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London Eye and Twitter positivity

One of London's most famous landmarks will show the sentiment around the Games

July 21, 2012

Everything is almost ready for the start of the 2012 Olympics. And there’s no question that this event will  be  one of the main topics on Twitter for next weeks. To visualise the ‘Olympic’ sentiment across the popular micro-blogging platform, one of London’s most famous landmarks, the London Eye, will lit up each night of the Games in relation to positive or negative comments. The launch took place last Thursday (19/07), and was hosted by former Olympic athlete Daley Thompson.

(image: EDF London Eye | BBC News)

The project is sponsored by EDF Energy, and it was developed by MIT students, under supervision of professor Mike Thelwal (University of Wolverhampton). Basically, it will track the tweets posted using the hashtag #Energy2012, with the sentiment analysis being made by an ‘Intuitive algorithm’, according to BBC News:

Real-time “social sentiment tracking” splits the tweets into positive and negative conversations and filters them through a programme, which systematically converts them into a lightshow. If, for example, the nation’s energy is 75% positive, three quarters of the wheel will light up.

On EDF’s site, you’ll find several interactive features to explore.

(image: EDF Energy)

Meanwhile, Andy Kirk, from Visualising Data, wrote about another project with a somewhat similar purpose, to be released during this week:

Emoto is a new artistic data visualisation project created by Drew Hemment (artist, curator and director of the FutureEverything festival), Moritz Stefaner and Studio NAND. In this age of social media and real-time availability of public perception, this project will be the first to capture, measure and artistically portray the ongoing online response and ‘emotional tone’ surrounding the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This real-time monitoring will allow anyone to see what events, athletes or particular stories are resulting in the most online chatter.

And this is probably just the beginning. The data generated around the Olympics, especially through social networking sites, will provide the perfect data set for information designers to explore new dimensions of the multiple impacts caused by such an event.

Links: BBC News – London Eye Olympic Twitter positivity lightshow launched | EDF Energy – How are you feeling today Great Britain? | Visualising Data – ‘emoto’: Visualising the emotional response to London 2012

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.