On the Beyoncé tweet map

Ralph Straumann

Ralph is a world-citizen, a geoinformation specialist by profession, and interested in many topics. Here, he'll confine himself mostly to things geo-visual.

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3 Responses

  1. Hey! Great post. Full of interesting things!

    It is true that the map could include some very relevant metadata like timezones, totally agree. I guess lot of this is examplained on the text around the maps on the original post, but in these days of easy “sharing without context” is easy to get lost of some vital information like you are describing. I believe better tools to provide contextual and metadata information are key, and in CartoDB we are working towards that.

    In terms of “density” you are right, there is likely better ways to obtain a kernel density estimation. In reality those circles you see actually represent a fade-out of the point over time. I am not sure if Simon Rogers actually made use of another variable like number of Retweets, but the size of the circle could represent the impact of that tweet. In general I believe much better results can be obtained by having different styles at different “zoom levels”.

    Torque visualizations are done using CartoCSS and extending it with filters to be able to represent multiple frames at the same time with different styles. So like if a tweet happened during the first bucket of time, you can also represent it on 3th, 4th etc with a different style. Thats the bubbles around the dots… is a way to leave traces of the points as time passes, or if not it will be hard to see the “density” over an area and not just dots appearing and disappearing.

    On projections… well yes, the never ending discussion… hopefully soon there will be an easy way to provide as performance maps as it is right now with webmercator tiling system. I know other projections could be done tiling too, but well, I guess projections are not currently the biggest priority on web mapping products. I believe that browser vector rendering will make things better and hopefully we will have a much better variety of projections out there :)

    Definitely should have wrote a blog post, hehe.

    Final comment… there is not much written about animated maps as far as I know. Specially those that you can actually interact with, zoom in, get details, etc… if you guys know of articles or resources exploring time-lapsed or animated maps, I would love to hear about them!

    Thanks.

    • Ralph Straumann says:

      Thanks, Javier, for commenting.

      You raise an interesting point: lineage/metadata and ensuring its sharing along with sharing of the actual content. Future tools should properly provide means so that “sharing without context” actually gets hard. Until we are there, we’ll have to rely on authors of maps and visualizations making as much of an effort as possible in providing context.

      Thanks for the background regarding Torque. Highlighting the occurrence of tweets (or any other phenomenon) by bright and fading-over-time circles makes sense, in my opinion. I’d just love to see the addition of a more intelligent kernel density estimator in the mix.

      Projections _are_ topic of discussion, indeed. My hope, too, is that the advent of things like Proj4js and the strong projection capabilities built into D3.js also helps pave the road for off-the-shelve webmapping projects to provide widespread availability and ease-of-use for custom projections. Personally, I find e.g. kartograph.js (http://kartograph.org) has already some interesting projection options.

      Regarding research: I am aware of some research strands around dynamic maps and usability/human-computer-interaction at GIVA labs at University of Zurich (http://www.geo.uzh.ch/en/units/giscience-giva/research), e.g. the Animeye project (http://www.research-projects.uzh.ch/p6389.htm), you might want to look into, or rather: start your exploration of research on these topics from.

  1. 1 January 2014

    […] On the Beyoncé tweet map […]

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