Python for Geo-Scripting

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Harvesting tweets with Python

As background knowledge it is assumed that you know what a JSON is. If not, have a look at JSON Intro. Also acquaint yourself yourself with the datastructure of tweets. You can find it on API Tweets. Try to find out for example where spatial references are made in a tweet.

  • 8:30-12.15: Self-study by working on the two notebooks below.
  • 13:30-14:15: Feedback and presentation about social media as a source of spatial data
  • 14:15-17:00 Assignment

Python notebooks for the self-study

Connecting and harvesting real-time tweets

Harvesting real-time tweets

Assignment 14

Create a twitter harvesting application that harvests tweets (either real-time or stored), and create a spatial dataset and map from it. The application should be able to: collect tweets based on a thematic and/or spatial query.


  • Feed a spatial database with information tweeted real time from a certain location and plot it on a map.
  • Create a map indicating where traffic jams, disruptions in the public transport or ... took place last week.
  • Create a map indicating the home countries of international tourists visiting Amsterdam (or Wageningen if you like)
  • Go out with your smartphone (what else should you do during lunch), collect spatial information (for examples POIs on the campus) by tweeting from various locations using a specific hashtag (make sure location is enabled on your twitter account), harvest these tweets with an application, and create a map from it.
  • .... think of something else.

Send in your application as a python script as well as a screenshot of the map you produced.

If you want to go beyond todays tutorials, have a look at some cookbooks and examples: