MIAMI (CBS4) – Want to know what the world is thinking as it’s happening?
Silicon Graphics International and the University of Illinois are using a supercomputer to analyze Twitter to bring us some fascinating insight.
The project, called the Global Twitter Heartbeat, scans millions of tweets to create real-time heat maps of positive and negative feelings.
A map from election night has red patches for negative feelings, blue patches for positive.
At 5 p.m. Pacific Time, 8 Eastern, the polls closed in Florida, and their map shows people here were the least happy in the whole country, probably because of the mess at our polling places.
For the next couple of hours, there’s no clear pattern, but then by 10 Eastern time, when the last swing-state polls closed and the trend is clearly favoring the President, people in the Northeast and L.A. are the happiest, a trend that strengthens when the election is called for the President and then when Mitt Romney concedes.
The project also has a map showing the emotional reaction to Superstorm Sandy as it moved inland.
What will they do with this? I don’t know, but it’s more proof of the unlimited potential of social media to help us understand the human condition.