Brockley Foxes Wild in the City

John is a PHD student at University College London, studying the impact of hyperlocal communities like this one.

As part of his research, he'll be asking BC readers to be interviewed, but for the time being, he has another request - one which we're hoping as many of you as possible will be willing to help with.

Below is a series of maps of Tweets by Brockley Central's followers during the course of one week in May this year, selected at random. He's taken the geolocated tweets and mapped them to see where BCers travel, a bit like Channel 4's fox-tracking experiment earlier this year. A couple of things to point out here:

First, most Tweets are geolocated, so this only represents a small slice of the actual activity.

Second, there are plenty of people who follow BC, who are not regular BC readers - some are journalists, some are colleagues or friends, some are randoms, who follow BC out of idle curiosity.
Therefore, this is by no means a reliable guide to how BCers move around the city (and the world). However, the weight of the Tweets is interesting and suggests a few patterns.

First, most BCers seem to work in London Bridge and the West End, rather than East London and Canary Wharf. Despite the rise of the East London Line, we're mostly commuting north-west, rather than north or east.

Second, you can see lines of tweets tracing the route of the train lines to London Bridge and Victoria. Lots of the tweeting gets done during the the morning and evening journeys - possibly motivated by transport frustrations...

Third, and for us the most striking thing, is how little activity there is south or east of the BC catchment area. Very few of us seem to journey outwards - our time and attention is focused on London's inner core.

This mapping exercise was just a warm-up for John. He'd like to run it again, with as much geolocated data as possible. So please would BCers enable geolocation on Twitter for the next week, so he can build as accurate a picture as possible. The data will be anonymised in his write-up, with usernames and content stripped before they are plotted.

12 comments:

anonymous said...

Props top whoever tweeted from Novaya Zemlya

fgfsgfsg and his fish said...

Whoever is in Bristol I suspect is in Brockley, North Somerset.

headhunter said...

I must admit, if you work further out in Kent or Bromley you're unlikely to live in brockley, why pay higher rent or house prices when you can get a bigger place further out and not include zone 2 in your commute. Also given the concentration of business in central London in comparison to the outer suburbs most people are going to be heading inwards.....

Richard Elliot said...

If only I was still in Sydney skewing the results.

AliAfro said...

So this is where the good people of Brockley go to toilet and check their phones...

Adrian said...

only certain types of people tweet so the sample is skewed

Columbus said...

@John Is the Geolocation set by the record on twitter account? the users browser or the closest exchange to the user in the network?
Also which tweets are by the same user?
Can we follow the progress of this anywhere?

There's some sort of pattern with a couple of anomalies thrown in
Time to take that route 66 road trip ;)

Don't get Twitter said...

Agreed with Adrian, Tweeting is not a true reflection, you'd need to see where people view the Brockley Central website to get a true picture.

John Bingham-Hall said...

@4ecd999abb0c4fdb428a50990457ad51 these show precise GPS-defined coordinates of Tweets sent with geotagging enabled, so they are an exact representation of location at the moment the tweet is sent (+/- a few metres of GPS error) but of course not necessarily a reflection of where people live or work.

As with any experimental research like this I'm feeling around for what works and treating any results with a critical eye, but hopefully it should turn out some interesting results once I've built in my other methodologies.

Follow me @J_B_H_ for now and once I have some more early results I will also post up on johnbinghamhall.tumblr.com. Other than that I'm afraid it's a good couple of years (PhD timescales!) until full reports get published!

John Bingham-Hall said...

These show precise GPS-defined coordinates of Tweets sent with geotagging enabled, so they are an exact representation of location at the moment the tweet is sent (+/- a few metres of GPS error) but of course not necessarily a reflection of where people live or work.

As with any experimental research like this I'm feeling around for what works and treating any results with a critical eye, but hopefully it should turn out some interesting results once I've built in my other methodologies.

Follow me @J_B_H_ for now and once I have some more early results I will also post up on johnbinghamhall.tumblr.com. Other than that I'm afraid it's a good couple of years (PhD timescales!) until full reports get published!



Thanks

Jonathan Waddingham said...

This is really interesting, nice work John. Does that dispel the myth that Brockley-ites all work in trendy East London agencies, especially as that sort of person is probably more likely to use Twitter and theoretically show up more in the sample? Maybe we all work for boring corporates and the organic, health food cliche is a clever smokescreen...
I'd be keen to hear more about the survey too, sounds good.

Monkeyboy said...

Well media types and rabid bigots in my experience.

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