17 Ways to Visualize the Twitter Universe

I just created a new Twitter account, and it got me to thinking about all the data visualization I’ve seen for Twitter tweets. I felt like I’d seen a lot, and it turns out there are quite a few. Here they are grouped into four categories – network diagrams, maps, analytics, and abstract.

Network Diagrams

Twitter is a social network with friends (and strangers) linking up with each other and sharing tweets aplenty. These network diagrams attempt to show the relationships that exist among users.

Twitter Browser

Twitter Browser

Twitter Social Network Analysis

The ebiquity group did some cluster analysis and managed to group tweets by topic.

Twitter Social Network Analysis

Twitter Vrienden

Twitter Vrienden

Twitter in Red

I’m not completely sure how to read this one. I looks like it starts from a single user and then shoots out into the network.

Twitter in Red

Twitter Network

Twitter Network

Maps

When you create a Twitter account, you can enter where you are located, so in my case, I put New York. Because Tweets often have location attached to them, maps naturally lend themselves to tweet visualization.

TwiterVision

Yeah, it’s a Google Maps mashup, but a bit better than what you’re used to seeing.

TwitterVision

TwitterVision3d

It’s TwitterVision taken to the next dimension.

TwitterVision 3D

Analytics

Maybe you don’t care so much about the relationships or locations, but what you’re really after is what everyone is Twittering about. These analytic visualization serve as a Twitter zeitgeist.

TweetStat

TweetStat

TweetVolume

TweetVolume

TwitStat

TwitStat

TwitterMeter

TwitterMeter

Abstract

They’re not quite maps, not quite network diagrams, and not quite analytic tools. Rather they all follow some metaphor and encourage exploration.

24 o’clocks

Is it just me, or does this sound like a really good name for a band?

24 oclocks

TweetPad

Created at the Visualizar workshop, it’s actually more than just curves. In fact the blobbies are meant more for background while the main event is playing with the tweets.

TweetPad

Twitter Fountain

Twitter Fountain

Twitter Blocks

Created by the folks at Stamen. I posted about Blocks when it came out.

Twitter Blocks

TwitterPoster

TwitterPoster

TwitterVerse

TwitterVerse

A lot, huh? All of these were made possible by the Twitter API that allows developers to access Twitter data for free. Did I miss any other Twitter visualizations? Please leave the link in the comments below.

Follow Me On Twitter

So now that you know what Twitter looks like, you can head on over and “follow” me; or if you don’t have an account yet, you can create one in a few seconds.

If you don’t know what Twitter is or wondering what the point is, here’s a short video explaining Twitter in “plain English.”

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