Visualizing a Year of @realDonaldTrump

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics, Social Media

President Trump thumbed his way through another year in the White House on Twitter, compiling a good (great) collection of 2,930 touts, complaints, defenses and rants.

He left 2018 with this perplexing New Year’s Eve missive extolling the old-fashioned endurance of “Walls” and “Wheels” as one of his last.

As the message shows, the president’s twitter presence lately is crowded by an increasingly evergreen list of grievances (Democrats, Russia, fake news, etc). Still, plenty of his messages actually correspond quite neatly with news events.

Notice how the #maga hashtag, a political rallying cry, disappears after the midterm elections. He talks about The Wall and shutdowns in and around the shutdowns, of course. And he decries Special Counsel Robert Mueller most often around the times his former aides have appeared (and been convicted or pleaded guilty) in federal court.

These examples are obvious when plotted on a timeline with annotation:

Through it all, the president’s audience of followers grew steadily by 10 million users. He now has 56.7 million followers (me included). He’s No. 15 on that measure, according to friendorfollow.com, sandwiched between heavy hitters like @selenagomez and @britneyspears!

During 2018, @realDonaldTrump spread his tweets throughout the days of the week, with the president even finding time on the weekends to sound off:

This large collection of messages, scraped using twint, drew more than 300 million of engagements, with “likes” being most common by far. This one about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a year ago received a whopping 475,000 likes, topping the list.

Here’s how those engagements split proportionally:

Speaking of retweets, there were 57 million in 2018. They came at the rate of 200,000 per day in some months. This popular “they-just-don’t-get-it” mashup of video clips, for example, received more than 110,000 retweets alone in July:

And, finally, as in years past, those messages were a mix of endorsements, promotions, defenses and complaints. Among the more popular keywords (sorry, no word clouds here):

You can download the data as a CSV here. Happy New Year!

How China’s Economic Retaliation Hurt the South Korean Tourism Industry

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Economy & Finance, Social Media

I wrote this week about the one-year anniversary of China’s economic retaliation against South Korea over the THAAD missile system, a defensive weapon designed to stop North Korea’s medium-range missiles.

China objects to it and has been flexing its economic muscle in protest, carrying out an aggressive campaign of economic retaliation that includes sending fewer tourists. In 2017, just over 4 million Chinese visited South Korea, down from roughly 8 million a year earlier after several years of steady growth.

These charts show the effect on the South Korean tourism industry, which has grown to depend heavily on China. This first example helps show China’s increasing share among all tourists who visit South Korea. In 2016, for example, nearly half of all visitors were Chinese — way up from a decade ago:

This chart reflects the annual total visitors by Chinese since 2000. Until last year, annual growth had average nearly 30%, even with the 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea, which caused hundreds of thousands — likely millions — of Chinese to stay away. You can see how the figure dropped dramatically in 2017:

And, finally, we look at the monthly data, which spikes during peak summer months. The effect of MERS is again evident, as is the significant drop in tourists after the Chinese implemented travel restrictions last March:

Tracking Historical Twitter Followers: @elisewho vs. @stiles

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Social Media

My wife (@elisewho) and I (@stiles) had a silly social media moment yesterday when I replied to one of her tweets — despite the fact that she was sitting in an adjacent room of our Seoul apartment.

USC professor Robert Hernandez (a.k.a. @webjournalist) captured it:  

The exchange, which we both “liked”, got me thinking (resenting?) about why she is killing me in Twitter followers — even though we’ve been using the service for nearly a decade.

It’s not even close, according to snapshots captured by The Wayback Machine (which didn’t start tracking me until I’d been on Twitter for years):

You can track your own follower counts over time with this tool.

Before/After Imagery: American Military Base in South Korea Dramatically Expands

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics, Social Media

When President Trump came to South Korea earlier this month, he spoke to troops at the U.S. Army garrison known as Camp Humphreys — 40 miles south of Seoul — rather than at Yongsan, the main military headquarters in the center of the capital city.

Humphreys has gradually become the hub for American forces on the peninsula, and by next year most most of them will be stationed south of the Han River, which dissects Seoul, under a relocation agreement reached more than a decade ago.

