menu

The Creators Project: Interactive Sculpture Visualizes Olympic Twitter Sentiment

The Creators Project: Interactive Sculpture Visualizes Olympic Twitter Sentiment
culture

A physical data sculpture of 17 CNC-milled plates showcases the sentiment attached with the 12.5 million tweets.

Creators Project
  • 25 september 2012

The London 2012 Olympics captivated the world’s attention for several weeks this summer, and no place was our collective obsession with the Games more prevalent than on Twitter, the world’s water cooler. Whether it was weighing in on victories, rivalries, upsets, rising stars, or spotty sports coverage, Twitter was constantly ablaze with a slew of opinions, both good and bad, all of which were captured and analyzed in real time by the emoto project.

Emoto, which we originally covered back in August, is a data-visualization project that tracked the public’s emotional response to the Olympic games, as they were happening, as well as the topics and events that were causing the most stir online. While the Games were still in action, curious viewers could head to the emoto website to take a temperature test of the general tweeting public’s feelings on a given trending topic, like Usain Bolt, or the overall tone of a particular day.

Developed for the Cultural Olympiad by Drew Hemment of FutureEverythingMoritz Stefaner, and Studio NAND, the project used sentiment analysis software from Lexalytics to determine the emotional content of each message and assign it a “score” on the positive and negative scale. These were displayed on the site as multi-colored origami-like shapes that evolved dynamically with the changing tides of the public mood.

Over the course of the Olympics’ 17-day run, the emoto team captured and analyzed some 12.5 million tweets. But why stop there? After the thrill of the closing ceremony wore off, they went on to transform the data they amassed they into a 9.5 meter long physical data sculpture and interactive installation, which recently debuted at the We Play Expo.

The installation is composed of 17 CNC-milled plates—one for each day of the Olympics, from opening to closing ceremony—which together compose a timeline of the event. Peaks and valleys are etched into the plates to indicate the volume of tweets per hour, and a heat map of color gradations is projected on top to show the public’s feelings towards a particular topic or theme over the course of the games (these were pre-determined by the emoto team).

We spoke with the emoto team to find out more about the design and creative process behind the installation. You can also find a more in-depth account of the project on Studio NAND’s website.

The Creators Project: How did you select which events would be represented in the sculpture?
Moritz Stefaner:
 First of all, the emoto team manually supervised the topics [we were tracking] for the real-time visualization during the course of the Olympics. This means we followed the Games over several news channels, and our real-time visualization on the web. In addition to this real-time process, we also created visualizations in hindsight using a custom graphing tool called the “Sentigraph,” which we created in parallel with the origami figures. All these activities allowed us to go on a data-driven ‘hunt’ for good topics within our dataset, meaning we tried to identify topics that are equally well reflected within our dataset as they were reflected in the real world, or, topics that have been an interesting data-artefact in our archive, such as the massive peaks of tweets due to the boy band One Direction. We also liked those secondary topics because we found they illustrated what emoto does in a nice way.

What is the sculpture made out of? Was it 3D printed?
Stephan Thiel, Studio NAND:
 The sculpture is CNC-milled from ‘Chemiwood,’ a Polyurethane foam that’s ideal for highly-detailed prototyping and modelling. We actually like the artefacts created by this process as well, i.e. traces left from the milling head, as opposed to the generally cleaner looking 3D prints. Additionally, the objects were painted with a gray dual-component paint, which is especially well suited for projections because it contains particles to form a structured, matte finish.

What’s being projected on the sculpture and how do these projections help highlight the development of individual stories from the Games?
Moritz Stefaner:
 As mentioned earlier, the sculpture contains all tweets we have collected for emoto. The basis for its creation process are 2D-graphics, basically gray-tone ‘heat-maps,’ which show the aggregated number of tweets per hour for each sentiment-level in a small rectangle. The lighter the rectangle, the higher the number of tweets for this hour and sentiment-level and the higher the elevation of the sculpture at this point. This results in the rollercoster-like bands you see in the sculpture.

Read the complete interview here.

Original article by Julia Kaganskiy.

Originally published on The Creator’s Project. The Creators Project is a global network dedicated to the celebration of creativity, culture and technology. Republished with kind permission.

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology Yesterday

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Yesterday

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Bonnie Knutson

Hospitality & Marketing

Food Yesterday

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed november 22, 2016

Digital Strategist: Why “Big Sensing” Is Key To Retail’s Future

Bud Caddell, Founder of NOBL, shares why the most capable and useful asset in any retail environment is the workforce

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Yesterday

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Yesterday

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Yesterday

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Yesterday

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Yesterday

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.