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