Putting humanitarian work on the map

phys.org | 4/18/2019 | Staff
gbabii05gbabii05 (Posted by) Level 3
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Australia's community services have reaped the rewards of data crunching projects that transform complex social information into visual tools.

"By linking data from government, health organizations, community groups, and the public, we can build useful analytic tools on hard-to-quantify data," said Associate Professor Amir Aryani, who leads Swinburne's Social Data Analytics (SoDA) Lab.

Project - Family - Violence - News - Media

One project explored how family violence is presented in the news and on social media.

"We have so much material in language that is messy and nuanced," explained Professor Anthony McCosker, Deputy Director of Swinburne's Social Innovation Research Institute.

Data - Something - Sense - People - Words

"We want to shape big data into something that makes sense to people. But it's hard to turn words into numbers."

McCosker's team, including data scientist, Dr. Arezou Paneh, used topic modeling to extract key themes around domestic violence from government reports, and then searched for these in news stories and Twitter posts.

Data - Visualization - Studies - Scale - Paneh

"Data visualization makes studies of this scale possible," said Paneh.

"We had 100,000 tweets and 11,000 media stories and by identifying a theme in each one, we could make and test hypotheses."

Source - Language - Set - Survey - Responses

By drawing on this immense source of "natural language," rather than a limited set of contrived survey responses, the team could see how the discussion changed over time.

Between 2014 and 2018, people became more engaged in domestic violence discussions following televised events featuring public figures,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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