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The human geography of Twitter: Quantifying regional identity and inter-region communication in England and Wales.

08:00 EDT 15th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The human geography of Twitter: Quantifying regional identity and inter-region communication in England and Wales."

Given the centrality of regions in social movements, politics and public administration, here we aim to quantitatively study regional identity, cross-region communication and sentiment. This paper presents a new methodology to study social interaction within and between social-geographic regions, and then applies the methodology to a case study of England and Wales. We use a social network, built from geo-located Twitter data, to identify contiguous geographical regions with a shared social identity and then investigate patterns of communication within and between them. In contrast to other approaches (e.g. using phone call data records or online friendship networks), use of Twitter data provides message contents as well as social connections. This allows us to investigate not only the volume of communication between locations, but also the sentiment and vocabulary used in the messages. For example, our case study shows: a significant dialect difference between England and Wales; that regions tend to be more positive about themselves than about others, with the South being more 'self-regarding' than the North; and that people talk politics much more between regions than within. This study demonstrates how social media can be used to quantify regional identity and inter-region communications and sentiment, exposing these previously hard-to-observe geographic concepts to analysis.

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Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0214466

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