Graph your Twitter network with Gephi

Gephi is a really cool open-source (GPL) project for visualizing and analyzing network graphs.

Getting started

If you want to start using Gephi you have two choices:

Both of them are really modular, and can also be extended with big variety of available plugins, contributed by third party developers.

Crawling your Twitter network

Twitter offers a REST API. In this case I have used Spring Social, an extension of the Spring Framework that simplifies the connection with social networks such as Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter (docs).

For example, obtaining the list of followers of a given user is something as simple as:

TwitterTemplate twitter = new TwitterTemplate();
List<TwitterProfile> result =
		twitter.friendOperations().getFollowers("palmerabollo");

The bad news is that the API is rate limited to 150 requests/hour, and you can increase it if you use OAuth to authenticate your requests. This limit is too low (I think Twitter is trying to protect their data from being extracted) and forced me to introduce a basic cache layer (just a Map) to save some requests. The cache is coupled with the application code, it could be certainly improved.

Final result

You can find the code at github. Remember that this is a proof of concept, so it can be improved a lot. I am waiting for your pull requests.

Gephi Twitter

Lessons learned and future work

By the way, if anyone else is interested in offering this service through a web interface, please let me know.


Hello. Call me Guido · Twitter · My bot (alpha) ·