CASCI Tool Talk (March 15th): Twitter Goggles for Big Social Data Collection and Management

Twitter Goggles for Big Social Data Collection and Management: Situating a Simple Tool in a Research Program

Sean Goggins, Drexel University
Friday, March 15th, 12-1pm.
Hornbake Building, South Wing, Room 2116

Abstract

Interdisciplinary research involving social scientists in collaboration with statisticians, computer scientists, and linguists among others is necessary in order to leverage available Big Data for addressing the grand challenges facing society.  The key missing piece that would enable this process is an eScience infrastructure to facilitate systematically identifying, collecting, preserving and preparing big social data collections for research.  The emergence of social, cultural, political and educational content production available online in collaborative contexts produces big data that challenges traditional social science research methods.  Individual studies of small to medium sized corpora from single social data sources, like Twitter and Facebook, demonstrate the feasibility of data focused social science.  However, pushing beyond these feasibility studies to make sense of heterogeneous, big social data at a grand scale, researchers need new capacities for collaborating around data collection, management, and sense making.  In particular, without continuous, standardized data collection, social scientists focused on similar questions may yield different results or conclusions, or may even find it difficult or impossible to compare findings in a meaningful way.  Our interdisciplinary research effort addresses these challenges head on, starting with the open source data collection and management toolkit we are developing, called “Twitter Goggles”.