In celebration of Barack Obama’s 100th day as the 44th President of the United States, the MIT SENSEable City Lab visualized mobile phone activity during the historic inauguration. What we see is a sense of the worldwide celebration and when and where people traveled to Washington, D.C. to get to the event. They call it Obama | One People.
For President Obama’s 100th day in office, the MIT SENSEable City Lab has created visualizations of mobile phone call activity that characterize the inaugural crowd and answer the questions: Who was in Washington, D.C. for President Obama’s Inauguration Day? When did they arrive, where did they go, and how long did they stay? The results of our advanced data analyses are presented in two dazzling visualizations that celebrate Barack Obama and the people who supported him from all over the U.S. and the world.
In the first of a set of two, mobile activity for the city was visualized. Each square represents changes in call activity in an area of 150 x 150 meters around the Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue; the charts on the left show activity by state; and on the bottom is a timeline for activity leading up to and after the inauguration.
Naturally the second is activity for the world. In this interpretation, packets represent increases in call activity from the previous hour, similar to the city piece.
A Little Misleading
The world visualization is slightly misleading however. You’d have to read carefully to know it though. Each packet in the U.S. represents 100 calls while packets that come from foreign countries represent only 10. For those who don’t want to do the math – that means the world visualization represents 10 times the increase in calls from foreign countries than it really should, so while beautiful, take it in with a grain of salt.
Data mistake aside, I’m continuing to appreciate the good stuff coming out of all the MIT labs.