A Free Open Source Tool to Analyze Twitter

A Free Open Source Tool to Analyze Twitter

This article is a bit technical, but the end result will help you to search Twitter, analyze the tweets and then export them into a CSV file for loading into a spreadsheet application - all with a free open source tool. This article is just the beginning. We'll take a look at graphing, wordclouds and sentiment analysis in the next few weeks. All of these things are critical in identifying trends during disaster response and recovery. Twitter is great for emergency management, emergency response, and trend analysis but getting the tweets into a program for manipulation can be expensive or require a significant knowledge of programming. We're going to explore the use of "R" and "RStudio" to perform a Twitter search. While it's not simple, it does allow you to (fairly) easily get data into other programs where things ARE much simpler. "R" is an open source and free "language and environment for statistical computing and graphics". It is part of the "GNU Project", a collection of software including applications, libraries and developer tools. The GNU project has been around since 1984 and the project software is used, in some way, on almost every UNIX machine in existence. In our case, however, we're going to use the Microsoft Windows version of R, and don't be scared off by the description of what the software does. This guide may seem daunting, but it's not too complex. I'll bring you through the process step by step. Installing "R" and "R Studio" We're going to install both R, and R Studio. R is the component that actually executes our work, retrieves the data...
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