Turning Tweets Into A Fiber Optic Light Show

E/B Office's <i>Mood Map</i> analyzes real-time twitter data to visualize the collective mood of South Korea.

Want to know how the people of South Korea are feeling? Apart from asking them all individually, one way to do it would be to analyze their collective tweets and then turn it into an installation that flashes different colors depending on what sort of mood they're in.

This is what New York-based design firm E/B Office did with their piece Mood Map, which summarises the mood of the South Korean people based on real-time Twitter data. The group used Processing to search and then analyze the tweets, looking for certain characters in the Korean language attaining to certain moods, which were: joy/pride, love, fear/ shame, anger, pity, and sadness/frustration—these relate to six fiber optic illuminators which alternate the colors to give a dynamic visualization.

As well as the spatial component, there's also a temporal one, as the data is split into three different visualizations for different time periods: one for real-time, one for the past hour, and one for a day. The group explain:

As the intensity of certain moods changes over time, visitors can witness the relative expression of all the moods compared to each other, changing dynamically over time every 30 seconds. The overall composition will express a flux of mood, feeling, intensity and time transmitted to a spatial 3D body.

It follows a number of artworks which have used the Twitter API to express things as varied as the emotional state of a city, gauge reactions to big events like last year's London Olympics, or even see what different trending topics taste like

Photos courtesy of E/B Office