Event localization and visualization in social networks

Prasanna Giridhar, Tarek Abdelzaher, Jemin George, Lance Kaplan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Social networks such as Twitter carry important information on ongoing events and as such can be viewed as networks of sensors that monitor and report events in the physical world. An important problem in sensor network literature is that of localization. In the case of monitoring physical events, the localization problem refers to inferring event location from sensor data. In this demonstration, we present a tool that automatically identifies distinct physical events referred to in social network feeds (namely, Twitter feeds) and automatically localizes them. To do so, we designed an algorithm that identifies distinct event signatures in the blogosphere, clusters microblogs based on events they describe, and analyzes the resulting clusters for location information. This information is then translated using the Google Maps API for geo-location, offering a real-time view of ongoing events on a map. To evaluate this tool, we used road traffic related Twitter feeds from San Francisco area in California and corroborate automatic event localization within our service to manually obtained ground truth data. Results show a great correspondence between our automatically determined geo-locations and ground-truth. In the demo, users will be allowed to interact with this and other Twitter data, identify distinct physical events, and locate them in time and space on a map.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications Workshops, INFOCOM WKSHPS 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781467371315
StatePublished - Aug 4 2015
EventIEEE Conference on Computer Communications Workshops, INFOCOM WKSHPS 2015 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: Apr 26 2015May 1 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


OtherIEEE Conference on Computer Communications Workshops, INFOCOM WKSHPS 2015
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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