Thought this was cool: Soda vs. Pop with Twitter
One of the great things about Twitter is that it’s a global conversation anyone can join anytime. And it gets even better when you can mine this chatter to study the way humans live and interact.
Or, how does language vary as you travel across different regions? Recall the classic soda vs. pop. vs. coke question: some people use the word “soda” to describe their soft drinks, others use “pop”, and still others use “coke”. Who says what where?
Let’s take a look.
To make this map, I sampled geo-tagged tweets containing the words “soda”, “pop”, or “coke”, performed some state-of-the-art NLP technology to ensure the tweets were soft drink related (e.g., the tweets had to contain “drink soda” or “drink a pop”), and filtered out coke tweets that were specifically about the Coke brand (e.g., Coke Zero).
It’s a little cluttered, though, so let’s clean it up by aggregating nearby tweets.
Here, I bucketed all tweets within a 0.333 latitude/longitude radius, calculated the term distribution within each bucket, and colored each bucket with the word furthest from its overall mean. I also sized each point according to the (log-transformed) number of tweets in the bucket.
We can see that:
- The South is pretty Coke-heavy.
- Soda belongs to the Northeast and far West.
- Pop gets the mid-West, except for some interesting spots of blue around Wisconsin and the Illinois-Missouri border.
For comparison, here’s another map based on a survey at popvssoda.com.
We can see similar patterns, though interestingly, our map has less Coke in the Southeast and less pop in the Northwest.
Finally, here’s a world map of the terms, bucketed again. Notice that “pop” seems to be prevalent only in parts of the United States and Canada.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about interesting things you can do with the Twitter API, so this was just one small project I’ve worked on to illustrate. This paper contains another awesome application of Twitter data to geographic language variation, and just for fun, here are two other cute mini-projects I did a while ago:
What do people eat during the Super Bowl? (wings and beer, apparently)
What do people want for Christmas, compared to what they actually get?
from Edwin Chen’s Blog: http://blog.echen.me/2012/07/06/soda-vs-pop-with-twitter/