Twitter map shows language diversity in London

twitter_826004Ed Manley and James Cheshire from UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), were busy this summer. The two researchers collected data from 3.3 million tweets during the London 2012 Games, using Twitter’s API.  They then created an impressive looking map of all of the locations of those tweets. Not only that, but the map is colour coded for each language. The grey parts of the map were tweets in English, which makes up the majority of it. There are pockets of colour elsewhere though, in descending order representing Spanish (white), French (red), Turkish (blue), Arabic (green), Portuguese (purple), German (orange), Italian (yellow), Malay (cyan), and Russian (violet). There were 66 languages used, identified and recorded. The languages tweeted least were Georgian, Belarusian, Telugu and Armenian.

Ed Manley explains that Tagalog, which is spoken in the Philippines, was excluded from the data as “many of these classifications included just uses of English terms such as ‘hahahahaha’, ‘ahhhhhhh’ and ‘lololololol’.” It was initially the 7th most tweeted language.

They are quick to point out that the work absolutely isn’t a true representation of the diverse demographic of London. A lot of tweets are located on main roads and along train lines. Also, they have only included tweeters who have a good GPS location and are connected to the internet.

Click here to see the map.

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