The wealth of metadata that comes from millions of Tweets can be used in countless different ways. Eric Fischer and MapBox used the data from 280 million tweets to create some amazing visualisations for Gnip that highlights tourist activity in different cities.
Dating back to 2011, the data was pruned to remove multiple tweets from the same geographic location, emphasizing geographic distribution rather than other factors such as frequency. Gnip and MapBox only selected tweets with location metadata attached, ranging from 2% to 4% of the total tweets in Twitter’s stream of data – known as firehose.
One visualisation that broke down the percentage of residents and tourists in a specific geographic area defined users who sent tweets from a specific city for less than a month as tourists. In New York City’s Financial District, most tweets come from locals except around the World Trade Center site, Statue of Liberty, and other tourist attractions.
Other visualisations included what device was used to post to Twitter, as well as the language used, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the data contained within firehose.