Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources

Nguyen HL, Tsolak D, Karmann A, Knauff S, Kühne S (2022)
Frontiers in Sociology 7: 910111.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
 
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Abstract / Bemerkung
More and more, social scientists are using (big) digital behavioral data for their research. In this context, the social network and microblogging platform Twitter is one of the most widely used data sources. In particular, geospatial analyses of Twitter data are proving to be fruitful for examining regional differences in user behavior and attitudes. However, ready-to-use spatial information in the form of GPS coordinates is only available for a tiny fraction of Twitter data, limiting research potential and making it difficult to link with data from other sources (e.g., official statistics and survey data) for regional analyses. We address this problem by using the free text locations provided by Twitter users in their profiles to determine the corresponding real-world locations. Since users can enter any text as a profile location, automated identification of geographic locations based on this information is highly complicated. With our method, we are able to assign over a quarter of the more than 866 million German tweets collected to real locations in Germany. This represents a vast improvement over the 0.18% of tweets in our corpus to which Twitter assigns geographic coordinates. Based on the geocoding results, we are not only able to determine a corresponding place for users with valid profile locations, but also the administrative level to which the place belongs. Enriching Twitter data with this information ensures that they can be directly linked to external data sources at different levels of aggregation. We show possible use cases for the fine-grained spatial data generated by our method and how it can be used to answer previously inaccessible research questions in the social sciences. We also provide a companion R package, `nutscoder`, to facilitate reuse of the geocoding method in this paper.
Erscheinungsjahr
2022
Zeitschriftentitel
Frontiers in Sociology
Band
7
Art.-Nr.
910111
eISSN
2297-7775
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2964027

Zitieren

Nguyen HL, Tsolak D, Karmann A, Knauff S, Kühne S. Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources. Frontiers in Sociology. 2022;7: 910111.
Nguyen, H. L., Tsolak, D., Karmann, A., Knauff, S., & Kühne, S. (2022). Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources. Frontiers in Sociology, 7, 910111. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2022.910111
Nguyen, H. L., Tsolak, D., Karmann, A., Knauff, S., and Kühne, S. (2022). Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources. Frontiers in Sociology 7:910111.
Nguyen, H.L., et al., 2022. Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources. Frontiers in Sociology, 7: 910111.
H.L. Nguyen, et al., “Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources”, Frontiers in Sociology, vol. 7, 2022, : 910111.
Nguyen, H.L., Tsolak, D., Karmann, A., Knauff, S., Kühne, S.: Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources. Frontiers in Sociology. 7, : 910111 (2022).
Nguyen, Hoang Long, Tsolak, Dorian, Karmann, Anna, Knauff, Stefan, and Kühne, Simon. “Efficient and Reliable Geocoding of German Twitter Data to Enable Spatial Data Linkage to Official Statistics and Other Data Sources”. Frontiers in Sociology 7 (2022): 910111.
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