Home Research How to Get Data from Twitter

This tutorial uses Tweepy software to use Python to get data from Twitter.  This tutorial was presented today at the Community Data Science Workshop @UW.  The first tutorial, an introduction to APIs, is here.

1) Get a a Twitter API key & access token

1) Then get a bunch of Python programs for Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 1.35.18 PM

2) Put the authentification information into a Python program

  • Download a text editor like Smultron
  • Open a new file and type your keys and tokens so it looks like this:

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 1.28.53 PM

  • Save the file as “twitter_authentication.py” to the file of Twitter programs you just downloaded from GitHub.  (Replace the existing file with this name.)

3) Get tweets from Twitter

  • In your terminal run the command “python twitter1.py”.
  • Tweets should appear.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 1.38.04 PM

  • This means you successfully used the Twitter API in a basic way.
  • This Twitter data looks messy and that is something you need to get used to.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 1.50.20 PM

  • 99% data science is using your brain to figure out what the data you are looking at means.
  • 1% of data science is using statistics to interpret the data (or so says Guy)
  • Then you use additional commands in Python to extract pieces of information (like time zone) that you may want to analyze.



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