social media around the world. After the fact, this dialogue forms a data set describing how we think and talk about the U.S. presidency and the competing policy platforms at stake. Using the Twitter API, we have gathered a large collection of tweets discussing the election and the candidates from before and after Tuesday’s vote. To get you started, we have also prepared tables that analyze word frequencies by source, by time and a network of co-occurrent words.

Your challenge is to visualize the social media narrative of the U.S. presidential election. You are encouraged to concentrate on a topic, sentiment, hashtag, peer-network or other focused aspect of the data. What insight can you draw out of the social media cacophony? How can you best communicate that insight?


Sampling process: for each selection we gathered 100 tweets per hour for the past 16 days, for a total of 76,800 tweets. We then packed tweets in blocks of 6 hours, and for each block we obtained the most mentioned words. Columns in the table are associated to these 64 blocks. This data set comprises only a sample of the total amount of Tweets surrounding the election.
Get the data set here: US Election Tweets
There are several different slices and aggregations of the data, as well as a full feed.
Source: Twitter


You must be a student participating in the Visualizing Global Marathon to enter this challenge.

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