Wednesday, 24 August 2011

London aNCL


London was the first city we collected Twitter data for when we started to create the New City Landscape (NCL) project, monitoring location based Twitter activity in urban areas. This was back in May 2010 and since we have collected data for a lot more cities from around the world.

We have now finally also an animated NCL (aNCL) version using the same dataset. This part of the project was only developed earlier this year in collaboration with Anders Johansson at CASA and we are trying to catch up on the different cities we have data for. A series of aNCL visualisations has already been realised.

aNCL London
Image by urbanTick for NCL / Showing four screenshots taken from the aNCL visualisation for a weeks worth of Tweets in and around London. The timings are midnight, morning, afternoon and evening. Each do is a tweet, re-tweets show a lin between sender and re-sender.

There are only very few features we are using for these visualisations. A characteristic landscape feature to roughly describe the urban area and the 30 km collection radius parameter to provide scale. Other than that there are only the individual Twitter messages that were collected over the period of one week. THe animation superimposes all seven days in to 24 hours.

With the visualisation we are highlighting the way information disseminates through re-tweeting of messages. An RT message will show a thin yellow line between original sender and re-sender. The information travels at some speed, which is based on the time it takes between sending and resending.

London, even though the data is already a year old is compared to other cities a very busy place in Twitter terms. We have a lot of individual messages, but more interesting there are quite a lot of different interactions happening simultaneously. Where as other cities don't show a lot of interaction, in London the sharing of information is quite an important part of tweeting. An interactive, but static activity map can be found at London NCL.

Its great to see how London wakes up between 07h30 and 09h00 in the morning after a moderat night. Then there is however, not very much sharing at this point of the day. Only after lunch and especially later in the afternoon the sharing really starts in London. It is almost as if the city was to digest the information it had created earlier in the day, reprocessing it and passing it on.

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