Twitter’s #DataGrants project gives trove of data to 6 research projects

Researchers at six institutions just hit the data jackpot.

Twitter selected these six research teams from a pool of more than 1,300 applicants around the globe that submitted proposals to the company’s #DataGrants program. The winners will receive relevant chunks of Twitter’s vast heaps of data both present and past, the company announced in a blog post on Thursday.

As of Twitter’s seventh birthday in March 2013, the network reportedly had more than 200 million users sending about 400 million tweets per day, and it has only grown in popularity during the past year. Essentially, the company is sitting on one of the most impressive sources of real-time data the world has ever seen.

Since Twitter’s IPO in November, the network has been especially motivated to monetize its assets. The #DataGrants program is an opportunity for Twitter to further display the value of its data, while also providing a public service.

Twitter is calling the initial six #DataGrants selections a pilot program, and the company said it has plans to expand it.

Here’s a rundown of the winning proposals:

  • The Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital will combine to monitor foodborne gastrointestinal illness with the data.

  • Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology will use the data for the benefit of its Disaster Information Analysis System, which attempts to analyze data from social media during large-scale disasters.

  • The University of Twente in the Netherlands won a grant to look into how Twitter could be used to spread cancer early detection campaigns.

  • Researchers at the University of California’s San Diego campus will attempt to measure happiness of cities by analyzing pictures.

  • At Australia’s University of Wollongong, researchers will use Twitter’s geocoding to map urban flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia.

  • A team at the University of East London plans to study the relationship between tweets and sports teams perform.

Photo by Kooroshication/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Fran Berkman

Fran Berkman

Fran Berkman is a technology reporter whose work for the Daily Dot focused on cryptocurrencies and internet freedom. In April 2017, he joined BuzzFeed as the deputy director of news curation.