Press Office


League of tweets


New football tweet map charts the chatter around this weekend’s Tyne and Wear derby.

Scientists at Newcastle University have used their expertise in Geomatics to plot the football chatter on Twitter.

Employing the same geospatial engineering techniques that were developed by the team to map the recent flooding across the North East, the programme shows in real time, who’s talking about what around the globe.

Using GPS location data to track tweets which include the key football hashtags – such as #nufc and #safc – the map shows which clubs are the most tweeted about and the spread of football fans around the world.

They have also tracked tweets during key games, showing the peaks and troughs of chatter throughout.  And on Sunday, Newcastle and Sunderland fans will be able to watch in real time who and where in the world fans are talking about the game.

“The programme was initially developed to monitor what was happening on social media during the recent flooding events,” explains creator Neil Harris, a Research Assistant in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University.

“We wanted to know if Twitter activity correlated to the severity of the floods and how accurate the information coming through was, so we encouraged people to use a specific hashtag and switch on the GPS on their phones so we could build up a flood map.

“I have a passion for football and wanted to see if we could do a similar thing for the nation’s favourite game – a map that could track the chatter around a club in real-time to build up a picture of the buzz around a match or club and the spread of fans around the world.”

Project lead Phil James, a lecturer in Geomatics, adds: “This work is an extension of the citizen science concept.

“Social media is an excellent way of gathering information and involving people in our research and provides us with data which we couldn’t easily gather on our own.

“During the recent floods we were able to build up a picture of the worst-hit areas, the depth of the water in some places, flash points and other information that is helping others in our team to find ways to mitigate the effects of future flooding.”

To get your tweet tracked on the live map you need to make sure the GPS on your smart phone is switched on and you use your club’s official hashtag.

The live football tweet map can be accessed at:

published on: 13 April 2013