We’re happy to announce a new addition to SocialCentiv’s background processing hub. Around the office, we refer to this new addition as Inuit, inspired by the group of people located near the Arctic who are known for having 50 words that mean 'snow.'
Within the SocialCentiv app, Inuit returns alternate names for cities, states, and countries (collectively referred to as descriptors). Descriptors can include common misspellings like 'New Yurk City' for 'New York City', abbreviations such as "NYC", or nicknames such as "The Big Apple".
For those familiar with Twitter, you've probably noticed many alternative descriptors for a particular location that Twitter users insert as their location on their Twitter bio, such as the variations of New York City in the Tweets shown below.
Why does this matter?
This is significant because retrieving tweets that only reference "New York City" would miss out on several possible variations of that name and thus not maximize the total number of tweets we might receive. The number of descriptors per city varies, but most major cities have several descriptors.
How many different ways are there to say the name of a city?
Well, it depends on where you call home. Below are some samples of the various descriptors per city:
- New York City: 25
- San Francisco: 21
- Chicago: 11
Prior to Inuit, we did have a small number of descriptors for some of the major cities in place. Those descriptors were limited to a few alternate spellings and a few nicknames. Inuit has a database of thousands of descriptors for a larger set of cities. Additionally there are descriptors with common misspelling of cities as well as nicknames.
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This post was written by SocialCentiv Contributor Kristina Kopplin.