As part of our time here in CASA UCL, Stephan Hugel and I, developed a simple tool to capture and visualize live tweet feeds and project them onto the actual form of the built environment. The application uses the Twitter API, and visualizes results in 3D, similarly to the known London Twitter map by UrbanTick, developed using the data collector created by Steven Gray, in an attempt to create a new urban landscape.
Of course this project does not aim to address such questions, but to demonstrate new ways of augmenting already existing spatial data. The application was built entirely in ESRI’s CityEngine, as it offers a range of 3D visualization techniques which relate to the urban environment. CityEngine allows the generation of forms using simple “rules”. In this case, the project collects real-time tweet feeds, aggregates them by a custom discrete zone system and by default, visualizes them as building heights. CityEngine provides the key-advantage of allowing the automatic storing of spatially geolocated data directly on a shapefile, augmenting GIS with live information and update the visualization real-time. That is why this application, can work with different basemaps, such as a land use map, wards, or even roads. At the moment, the script stores the number of total tweets for any discrete zone and keeps track of time and date.
Works with CityEngine, download trial version here.