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Infographic: Twitter Visualization Inspired by the Titanic’s Gauges

Ever wondered how Twitter activity would look, on the gauges of the Titanic? Wonder no more!

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The British Library has unveiled a mammoth analog “tweet-o-meter‘ that displays real-time tweets in nine cities around the world, from San Francisco to London. Designed like a relic of the Machine Age, it’s more than 10 feet long — about the size of a small car. ?We like to think,’ says Andrew Hudson-Smith, one of the inventors, ?it’s how Twitter would look … on the Titanic.”

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The tweet-o-meter was developed at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, at the University College London, as a way to visualize Twitter rates in major urban centers. In Hudson-Smith’s telling, it mines a 30-kilometer radius from the center of each city and displays the output on ammeters (with custom Formica dials) in tweets per minute. The data’s used to make maps of cities? social networking behavior, like so:

The machine is powered by two Arduino units that extract Twitter rates from the Centre’s servers. The data’s then converted into small currents that trigger the ammeters. How it looks digitally:

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The tweet-o-meter is on view at the British Library as part of the Growing Knowledge exhibit. For more info, go here.

[Images courtesy of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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