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Published September 16th 2012

An Emotional Datviz: Stream of Emotion

We recently sponsored the Digital Sizzle 6 hackathon, which saw artists and developers come together over one weekend to create amazing things from data.

We not only also supplied data and had some of our team members on hand to help out with the projects, but there was also a Brandwatch team creating a project of their own.

The result was the ‘Stream of Emotion’, which was displayed along with some of the other great projects at the Whitechapel Gallery two weeks after the hackathon. We can now bring you the project online, so that you can see it for yourself.

You can see the visualisation here.

Below is an explanation from the team below about the meaning and process behind the project:

“Using Brandwatch, we harvested all conversations about a topic on the web, particularly focusing on social media. These conversations were then scanned to determine their emotional content, and this was used to generate a visual representation of the flow of emotion across the social web for that topic.

Our starting point for building the flow was psychologist Robert Plutchik’s wheel of eight basic emotions. Plutchik divided fundamental human feelings into eight primary emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger and anticipation. In Plutchik’s model, all other emotions are derived from these basic ones.

We examined all conversations that exist on the web about an emotive topic, for example wedding days, births or deaths. We then used an emotional lexicon to transform those pieces of text into streams of the eight primary emotions they contain.

These emotional streams are used to create the flows you see in the visualisation.”

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