What do Tweeters Talk about in Barcelona?

By first counting the most frequently used words in tweets from Barcelona, we were able to identify specific keywords that are related to events occurring in the city. Here, we were intrigued by the notion of events moving people in space and hence, we sought to explore the hypothesis of having EventsScapes in the city, In other words, how can events form landscapes of human interaction in a city.

The next step was to identify the main features of these keywords and to group them into categories to create a taxonomy of events. The four main groups were entertainment, politics, sport and technology.

Using Gephi which is an open-source network analysis and visualization software package, we were able to group the tweeters into the four topics of interest and visualize the density of tweets. Each node represents a unique user ID, whereas the lines are the connection between the tweeters and the events they post about. Thus, not only were we able to pinpoint the main event Barcelona tweets about which is sports, but we also managed to identify the topics associated with each other. For example, it was observed that Politics and Sports were commonly related, with 37% of people tweeting about events related to both topics over the course of four months.

We were also interested to see whether the occurring of an event amplified the urge to tweet. Political tweets were significantly higher on days when protests and political events took place whereas sport-related tweets were quite common daily with a slight increase in tweets on the days where La Liga football matches took place. Other events related to entertainment would start days before in anticipation and start decreasing after the incident with significantly higher peaks during it.

Finally, we narrowed down our analysis by comparing two events from similar categories, then tracked the tweet locations of each user throughout our timeframe to identify the level of “locality” of each event. For example, we managed to see that when La Liga matches and LadyGaga concert are compared, tweets of La Liga came from almost every area in Barcelona, therefore, classifying it as a local event. However, the majority of Lady Gaga tweets appeared within a few days of the event and were concentrated around the theatre area leading us to label it as a tourists event.


This seminar enabled us to visualize the power of events in shaping the patterns and behaviors in a city and taken further; it could lead us not only to more accurate results but also to anticipate people’s reactions and add to the urban planning process of a city.

EventScapes is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, developed at MaCT (Master in City & Technology), 2017-18 by:
Student: Najla Aldah | Ren Jiale
Faculty: Luis Falcón