This project is using Twitter data to comprehensively uncover where Internet content is being created; whether the amount of content created in different places is changing over time; and how content moves across time and space in the Social Web.

Across the globe, daily economic, social and political activities increasingly revolve around the use of social content on the Internet. This user-generated content influences our understandings of, and interactions with, our social environment, and yet it is remarkable how little we know about the broader contexts in which much of that content is created. Using the world’s most popular micro-blogging platform, this project therefore proposes to comprehensively uncover: (1) where Internet content is being created; (2) whether the amount of content created in different places is changing over time; and (3) how content moves across time and space in the Social Web.

As an entry point into research on the social Web, this project will analyse data from the world’s most used, and arguably most influential, micro-blogging platform: Twitter. The platform might initially appear to just be a source of trivial content creation. However, it has recently been the source of significant change in political campaigning and protest, education, emergency response, legal proceedings, and cultural expression. The sheer scale and volume of content that passes through the platform allows it to provide valuable insights into real-time conversations happening throughout the world.

This project will develop and employ rigorous methods to map and measure how conversations on Twitter are taking place over time and space. Stage one will consist of creating a database of all geolocatable content on the platform in order to map the geographies of content creation (i.e. it asks: ‘who is creating content?’). Stage two will move beyond straightforward mappings of content in order to examine the movement of concepts and ideas over time and space. The final, and most ambitious, stage of this project will explore the changing visibility of the world’s twenty most widely spoken languages in the social Web.

By bringing together methods that are at the intersection of computer science and social science, this project aims to geographically and temporally map the movement of content and ideas in the social Web. It will examine where content is created, who is creating content, and how that content is layered over our material environment. Doing so will allow broad academic debates about inclusion, social participation, and cultural diffusion on the Internet to be addressed.


This project is suported by Oxford University Press’s Fell Fund.

John Fell OUP Research Fund

  • Geography, Big Data, and Augmented Realities

    1 August 2012 - 12:00 am

    New digital dimensions of place profoundly affect the ways that we interact with our urban environments. Dr Mark Graham leads a research project to interrogate these virtual layers of the city, asking what they are, where they are, and why they matter.

  • Malaysia’s social media election

    Date Published: 2 May 2013

    Source: Al Jazeera

    In the run-up to the Malaysia's first 'social media' election, Al Jazeera quotes findings by Mark Graham that Malaysia is the sixth largest producer of information via Twitter in the world.

  • Sad if no ethics in social media

    Date Published: 28 February 2013

    Source: Straits Times

    In a speech at an event during Malaysia's Social Media Week, PM Datuk Seri Naji Razak referred to Mark Graham's work on Twitter usage as evidence that Malaysia stands out as a forward looking country.

  • Najib: Election 2013 first social media election

    Date Published: 27 February 2013

    Source: The Malaysian Insider

    The Malaysian Prime Minister has predicted that the forthcoming election will be Malaysia's first social media election.  He quoted research by Mark Graham which indicated that Malaysia and Brazil have very high levels of Twitter use.

  • Tweets help visualise information density of African cities

    Date Published: 18 February 2013

    Source: DW Akademie

    'Cities have become both digital and digitized' says Mark Graham whose work on geocoded tweets in African cities is answering questions on his research for Deutsche Welle Akademie.

  • Réseaux sociaux: les capitales africaines de Twitter, quartier par quartier

    Date Published: 15 February 2013

    Source: Jeune Afrique

    Francophone African news site reports on Mark Graham’s datamaps of tweets from key African cities and features every one of the maps, noting comparisons between predominantly French speaking and English speaking cities.

  • Tweets decide SAFC v Toon fans’ debate

    Date Published: 12 January 2013

    Source: Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette

    Regional newspaper, the Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette highlights the references to the football clubs of the North East in the Premier League Twitter map created by the OII team.

  • Chasing data shadows: Twitter map of football fans

    Date Published: 11 January 2013

    Source: University of Oxford

    A team from the OII has created an interactive Twitter map to find out where conversations about premier league football clubs originate.  It shows that there are fewer Manchester United fans in London and the south-east than is popularly assumed.

  • Oxford Internet Institute maps Premier League Twitter conversations in UK

    Date Published: 11 January 2013

    Source: Anchorfan

    Social Sport News site reports on the interactive map produced by Mark Graham and the OII team which maps twitter conversations about Premier League football clubs.

  • Twitter map finally reveals exactly where Manchester United fans live

    Date Published: 11 January 2013

    Source: Daily Telegraph

    The Daily Telegraph highlights the ‘fascinating’ map plotting Twitter conversations about Premier League Football clubs created by a team at the OII.

  • Now a Twitter map of football fans

    Date Published: 11 January 2013

    Source: India Blooms

    India based web-site reports the work of the OII team on the interactive Premier League Twitter map.

  • Most Man U fans do not come from the south, study shows

    Date Published: 11 January 2013

    Source: ITV

    ITV reports the work of the OII team on the interactive Premier League Twitter map.

  • Which Premier League teams are the most popular in search area? A Twitter interactive map

    Date Published: 11 January 2013

    Source: The Guardian

    The interactive map of geotagged Tweets mentioning Premier League teams or associated hashtags  created by the team at the OII features on the Data Store Show and Tell page of the Guardian.

  • Map of the Day: The Geography of Klout

    Date Published: 17 July 2012

    Source: The Atlantic

    Coverage of an OII map of the geography of Klout, the online service that attempts to gauge social media influence. The map was produced as part of OII research on the geography of Twitter.

  • Where Tweets are born: the top countries on Twitter

    Date Published: 6 July 2012

    Source: Huffington Post (USA)

    Mark Graham’s research into the countries that use Twitter most shows that citizens in the US use Twitter more than any other country, followed by Brazil, Indonesia and the UK.

  • US tops Twitter Chart

    Date Published: 6 July 2012

    Source: CorpComms

    The on-line magazine for corporate communicators reports the research by Mark Graham and Monica Stephens into the origin of Twitter users. Mark's comments on the OII website about the usefulness of Twitter are quoted.

  • Tweeting all over the world

    Date Published: 5 July 2012

    Source: Daily Mail

    The Daily Mail reports details of OII research into the origin of tweets. Mark Graham is extensively quoted on how he and fellow researcher Monica Stephens went about collecting data and mapping the results.

  • Where the World’s Tweets Come From, Vizualised.

    Date Published: 5 July 2012

    Source: Gizmodo

    Report of the research by Mark Graham and Monica Stephens into the origins of Tweets worldwide.

  • Church vs beer: using Twitter to map regional differences in US culture

    Date Published: 4 July 2012

    Source: Guardian Data-Store

    The Guardian Data Store featured one of Mark Graham's visualisations which used geolocated Tweets to gauge differences in culture across the US. The most tweets including 'beer' came from San Francisco and the most for 'church' from Dallas, Texas.

  • Where Do the World’s Tweets Come From?

    Date Published: 29 June 2012

    Source: The

    The OII visualization 'A Geography of Twitter' is a good illustration of how wide is the Twitter world says Rebecca Rosen. Authors Mark Graham and Monica Stephens suggest Twitter might allow democratization of information sharing and production.