The Social Network Innovation Lab has been exploring the differing pace of life in urban American cities. Within the field of pace of life studies, there exist a variety of metrics for measuring the speed or pace of life in populated areas (and that these measures can be positively correlated with the population in each area). We have been exploring whether the usage of the social micro-blogging service Twitter might share characteristics with other established pace of life metrics, and thus may qualify as a pace of life metric in it’s own right.
This type of research requires a high level of data about Twitter use in urban areas. For our research, we developed methods to collect geo-located tweets (tweets which contain the location information of where they were tweeted), from 50 of the most populated U.S. cities across the country according to U.S. Census statistics[i]. Although the option to geo-locate one’s Tweets within Twitter is an opt-in feature and this biases our data, we posit that our data is roughly proportional to US urban Twitter activity. We began collecting tweets in mid-January, 2012. Our collection streams capture on average 450,000 Tweets a day and to date we have collected over 120,000,000 tweets. [Continue Reading]