Illustrating IDCC 2010

This posting illustrates the “tweets” assigned to the hash tag #idcc10.

I more or less just got back from the 6th International Data Curation Conference that took place in Chicago (Illinois). Somewhere along the line I got the idea of applying digital humanities computing techniques against the conference’s Twitter feed — hash tag #idcc10. After installing a Perl module implementing the Twitter API (Net::Twitter::Lite), I wrote a quick hack, fed the results to Wordle, and got the following word cloud:


What sorts of conclusions can you make based on the content of the graphic?

The output static and rudimentary. What I’d really like to do is illustrate the tweets over time. Get the oldest tweets. Illustrate the result. Get the newer tweets. Update the illustration. Repeat for all the tweets. Done. In the end I see some sort of moving graphic where significant words represent bubbles. The size of the bubbles grow in size depending on number of times they are used. Each bubble is attached to other bubbles with a line representing associations. The color of the bubbles might represent parts of speech. Using this technique a person could watch the ebb and flow of the virtual conversation.

For a good time time, you can also download the Perl script used to create the textual output. Called, it is only forty-three lines long and many of those lines are comments.

Published by

Eric Lease Morgan

Artist- and Librarian-At-Large

3 thoughts on “Illustrating IDCC 2010”

  1. This growing word cloud sounds a really good idea, but you might have to constrain Wordle a bit. From my experience it’s likely to give a completely different graphic if called twice with the same data, let alone different data.

    I wonder if it would be better done in reverse. You need all the info to know where the terms will locate. Run it backwards with fixed term locations, reducing size of terms accordingly. Then re-run the sequence forwards. I have no idea how to do that!

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