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Twitter visualizes billions of tweets in artful, interactive 3D maps

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Twitter 3D elevation tweet map
Twitter 3D elevation tweet map

On June 1st, Twitter created beautiful maps visualizing billions of geotagged tweets. Today, the social network is getting artsy once agsain, using the same dataset — which it calls Billion Strokes — to produce interactive elevation maps that render geotagged tweets in 3D. This time around, Twitter visualized geotagged tweets from San Francisco, New York, and Istanbul in maps that viewers can manipulate.

For each city map, Twitter gives users the option of adding eight different layers over the topography. Users can also change the size of the elevation differences mapped out, to get a better idea of where most tweets are sent from. The maps can be seen from either an overhead view, or on a horizontal plane. The resulting maps looking like harsh mountain ranges, but the peaks and valleys aren't representative of the land — rather, a peak illustrates a high amount of tweets being sent from that location, while a trough displays an area where fewer tweets are sent. The whole thing was put together by Nicolas Belmonte, Twitter's in-house data visualization scientist. You can check out the interactive maps on Twitter's GitHub page.