Chances are I’m late to the party, given how many Facebook ‘likes’ and retweets this project seems to have garnered already, but I hadn’t yet seen it yet so here goes:
The project, which was started by two frog design employees as a personal experiment with Twitter’s Streaming API and the HTML5 canvas tag, is all about “playing with geography and bits of information”. It’s also pretty cool to look at.
The app shows visitors where people are tweeting /from, in realtime, in the past hour. The more tweets come from a specific region, the “hotter” it becomes.
From frog design’s blog post:
Integrating technology and design, the application was developed in HTML5 deploying the Twitter Streaming API and the Yahoo! Placemaker service to merge geotagged tweets on one single map, processing more than 1.4 million tweets in just 8 days.
Due to the growth of automated geo-tagging via mobile devices, the exceptional tweet locations range from the Sahara Desert to Polar Circle diving to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
You can visualize tweets in the form of a heatmap, with ‘smoky clouds’ and either in map or satellite view. If you have 3D red cyan glasses, you can even dive into the “3D stereo view”.
At the time of this writing, they’re close to processing more than 2 million tweets from 200 countries (they started processing on November 1).