By comparing public sentiment of various species over time to state and federal funding for those species, we hoped to determine if conservation campaigns are effective influencing government spending.

What we did

By scraping Twitter, we estimated public sentiment over time for various species and compared it to state and federal funding for those species.

How we built it

We scraped Twitter for mentions of each species every day from 2013 to 2016 and used VADER to do sentiment analysis. We extracted public funding data from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's expenditure reports from those years and compared the top 50 funded species spending to public sentiment.

Challenges we ran into

  • Twitter makes scraping very difficult. We had run our scraper through rotating Tor identities to get any usable amount of data
  • Public expenditure data is poorly formatted. Sanitizing the data took some effort.

What I learned

No, people do not care about bats.

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