Spot visualizes tweet commonalities

Posted to Network Visualization  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

Twitter is an organic online location, full of retweets, conversations, and link sharing. Jeff Clark tries to show these inner workings with his newest interactive, Spot. Enter a query in the field on the bottom left, and Spot retrieves the most recent 200 tweets. You then can choose among five views: group, words, timeline, users, and source.

Each tweet is represented by the tweeter's profile picture, and they rearrange themselves as you switch between views. The latter three views, timeline, users, and source, arrange tweets into bar charts. Fairly straightforward.

Spot gets interesting with the first two views though, groups and words. Tweets are arranged based on the words they use.

Above, for example, is the word view on the search "flowingdata." Tweets cluster around words like world and data. Below is the same search, but with the groups view. Users who tweeted similar text (usually retweets) are grouped together. What jumped out at me was the group on the bottom with a single user's face. That turned out to be a spammer.

Give it a try for yourself here.

[Neoformix]

1 Comment

  • Nicely done.

    I particularly found the “WORD” view as a useful way to get an overview of search-related topics. It groups tweets around them in a fuzzy way and let you see a quantitative trend. This is clearly something that cannot easily do with tables, compared to the other views.

    Would be great to be able to interactively remove some words (such as silent words) and then make other words bigger. Also, the 2D layout makes the tweet-after-tweet exploration process quite difficult (e.g. how do I know I alread read a tweet?).. Therefore showing already selected tweets might help I guess (with a reddish border).

    Here is a quite similar visualization in the same “organic” class http://dev.fabelier.org/bubble-t/

    It’s been awarded by the Google Dataviz Contest on the French Elections last month. It also maps Twitter avatars as balls, but it is more dedicated to live monitoring of Tweet streams (in this case Tweets talking about the candidates). It also aggregates the tweet counts (at the bottom of the interface) during the last hours, days and a sparkline+wordcloud, etc. to so see trends.

    PS: I posted my comments on this blog since 1) the http://neoformix.com does not allow comments, 2) my comments were longer than 140 characters

Favorites

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …