I’ve been looking at Twitter data lately – here are a couple of visualizations of the twitter stream plotted onto Google Earth after doing some natural language processing on it. All the tweets on the map have had some named entity disambiguation and georeferencing done (e.g., mapping “New York,” “NYC”, “The Big Apple” and “Home of that boy Biggie” to lat/long coordinates) along with some sentiment analysis to gauge whether it was positive (happy/nice things to say), neutral, or negative (trash talking or sad).
The first is all tweets mentioning Chile between Feb 26 and Feb 27 – not a whole lot going on until 1:34am Feb 27, when the whole world lights up. Note the sentiment starts out strongly negative (“chile has had an earthquake omggg this has me sooo scared”) but then moves positive as the day goes on (e.g., “Pray for the people in Chile!!”). Go full screen to see the timescale.
The second is all tweets mentioning the Olympics between Feb 20-Feb 21 – you can see them peak both days about 9-10pm EST, especially on Sunday the 21st (figure skating?). Mostly green and yellow too, suggesting postive/neutral sentiment (e.g., go Bodie!).