This research investigated people’s communication of urban space as reflected in Twitter messages (tweets) during the 2012 Super Bowl. The authors archived over 600,000 tweets related to the Super Bowl from January 23 through early February 6. The authors identified 78 Indianapolis-area places or routes named in the tweets. Based on occurrence of these terms, the authors retained 9,103 city-specific messages for analysis. The frequency of such tweets changed over the two-week period and peaked two days before game day. Instances of all of Lynch’s (1960) The Image of the City elements (node, district, landmark, path, and edge) were found in the tweets. While node-referencing terms were most common among the 78 spatial identifiers, district and landmark references were most common in the tweet sample. Edge references were almost non-existent and only occurred as named waterways. This research has implications for city-oriented social media monitoring efforts for future special events.
This research was published in the Journal of Urban Technology.