Visualising Birmingham Elections 2014

I’ve done some visualisations of voting patterns in Birmingham at the 2014 council elections. Head over to The Data Mine to see the full set, and if you want to leave comments, put them here, as the company website doesn’t allow commenting!

VotingOverviewVisualisation

Visualisation of Voting in Birmingham Council Elections 2014

See more details on each ward and party on The Data Mine. Comments welcome below…

 

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TEDxBrum – Tweets Up Until the End of Afternoon Break

So far, I’ve recorded 4395 tweets mentioning “TEDxBrum” or “MarkingTheMap”. Here’s what they said…

Tweets Wordle till Sat after afternoon break - white background 1571x607

Or if you prefer a black background:Tweets Wordle till Sat after afternoon break - black background 1680x694

Again, thanks to Wordle!

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TEDxBrum – Twitter Discussion Till Lunchtime

I’m doing Twitter analysis for TEDxBrum 2013. There have been some amazing speakers so far and more to come. Here’s a Wordle showing what people on Twitter have been discussing up until lunch. Click for a bigger view…

Tweets Wordle till Sat Lunchtime1680x1018

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TEDxBrum – Twitter Sketches

Here’s some quick sketch of Twitter traffic for TEDxBrum this morning.

There have been about 1100 tweets between midnight this morning and the first break. I’ve had to scale down #TEDxBrum & #MarkingTheMap so they fit, otherwise they’d be 5 or 6 times the width of the page. Click for a bigger image.
Tweets Wordle till Sat first break 1680x969

Here’s a map of  the Twitter users who have tweeted about TEDxBrum up until the first break.  I haven’t had time to analyse the clusters yet, but I see some technology people in the yellow group, social and political in red. Any other interpretations

Tweeters Till Sat AM graph - org2  1680x1187

Here’s another map of about 90 of the 300 attendees, using twitter handles supplied at registration and some quite clear cluster appearing:

Attendees (about 90 out of 300) - Twitter connection Map

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Twitter Map Portrait of TEDxBrum

TED & TEDx are brilliant events with high quality speakers talking about interesting things. If you haven’t checked them out before, have a look at the TEDxBrum and TED  websites.

Last year I mapped the social network impact of TEDxBrum. My work in this area has advanced with various private mapping projects as well as public ones such as the Birmingham Food Scene Map, so I thought it was worth re-visiting TEDxBrum, particularly as the theme this year is maps.

So, here’s what I call a “Twitter Map Portrait” of @TEDxBrum. It shows the interconnections between followers of @TEDxBrum and also allocates them into “communities” based on who else they follow.

Followers of TEDxBrum. Colours indicate different communities. Size indicates how well followed an account is by other TEDxBrum followers.

Followers of TEDxBrum. Colours indicate different communities. Size indicates how well followed an account is by other TEDxBrum followers. Click the image for a larger view or download the PDF for maximum zoom-ability.

We can see that TEDxBrum’s followers break down into  several different communities, lets have a closer look and see if we can figure out what they represent. Comments on this are most welcome, particularly if you identify communities or themes I’ve not spotted, or if you disagree with my categories.

Yellow – “TEDx, and Outside Brum” Communities

Let start with the section of the Yellow Group at the top left:

There is a distinct TEDx... community at the top left. Accounts here follow each other, but don't follow other Birmingham based accounts. The remainder is a bit of a catch all, consisting of accounts who also follow celebrities and big name accounts. That isn't to say it's their only interest, just that it's what they have in common.

TEDx… community (zoom of top left corner of map)

As we can see, there is a distinct TEDx… community at the top left. Accounts here follow each other, but don’t follow other Birmingham based accounts.

The rest of the Yellow Group is a bit of a catch all, consisting of accounts who also follow celebrities and big name accounts. That isn't to say it's their only interest, just that it's what they have in common. There may be other communities lurking here which I haven't spotted.

Other accounts in the Yellow Group. Click for a larger image.

The rest of the Yellow Group is a bit of a catch all, consisting of accounts who also follow celebrities and big name accounts. That isn’t to say it’s their only interest, just that it’s what they have in common. There may be other communities lurking here which I haven’t spotted. If you have any other theories about this group, please leave a comment!

Blue – “Technology and Innovation” Group

Technology

To my mind, technology and innovation seem to be the main themes here, with accounts such as Digital Birmingham, Birmingham Social Media CafeInnovation Bham Campus (at Birmingham Science Park Aston ) and Nick Holzherr.  There are also some social media “stars” at the lower end of the group (Dave Harte, Karen Strunks, Jon Bounds etc.)

