Code clouds: Qualitative geovisualization of geotweets

The popularity of geotagged social media has provided many research opportunities for geographers and GIScientists in the digital age. This article reviews innovative approaches to studying spatially linked social media, and applies lessons taken from qualitative GIS and geographic visualization to improve these approaches. I introduce the idea of “code clouds” as a potential technique for the qualitative geovisualization of spatial information. Code clouds can depict and visualize analytic codes, or codes identifying key ideas and themes, that are generated through digital qualitative research. Rather than transforming qualitative forms of data into categories or numbers, code clouds attempt to preserve and represent the context of data as a visualized outcome of qualitative analysis. Professor Jung use examples from an exploratory case study of geotweets in King County, WA, to demonstrate how code clouds can be applied to the production of meanings through qualitative geovisualization.