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#breastcancer Twitter connections

Eric Clarke, Richard Arnett and Jane Burns, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

This is a graphical visualisation of data extracted from tweets containing the hashtag #breastcancer. Twitter users are represented by dots, called nodes, and lines connecting the nodes represent the relationships between the Twitter users. Nodes are sized differently according to the number and importance of other nodes they are connected with, and the thickness of each connecting line is determined by the number of times that a particular relationship is expressed within the data. The ‘double yolk’ structure at the top of the image indicates common mentions of two accounts. This area of the graph provides a graphical expression of trending data in Twitter, as it represents one tweet that was retweeted thousands of times.


Imaging technique: computer analysis/graphical visualisation

The primary goal of graphical visualisation is to make complex data more accessible and understandable, allowing viewers to explore connections which may not be apparent when viewing complex data sets. Here, 92,915 tweets containing #breastcancer were collected over an eight-week period. The tweets were analysed to identify their authors and establish connections to other Twitter users retweeted or mentioned in their tweets.

Location where image was created

Dublin, Ireland

Image creators

Eric, Richard and Jane are from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Eric is an academic member of staff and a lecturer in health informatics, Richard is the Associate Director of the RCSI Quality Enhancement Office (QEO) and teaches and consults on psychometrics, and Jane is a research officer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Find out more.

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