In searching for interesting infographics this week, I came across a couple that were quite different from the usual fare.
Part of the difference was that they’re motion infographics, which are still in relative infancy. Part was that they’re new, different ways of visualizing tweets.
While they’re fascinating and different and striking, I do wonder, at the end of the day, how useful they really are in terms of showcasing the actual information.
I’ll start with the Italian one, because it does a bit more than just visualize the tweets.
Carlo Zapponi, a data visualization designer for Nokia, built A sea of…tweets (Un mare di…tweet) to examine the Twitter chatter around the candidates for the Italian Parliament. You can view them as overlapping waves:
Or separated by candidate:
Besides just looking pretty, it does give you an idea of who’s being talked about. Social media chatter isn’t necessarily a predictor of electoral success, but it’s certainly an indicator of … something. Dragging the “Drag me” bar to the left or right shows you the actual tweets, so you can see what is being said, in addition to how much.
If nothing else, it’s fun to drag around, especially if you understand Italian and can read the tweets.
We’re a bit partial to the desert scene, for some reason:
As you can see, however, the tweets aren’t immediately visible. You have to hover over a bird to see an individual tweet. In the case of a fast-flying hashtag, it would become virtually impossible to really see anything.
It’s more of a novelty to show you the volume, and the possible ebb and flow of the hashtag. And those birds are mighty cute.
What’s your favorite visualization that you’ve seen recently?
Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr Creative Commons