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How To Stalk People Through Twitter

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MiMo
May 13th, 2009

A conversation with a bioinformatics friend of his, artist Jer Thorp found his inspiration. The conversation was about how to model the spread of the H1N1 disease throughout the world. With that in mind Jer decided to run his own visualization model. Unfortunately he lacked the H1N1 disease data, but what he did have available to him was all the information the social networks provide to all of us for free. Jer went ahead and used Twitter as the source for his data. He search for tweets that have words “Just Landed” in the them within the last 36 hours. By reading those tweets he would find out where that person has landed, by looking at that person’s Twitter profile, he was able to figure out their home town. With this data provided to him for free, he was able to construct the visualization you are watching above. Personally I have always found it very impressive to find out how much information we are actually sharing about ourselves to the rest of the world. A bit creepy, but it is our own doing.

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