The Big Picture in the data sculpture

Sep/03/2012

While the paralympics are in full effect — and as well captured on the emoto platform as the Olympics — the team is busy putting the finishing touches on the last piece of the emoto project: The data sculpture installation in Preston. We will show 17  CNC-milled plates —one for each day of the games— and together with overlay projections, focusing on individual story arcs, these will form an interactive landscape representing all the tweets we collected during the Games. Alongside, we will have a huge wall-mounted, annotated timeline of the Games in tweets. We can’t post any images of the exhibits yet, but we are all very excited to see these final pieces come together in a really unique data art piece and experience.

In order to identify  the key stories of the games and understand the dramaturgy of the event as a whole, we produced a few more information graphics, focusing on key stories of the Games.

The above heatmap image (interactive version) nicely shows the different textures of individual topics over time: The continuous attention (across the whole emotional spectrum) towards Team GB, the ongoing rivalry of Phelps and Lochte, the punctual, but very strong attention towards Tom Daley and Oscar Pistorius, the “zing-zing” pattern for popular boyband One Direction1, caused by massive retweeting of individual tweets by fans of the band, the rising attention towards Usain Bolt, one of the big winners of the games, as well as the negative comments towards smaller scandals and disqualifications. Unfortunately, the chart also reveals two major server outages on July 28 and Aug 2, causing us to lose the tweets of a good portion of each of the respective nights in tweets. We could have estimated the respective numbers but decided to stay truthful to which data we actually collected and live with the gaps. Hooray for digital media!

And, how could we NOT make a big timeline of the games, with the average sentiment development and selected tweets over time:


-> full version (8993 x 847 px)

This one is the basis for a BIG wall mounted graph to be seen at Preston as part of WE PLAY expo Sep 7–9, along with the milled data art sculpture — make sure to come by, if you have the chance! (The full team will be around Friday and Saturday, so this is also a chance to meet us in person.)

1 One Direction are a British boy band formed in 2010, they came to fame after appearing and coming third on the X Factor.  They are Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson and took part in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games which may account for some of their popularity on emoto.

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