Emoto — Online Visualization


Capturing and visu­al­izing the global response around the London 2012 Olympic Games in an inter­active visu­al­iza­tion.


Cultural Olympiad

Scope of Work

  • Data Exploration
  • Data Visualization

Website Credits

We developed emoto, an online visualization that aggreg­ated in real-time millions of Twitter messages capturing trending topics and their discussions, running live during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Using a combin­a­tion of two inter­active views, users were able to explore the ebbs and flows of discus­sions online. Origami shapes commu­nicated positive and negative senti­ments for indi­vidual topics merging trending discip­lines into an effective graph­ics and read­able repres­ent­a­tions for visu­al­ising global emotion. Each Tweet was annot­ated with a senti­ment score by the project’s infra­struc­ture using soft­ware provided by Lexalytics. This data formed the basis for an extensive profiling of London 2012 which was finally docu­mented in an inter­active install­a­tion and phys­ical data sculp­ture at the WE PLAY closing exhib­i­tion of the Cultural Olympiad in the Northwest.

In order to design all parts of emoto, we required complete comprehension of expected data, and as early as possible in the prototyping cycle. To achieve this, we researched numerous data studies used for sporting events, for instance, the Euro Soccer Cup or Golf Masters. We looked for patterns and inter­esting perspect­ives we could apply on the data. Via this iterative process we developed a visual analytics tool, which we termed “Sentigraph”. It became our main visual element for data exploration used in the actual implementation.

Early Sentigraph for the Golf Masters, with the top displaying positive sentiments in tweets, and the bottom negative ones
Topic view, showing the most discussed topics on the first day of the Games
Message view, showing selected tweets for the opening ceremony on the second day of the Games


Studio NAND

Credits & References

Studio NAND

Created by Drew Hemment, Moritz Stefaner, Studio NAND.

A FutureEverything project with MIT SENSEable City Lab for the Cultural Olympiad programme and London 2012 Festival.

Infrastructure design and development by Gerrit Kaiser.

Supported by  Lexalytics; Co-sponsored by GE and funded by Arts Council England and WE PLAY/Legacy Trust UK.