Visualizing Vancouver Transit Referendum Twitter Network

Between January and may 2015 Metro Vancouver was immersed in a debate about investments in public transit for the next 30 years. The topic became controversial when Mayor’s Council proposed to increase the sales taxes to fund the project, and a referendum was called to decide about the adoption of this new revenue sources for Metro Vancouver transportation.

During 30 days, from Feb 11 to March 11, we captured the conversation about the Vancouver transit referendum on Twitter to investigate how digital social media platforms has been used to broadcast information of public interest as well as to promote civic engagement. Using seven different hashtags as anchors, we collected and analyzed 8,755 tweets from 2,710 profiles, and built a visualization to investigate the nature and dynamic of the network formed around this topic. This visualization maps and explorer public opinion, interactions, collaborations, and disagreement among people using social platforms to participate on the debate around public affairs.

See the project page.

See the visualization here: 


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