Magenta – “Birmingham Business, Food and  City” Group

This group seems to break down into at-least three sub-groups, which we could identify automatically if required. To my eye, they seem to be City - Concerned with Birmingham; Food - Cafes, bars;

This group seems to break down into at-least three sub-groups, which we could identify automatically if required. To my eye, they seem to be Birmingham Business – Concerned with business in the city such as Business Birmingham, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and also Ed James (Bham Publicity Association/ Bham Press Club / Heart FM Breakfast); Food – Cafes, bars and other accounts which also appear in my map of Birmingham Food Scene; City- Accounts with a strong local focus  like Birmingham Live,   I Am BirminghamOuter Circle Bus and My Jewellery Quarter (who also feature in my analysis of the first TEDxBrum event).

Red – “Arts” Group

The arts is big in Birmingham

The arts is big in Birmingham, so it’s no surprise to see such a large arts-related group. I’m also considering creating a Birmingham Arts Scene map, and it would be interesting to compare prominence of accounts between the two. Prominent accounts include mac (or as I still call it, “The Midland’s Arts Centre”), Custard Factory, Ikon Gallery, as well as Cy(ber) Birmingham (also prominent in my food scene map).

Green – “Politics, Social Media, Social Conscience” Group

Social Media

Local Political Accounts such as Politics in Brum and Claire Spencer and Bham City Council  and Social Conscience / Social Action such as Birmingham Friends of the Earth , Nick Booth (@podnosh)Be Birmingham, and Louise Teboul. Also present are some core TEDxBrum Accounts such as Anneka Deva (TEDxBrum Curator) and Imandeep Kaur (TEDxBrum Outreach Co-ordinator)

Conclusions

TEDxBrum has a wide network, focussed on Birmingham, with representation from a number of key areas. It would be interesting to identify local communities that haven’t plugged in to TEDxBrum yet, for example, is there a local medical community on Twitter?

I’d be very interested to hear your comments on the groups identified and any other aspects,  either via twitter @AndyPryke (follow me for more similar investigations) or in the comments section below. A Birmingham Music Scene and Arts Scene map are currently planned, I’d be interested  in  your ideas for future maps, and, of course, I’m available for commercial work in the area too (which comes with a lot more detail) and I’m happy to chat about any type of data, analysis or visualisation.

Look forward to seeing you at TEDxBrum on the 8th of June!

Reproduction Rights

You are welcome to reproduce these images as long as you reference either @AndyPryke or include a link to this blog post. I’d love to hear if you do. Mapping Birmingham’s Food Scene by Andy Pryke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Creative Commons License

Acknowlegements

  • R – Excellent language for data mining, analysis and visualisation.  Been using it since 2003 and it keeps getting better. Also the twitteR package by Jeff Gentry and igraph package by Gábor Csárdi
  • XChange PDF Viewer – Very useful PDF viewer, allows annotations and easy to snapshot enlarged PDFs.
  • Irfanview – Lightweight image viewer / editor with enough features for almost all my image editing
  • Tony Hirst (@psychemedia) – The doyen of Twitter visualisation, whose tutorials have been very useful to me.

Aston

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Mapping Birmingham’s Food Scene

Our Approach

Starting with a list of about a dozen twitter accounts in Birmingham’s Food Scene, supplied by our friends @PopUpDosa, we identify who is most interested in the scene, then look at who else they follow in order to map the scene more fully.  This results in some very interesting maps with potential marketing implications for those involved.

The “seed” accounts were: @DigbethDiner, @themeatshack, @popupdosa, @smokeandumami, @ysl807, @SoulFoodProject, @brewdogbirm, @stirchleywines, @birminghamcubed, @TheWhiskyMiss, @yummy_brummie, @changekitchen

There’s a bit of a bias towards street food and savoury food, so I’d be interested to hear how I could extend the list, for example by adding @Suhaav.

Who’s Interested in Birmingham’s Food Scene?

Using our “seed list” of about a dozen food related accounts from Birmingham, we identified 133 individuals, businesses or organisations with a very high interest in Birmingham’s Food Scene. They range from the media side, such as Edible Brum Magazine (@EdibleBrum) and restaurant critic Paul Fulford (@PaulFulford), to baker and food evangelist Tom Baker (@loafonline), to blogger  and man about town (well, I see him at many events) Cy(ber) Birmingham (@cybrum), plus many more.

Click each image to see a larger version, or you can see all the details in this PDFs – which you can also search for names!

Map of twitter accounts interested in Birmingham's Food Scene

This map shows the accounts which follow at least 10 of the “seeds”. They represent people and organisations with a keen interest in Birmingham’s Food Scene.  Click for a bigger image, or you can see more detail in this PDF

The Unfiltered View

Next we look at who else these “highly interested” accounts follow…

This shows an unfiltered view of accounts followed by our "Highly Interested" group.

