There have been numerous debates to discuss the role of distance in cyberspace since the advent of the Internet. However, few researches quantitatively investigated the effect of distance in cyberspace nor did they examine how much difference exists in the effect of distance between cyberspace and real space. The goal of this dissertation is to provide the empirical evidence to resolve the controversial debate over the role of distance by quantifying the influence of distance on human interactions both in cyberspace and real space. To achieve this goal, billions of Twitter messages were collected, and the statistical exploration of the data was conducted based on the framework of the fourth paradigm: data intensive discovery. This study first analyzes the patterns of recognizing city names of Twitter users to reveal the effect of distance decay in cyberspace. The general trend of distance decay is found in cyberspace by demonstrating that Twitter users tend to recognize nearby cities than distant cities. In addition, in case of faraway cities, it is shown that Twitter users living in heavily populated areas tend to better recognize the faraway cities than Twitter users living in less populated areas. Another finding is that Twitter users are more likely to recognize distant cities during the holiday season in late December than the remainder of the year. The second study reveals the difference in the effect of distance decay between cyberspace and real space, and the characteristics of distance decay curve in each space. The result shows that the slope of distance decay curve is steeper in real space than in cyberspace, and the distance decay curve of cyberspace more fluctuates than the distance decay curve of real space. The third part of this dissertation is to develop a visualization tool to visualize dynamic big data such as social media data. The animated flow mapping tool was developed to improve the problems of occlusion when many flows converge—or diverge from—single points. The case study and the result of a human subject survey shows advantages of the animated flow mapping tool compared to the conventional flow mapping methods.