Monday, April 08, 2013

GeoSocial Gauge

Over the last couple of months we have been working on getting our GeoSocial Gauge system up and running. The idea behind the website is to bring together social media and geographical analysis to monitor and explore people’s views, reactions, and interactions through space and time. It takes advantage of the emergence of social media to observe the human landscape as the living, breathing organism that it is: we can witness the explosion-like dissemination of information within a society, or the clusters of individuals who share common opinions or attitudes, and map the locations of these clusters. This is an unprecedented development that broadens drastically our understanding of the way that people act, react to events, and interact with each other and with their environment. We refer to this novel approach to study the integration of geography and society as GeoSocial Analysis.

The GeoSocial Gauge has several live streams ranging from exploring the political issues (e.g. Sequester) to to see what people are tweeting about TV (The Walking Dead).

Screen shot of GeoSocial Gauge of the Sequester. Showing the location of tweets, the most frequent words and whether or not the messages are positive (green) or negative (red).
Screen shot of GeoSocial Gauge of The Walking Dead.
Some of our initial work on this type of analyis can be found at:
  • Stefanidis, T., Crooks, A.T. and Radzikowski, J. (2013), Harvesting Ambient Geospatial Information from Social Media Feeds, GeoJournal, 78, (2): 319-338.
  • Crooks, A.T., Croitoru, A., Stefanidis, A. and Radzikowski, J. (2013), #Earthquake: Twitter as a Distributed Sensor System, Transactions in GIS, 17(1): 124-147.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Compuational Social Science @ GMU

The Department of Computational Social Science (CSS) at George Mason University is the first of its kind. It has active PhD, Master and Certificate programs in CSS. If readers are wondering what CSS is hopefully the quote from our Facebook page should help:
Computational Social Science is the interdisciplinary science of complex social systems and their investigation through computational modeling and related techniques. The field is at the intersection of social science and computer science and spans anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, and social psychology - as well as allied disciplines such as geography, history, organization theory, regional science, communication, and linguistics. We additionally utilize developments in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and related branches of behavioral science for understanding social phenomena.

Computational approaches utilized and taught within the department include agent-based social simulation models (multi-agent systems), social network analysis, mathematical analysis based on complexity theory, social geospatial modeling methods (GIS), and automated information and content analysis methods. Through such computational methods we provide our students with a unique toolset to investigate social phenomena.

If you are interested in finding out what the Department of CSS is doing or want to view some of our models you might like to check out our Facebook page.