2010 Winter Olympics – Day 4

There’s been a lot of Twitter activity around infographics in recent weeks. If you don’t believe me, just do a search for #infographics or even #dataporn. So when I was looking for one thing within NBC.com’s many pages of Olympics content and instead bumped into their Olympic Pulse Twitter Tracker I was at once both excited and let down.

Tracker Content From Day 5

The tracker automatically updates every 60 seconds, with a scrolling bar that easily lets you know the status of updates. There’s a topline assessment of quantity of tweets over the past nine minutes, and then a scrolling line graph to cover the same information over the previous hour. All cool. The icing on the cake (and rink, as it were) is an infographic that showcases the top twitter keywords and hashtags accompanied by some photographs that correspond to the tweeted content. (I’d LOVE to see how the programming team developed a system to match words to visuals.) The size of the photo correlates to the popularity of the tweeted content. Fun to watch updates every minute. Neat to marry text with visual.

Downside? Some of the white font is difficult to read against lighter backgrounds–which is a common background for Winter Olympics. I’m also curious what other visualization options the team considered before landing on this “boxy” data layout. (Which looks an awful lot like the infographic layout the New York Times used to detail President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal.)

Still, sit and watch it updating through a few cycles. Don’t even try to tell me that isn’t cool! 🙂


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