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Apps Make Sense of Social Media 'noise'

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Social networks.

Two new applications could transform the social media activities of New Yorkers into viable data.

Credit: Kileman

Cornell University researchers have developed two projects that aim to transform New Yorkers' social media activity into viable data.

"Social media has a lot of content, a lot of noise, but for anything important it's hard to access," says Cornell professor Mor Naaman. "Social media tells us what's going on, and we can model it in a way that's easily accessible and usable."

CityBeat is an interactive application and news ticker that gathers social media and extracts useful, usable information from it. CityBeat features trending New York City events, and also can serve as the equivalent of a police scanner. ParkBeat aims to help New York's Department of Parks and Recreation effectively send resources to the 29,000 acres it manages in the city. The researchers say the parks department could use the application's aggregated meta- and geo-tagged data on social media to send crews to the proper locations that need service.

"Seven or eight years after social media took off, we're still doing a very poor job representing events in social media," Naaman says.

From Cornell Chronicle
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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