HDMA hosts a successful 2017 Summer Specialist Meeting!

The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) hosted another successful Summer Specialist Meeting entitled “Social Media Analytics and Decision Support Systems: Applications to Public Health and Crisis Management” on August 15 and 16, 2017 in San Diego. The specialist meeting (workshop) was co-funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) project award #1416509, IBSS: Spatiotemporal Modeling of Human Dynamics Across Social Media and Social Networks and award #1634641, IMEE: Integrated Stage-Based Evacuation with Social Perception Analysis and Dynamic Population Estimation.

The goal of the workshop was to foster the multidisciplinary collaboration in related research disciplines, including geography, linguistics, computer science, political science, public health, civil engineering, and communication. The workshop brought together over 30 specialists drawn from many disciplines to assess the current state of the art technologies and tools for studying social media analytics and decision support systems, identify and prioritize a research agenda, and begin the development of a research community of collaborating scholars working on these Big Data, social media, and decision support systems (DSS) issues.

Over 30 participants from multiple disciplines participated in the summer workshop.

Dr. Tsou introduces the goals of the summer workshop to participants.

HDMA Center Hosts a Successful 2017 Big Data Hackaton!

The second Big Data Hackathon for San Diego organized at the San Diego State University provided the platform and resources needed for students and collaborators from varied disciplines to come together and develop projects that will benefit the San Diego community. This event took place on February 18-26, 2017 and brought together collaborators from SDSU, UCSD, TAMU, Oregon State University and local high schools.

The theme for the hackathon this year was Public Health and at least 18 unique, exciting public health ideas for the San Diego community emerged in this event. Ideas ranged from individual health related concerns such as heart diseases, developmental disorders and mental issues to those targeting specific community needs such as access to safe drinking water, food banks and resources for the war veteran community in San Diego.

The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) at SDSU started this hackathon event in 2015 with the goal of getting together like-minded students and experts and developing technology-based solutions to important civic issues in California. Participants generate or use publicly accessible datasets on San Diego, California and the rest of the United States and build their solutions. Speaking about what the participants have to gain from such experiences, Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou, Professor in Geography at SDSU and Director of HDMA said that the “students learn how to analyze Public Health Data and how to use Data Analytic Tools/Methods to solve real world public health problems in a teamwork format.”


First prize winners!

Click here to visit the hackaton website!

Click here to watch an overview video!

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Spitzberg for receiving two awards!

Congratulations to Dr. Spitzberg, who received the 2016: Communication Apprehension and Competence Division of the National Communication Association Edited Book award for: A. Hannawa & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), Communication competence (in Handbooks of Communication Science series, P. Cobley & P. J. Schulz, series Eds.). Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.


Dr. Spitzberg also was awarded the 2016: Human Communication and Technology division of the National Communication Association article award for: Spitzberg, B. H. (2014). Toward a model of meme diffusion (M3D). Communication Theory, 24, 311-339. doi:10.1111/comt.12042

Professor Spitzberg awarded the 2015 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Book Award

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Congratulations to Professor Brian Spitzberg for receiving the 2015 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association’s Interpersonal Communication Division!  The title of his book is “The Dark Side of Relationship Pursuit: From Attraction to Obsession and Stalking” (2nd ed.)”  Dr. Spitzberg’s achievement will be honored with a spotlight panel next year, at NCA’s 2016 convention in Philadelphia.

View it on the Wiley Online Library

2015 Best Methods Award at the SM&S International Conference

The HDMA Research Team won the Best Methods Paper Award at the 2015 International Conference of Social Media and Society (July 27 – 29, 2015, Toronto, Canada).  



Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou accepting the award at the 2015 SM&S International Conference

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Authors: Ming-Hsiang Tsou, Chin-Te Jung, Christopher Allen, Jiue-An Yang, Jean-Mark Gawron, Brian H. Spitzberg & Su Han “Social Media Analytics and Research Test-bed (SMART Dashboard)”



We developed a social media analytics and research testbed (SMART) dashboard for monitoring Twitter messages and tracking the diffusion of information in different cities. SMART dashboard is an online geo-targeted search and analytics tool, including an automatic data processing procedure to help researchers to  1) search tweets in different cities;  2) filter noise (such as removing redundant retweets and using machine learning methods to improve precision);  3) analyze social media data from a spatiotemporal perspective, and  4) visualize social media data in various ways (such as weekly and monthly trends, top URLs, top retweets, top mentions, or top hashtags). By monitoring social messages in geo-targeted cities, we hope that SMART dashboard can assist researchers investigate and monitor various topics, such as flu outbreaks, drug abuse, and Ebola epidemics at the municipal level.

GeoViewer for the 2015 Nepal Earthquake

HDMA GeoViewer for Nepal Earthquake Disaster Response and Assistance


Free and open web app to track real-time messages, pictures, and locations from social media (Twitter) for disaster response and assistance efforts.

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The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) at San Diego State University developed a web-based social media mapping application, called “GeoViewer”, which can visualize the location-based social media (Twitter) in various cities and locations. This tool has collected real-time location-based tweets in Nepal and nearby areas since April 25, 2015. Users can search for the most recent tweets or historical tweets (since 4/25) by using keywords, spatial boundaries, or time. The mapping functions include hot spots, cluster maps, two base maps (OpenStreetMap and ESRI Satellite imagery layers) with adjustable transparency settings.

The GeoViewer [Geo-targeted Event Observation (GEO) Viewer] has been developed mainly by Dr. Calvin Jung (Chief Data Scientist at HDMA center) with the founding support from National Science Foundation (Award# 1416509 and #1028177), San Diego State University, and the collaboration with the County of San Diego, Office of Emergency Services (contact: Robert Barreras). Please use the GeoViewer and give us feedback about how to improve the tool for the future disaster response and assistance.


For more information, please download and read: GeoViewer: April 2015 Nepal Earthquake: A Case Study for Use in Disaster Management



Social Media Analytics Tools for AAG

The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) at San Diego State University has developed two innovative social media analytics tools for the coming 2015 AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 21-25, 2015. The SMART dashboard can summarize hot topics, voices, retweets, and persons related to 2015 AAG event. The GeoViewer can visualize the location-based social media in Chicago nearby the Conference hotel (Hyatt Regency Hotel) and what are the hot events and voices in the neighborhood. These tools are free and public accessible.

Let’s use the #AAG2015 and #HDMA to provide the two cool tools developed by us!

Give them a look!


  1. 2015 AAG SMART Dashboard:


    You can use our SMART dashboard to find out the most popular web stories, tweets, people, and topics during the AAG meeting. The lists are dynamics updated daily (2AM in Pacific Time) by search related keywords using the Twitter Search APIs.

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  2. GeoViewer for Chicago neighborhood near the 2015 AAG conference:


    You can use the tools to search for GPS- tagged tweets in Chicago for specific keywords within a time frame or within a spatial polygon. The database is updated every 1 minute (Real-time) by using the Streaming APIs. Since we cannot control the contents of tweets or images from Twitter servers. Please be aware that some inappropriate pictures may be displayed in the Viewer. Users can select the display of tweets by text-only or image-only or both.

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Feedback and Suggestions about SMART dashboard and GeoViewer: hdmasdsu@gmail.com