I really admired the interactive graphic produced by the New York Times that showed the map of popular Super Bowl words used on Twitter. I created something of my own using pretty much the same data. Mine supported many powerful features like the ability to zoom in and out of the map, to see individual tweets, and also to filter the tweets that were shown. Despite this, I preferred the NYT visualization over my own because the design was so accessible and it directly showed something interesting on the map with a minimum of fuss. I decided that I would try and emulate the design in my next twitter visualization.
Lot's of people were twittering away last night during the Academy Awards so I gathered the data and constructed a new visualization very similar in design to the NYT Superbowl map. I grouped words into several categories and let you select which one to see. The categories are:
This first sample map shows which people were being mentioned the most in tweets shortly after 9:30pm (EST) in the black text. The person being discussed throughout most of the country at that time was Ben Stiller and there were a few areas talking more about Joaquin Phoenix or Natalie Portman. The text in bright red shows the top adjective associated with that person in that location during that time period. If there was no adjective used for that person/location/time combination then the most common adjective associated with that person for any time or location is shown in a darker red color. This technique was not used in the NYT SuperBowl vizualization but seemed like a good way to show more meaningful information.
The second example map shows the movies being discussed just prior to the end of the show.
You can grab the handle on the timeline and drag it around or use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move back and forth a single time period. Give the interactive version of the Oscar Twitter Map a try !