Not only did they analyze the sentiments we collectively expressed in 300 million tweets over three years against a scholarly word list; these researchers also mashed up that data with information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Google Maps API and more. What they ended up with was a fascinating visualization showing the pulse of our nation, our very moods as they fluctuate over time.
The researchers have put this information into density-preserving cartograms, maps that take the volume of tweets into account when representing the land area. In other words, in areas where there are more tweets, those spots on the map will appear larger than they do in real life.
It will surprise almost no one to learn that findings indicate a general mood slump mid-day and mid-week, when we are most likely to be at work. Our tweets show that we’re happiest in the early morning and late evening; during the week, our mood tends to peak on Sunday morning.
Less predictable, perhaps, is the fact that West Coast tweets were “happier” than tweets from the East Coast. Although West Coast Twitter users expressed emotions in the same cycles as the East Coast users (with a three-hour gap, of course, because of time zone differences), the West Coasters didn’t dip as low in mood as the East Coasters by a significant margin.
For the inforgraphic fans among you, here’s a lovely PDF showing some of the data displayed:
And here’s a cool video showing the American Twitter mood expressions changing over the course of a day:
We’re pretty fascinated by visualizations like these; what other data or topics would you like to see these researchers tackle next? What use do you think we could get out of the current information they’ve generated?Did you like this post? Leave your comments below!Found this Post interesting? Receive new posts via RSS (What is RSS?) or Subscribe to CR by Email