A 3,500-acre base, Humphreys has dramatically expanded over time and is now the largest United States military installation overseas. It houses more than 10,000 soldiers — with a total population of more than 25,000, including families and South Korean troops — and has one of the busiest military airfields in Asia.

See the transformation:

CREDIT: Before/after tool created by NPR Visuals.

Mapping GeoJSON On Github

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Social Media

I’ve been hoping to tinker with Github’s new mapping service since the company announced it earlier this month. Turns out it’s quite easy. You just commit a GeoJSON file to your repo, and voilà.

The points on this simple map represents the location of each car2go I’ve rented (excluding those in Austin, Texas). Surprise, they’re mostly clustered in our neighborhood:

car2go locations

This is a simple as it gets. The service also allows other data types, like polygons, for example. Tomorrow I’ll try a more interesting data set, maybe DC property parcels or 311 calls locations. And I’ll experiment with the Github docs to see how I can customize the icons and design. We’ll see…

BTW: Github is using MapBox to create its custom map base layer. Read more about that here. And thanks to my co-worker, Chris Groskopf, whose csvkit suite makes it super easy to convert basic data files into GeoJSON.

Tracking Check-ins With Foursquare Time Machine

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Social Media

Location-based service Foursquare recently released a new feature allowing users to track their past checks by location, venue type and other metrics The browser app visualizes check-ins in sequential order, creating a colorful map and ultimately a personalized infographic.

Apparently, I’ve checked in on foursquare more than 2,400 times — so mine took a bit — but the end result is (slightly) interesting:

foursquare-the-next-big-thing

PREVIOUSLY: 

Charting Tweets At #UNITY12

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Social Media

Last week I attended the UNITY journalism conference in Las Vegas, and during my stay I ingested more than 9,000 tweets that had the #UNITY12 hashtag. This line chart shows how the traffic ebbed and flowed each day:

As of dinnertime Saturday, when I stopped collecting the tweets, these attendees were the most prolific users of the hashtag: @NABJDigital (164 tweets), @sandhyadirks (136), @emmacarew (118), @joshstoffregen (102), @VictoriaLim (98), @DorisTruong (88), @webjournalist (77), @L2theS2theV (75), @barbaradozetos (70), @cecepmarshall (69).

Download the data, and let me know what you find.

Visualizing the MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Social Media

I’ve spent the last few days in Boston, helping the Knight Foundation visualize data about attendees at its Civic Media Conference. Here is some of that work, which Knight has posted on its blog:

First, I wanted to know when people applied for the Knight News Challenge on networks, the winners of which were announced yesterday. Apparently some of the applicants are procrastinators:

This morning I charted more than 2,600 tweets posted with #civicmedia hashtag yesterday. Tweets by the hour:

Tweets by the minute:

And the people who posted most with the hashtag:

I also spent some time looking at the demographics of the attendees:

By state:

By domain name type and gender:

Some of the visualizations focused on the panel discussions. For a panel featuring DC’s HomicideWatch, I charted five decades of homicides in the city:

And for a session featuring Paul Salopek, a reporter planning to spend years walking the historic path of human migration from Asia to South America, I mapped migration by country last year:

Ranking TechRaking Tweets

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Social Media

Dozens of technologists and journalists today descended on Google’s beautiful Mountain View, Calif., campus for a discussion about technology and journalism. The conference, organized by the Center for Investigative Reporting, led to some prolific tweeting, as one might expect.

I used a simple script to ingest the 1,500-plus tweets with the search API into a sqlite database. This chart, made with Google Docs’ chart tools (when in Rome…), shows the top 25 most prolific tweeters (as of 4:30 p.m. pacific) who used the #techraking and #techrakingcir hash tags.

Congrats, Ian Hill, you top the list (which includes, I think, some spammers):

This is just a quick chart made in a rush. Feel free to download and check out the pipe-delimited data for yourself: #techraking | #techrakingcir. Send me your visualizations or thoughts, and I’ll post ‘em here. See the full list of Twitter user counts here.