Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Discussion Prompts


Mapping Social Media: What's It Good For?

You've now had some experience playing around with mapping Flickr photos and other social media sources, so let's talk about what this means for the future. Let's say everyone registered for this MOOC tweets five times (once each week) and mentions locations in each message (plus they have profile locations, and a GPS-recorded place where the phone was located when the Tweet was posted). That would result in tweets all over the world by the tens of thousands.

  • Look for some examples outside of the ones we've used in class that use maps to show social media. Share them if you like. Can you understand the stories they're trying to tell? Why or why not?
  • Scale is an issue for multiple reasons when it comes to mapping social media. What are some ways scale plays a role in social media mapping?
  • How would you propose to show tens of thousands of messages on a map so that you could actually do something with this sort of data?
  • What real-world tasks do you think can be accomplished (at least in part) by using social media maps?