Twitter has release new maps to highlight just how prolific tweets are in London, San Francisco, and Istanbul. Building off of the Geography of Tweets project that mapped out billions of geotagged tweets since 2009 (when Twitter started to geolocate them), this new mapping project takes a topographic look at the density of all geolocated tweets ever recorded in those three cities. The maps were created by Nicolas Belmonte, a data visualization scientist with Twitter. The project is named “Andes” and asks, “What would happen if all geolocated tweets in San Francisco were converted to an elevation map?”
To view the 3D map of geolocated tweets, you will need a browser such as Chrome or FireFox that supports WebGL (much like Google MapsGL). If you access the project from other browsers such as Safari, you will be presented with a video demonstration of the maps. The map tiles can be symbolized with a variety of choices from topo lines to Stamen’s watercolor maps (my favorite). The 3D maps is meant to be explored without roads or place names but if you absolutely want to see those, choose the “dark” view which presents a black and white map overlay with major street names. The intensity of the elevation spikes can be changes from low to medium to high. Use the trackpad or your mouse to pan and tilt the map. Select one of the three cities available from the drop down to toggle between them.