This shows an unfiltered view of accounts most likely to be followed by our “Highly Interested” group. Click for a bigger image or see full details in a pdf.

I’ve coloured the accounts using a clustering method, which uses information on who follows who to automatically divided them into three groups: red, green and blue. The red group at the top left contains many accounts which are generally related to Birmingham, but not so related to food. The other two groups are mainly food related, and you can spot features such as the cluster of hotels, pubs and city centre venues at the bottom left (in green) and accounts related to Stirchley at the top in Blue.

As we’re interested in the Food Scene, I’m going to cut out most of the red group. I’ll save a handful of “red” accounts which I know to be food related:

Four food related accounts hand picked from the "red" group. We'll keep these accounts in the analysis

Four food related accounts hand picked from the “red” group. We’ll keep these accounts in the analysis

Why are these accounts in the red group (and, for that matter, why are accounts like “Created in Birmingham” in the blue)? Some examples which might help explain: Dr Birgit Kehrer runs @changekitchen which has strong voluntary sector links, this has pulled the account over into the red group. Similarly, @edibleeastside , “An arts led initiative to transform a derelict site into a vibrant and contemporary urban garden…” has strong arts scene links. Note, that this doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have stong food scene links, though this could be investigated separately.  Depending on how these accounts want to position themselves,  they may want to build more links with Birmingham’s Food Scene.

Another answer is that there is no perfect clustering, there are lots of ways to categorise accounts, and the automated process won’t necessarily agree with one individual’s view. However, I think you’ll agree it’s done pretty well!

Focussing in on the Food Scene

Dropping the majority of accounts in the “red” group, we re-organise and re-cluster the accounts specifically related to food. Let’s have a look. Click for a bigger image, or for a perfectly scalable one, which will look lovely when printed, download the  pdf.

Birmingham's Food Scene Mapped.

Birmingham’s Food Scene Mapped. Click for more details, or  see it all in a zoomable format (pdf).

So… what does this tell us about Birmingham’s Food Scene on Twitter?

Well, it looks like we’ve identified many of the key players. If we want to publicise something to the “scene” we’d do well to talk to those who are most followed (largest nodes). There are a number of other “Social Network Analysis metrics” which more accurately identify influence,  and when I run these, accounts such as Claire Tortise (@FredaPR_consult), a specialist food/drink communications consultancy, stand out more clearly.

There’s quite a high degree of geographical clustering, for example, Stirchley accounts can be seen in the top left with many Kings Heath nodes close by and Moseley nodes towards the bottom left. Extrapolating from the  Twitter evidence, we could contend that in Brum, many people are “hyper-locally” guided in their food choices, which is a fancy way of saying they want to eat somewhere close by.

Noticeably distance from other Moseley nodes  is Carters of Moseley  (@cartersmoseley) which is placed adjacent to another “fine dining” account, that of Glynn Purnell (@yummy_brummie).  Which seems sensible. We could interpret this as “people interested in fine dining are willing to travel”.

I’d be very interested in hearing your comments and interpretation of this map, either via twitter @AndyPryke (follow me for more similar investigations) or in the comments section below. I’m also open to suggestions for other sectors to map, and, of course, I’m available for commercial work in the area too (which comes with a lot more detail).

Reproduction Rights

You are welcome to reproduce these images as long as you reference either @AndyPryke or include a link to this blog post. I’d love to hear if you do. Mapping Birmingham’s Food Scene by Andy Pryke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Creative Commons License

Acknowlegements

  • R – Excellent language for data mining, analysis and visualisation.  Been using it since 2003 and it keeps getting better. Also the twitteR package by Jeff Gentry
  • Wordle – Producing the word clouds
  • doPDF / novaPDF – Great virtual PDF printer, used to “print” the Wordle output to PDF files.
  • XChange PDF Viewer – Very useful PDF viewer, allows annotations and easy to snapshot enlarged PDFs.
  • Irfanview – Lightweight image viewer / editor with enough features for almost all my image editing
  • Tony Hirst (@psychemedia) – The doyen of Twitter visualisation, whose tutorials have been very useful to me.

 

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Big Data, Bigger Data and Big R Data

My recent talk at the Birmingham R User Meeting (BRUM) was on Big Data in R. Different people have different definitions of big data. For this talk,  my definition of big data is:

“Data collections big enough to require you to change the way you store and process them.” - Andy Pryke

In the talk I discuss the factors which can limit the size of data analysed using R and a variety of ways to address these, including moving data structures out of RAM and onto disk; using in database processing / analytics and harnessing the power of Hadoop to allow massively parallel R.

Here’s the presentation slides: Big Data in R (SlideShare) or download in .pptx or .ppt format.

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