Water in the News Analytics by Igor Markelov

Ever wondered how water makes its way into the news and social media? Well Igor Markelov was interested, and so he decided to perform some analysis of Twitter data to see how water was tweeted about. This was done for the 'Water in the News' portion of the WATER 601 and 602 courses, where students are asked to read a news article related to water and bring it to class to discuss. Why read one article when you can summarize thousands, right?

The first two times this was done by Igor, he used a machine learning method to analyze Twitter data; the last time he used Google Trends directly to summarize water in the news. Check out the respective links to find out more about these methods! 

This post will summarize some of the key points from the analytics and will largely just re-post this pictures from Igor's analysis (with some base commentary).


Twitter Analysis

The tweets by Region show that the US is a large portion of the total world tweets about water.tweets about water by region

Staying in the US, the tweets by City show when water tweets peak with concerning water events.

water tweets in the United States, showing peaks with droughts and heavy rains

The water tweets by News Channel, a relatively even distribution across networks.

water tweets by news channel

Tweets by political affiliation show that people affiliated with the Conservative Party tweeted the least about water between November and December 2015.

water tweets by political affiliation

Some self-explanatory tweets about water regarding research topics, water events, etc.

water tweets by research topicwater tweets by water body typewater tweets about water qualitywater tweets about floods and droughts

There can also be an analysis done to show the general attitude about water in the tweets, which is shown in the plots below.

attitute in tweets about waterattitude in tweets about water in News Channels

Since the WATER 601 course happened around the time of the Flint, Michigan water crisis, check out the spike in tweets about Flint during January and February 2016.

attitude in tweets about Flint


Google Trends

These results are provided using Google Trends analytics, which are easy to see from entering a search term (no coding required).

The first graphic shows how the local news events in the Grand River can transpose onto the peaks in Google searches.

Google search trends about the Grand River between 2008 and 2016

See how our little Grand River compares to other major rivers of the world, in terms of how much it is searched.

Google search trends for major rivers compared to the Grand River


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