Saturday, July 26, 2014

Two Libraries Looking for a Story


I'm still convinced that animating Twitter data isn't the best way to use CartoDB's Torque library. I'm also pretty sure that the Torque library isn't the best way to map the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I'm therefore not overly impressed with Al Jazeera's map of Israeli-Palestinian conflict related Twitter messages. We hardly need an animated Twitter map to tell us that the conflict is currently big news all around the world.

What is interesting about this map is that Torque is being used here within CartoDB's Odyssey.js narrative mapping platform. To that extent the map is a good example of how Torque and Odyssey.js can be combined to create an animated map of geo-tagged data, in which interesting stories within the data can be highlighted on the map.

Combining the two libraries can enable developers to create very powerful animated maps of data and to actually explain the stories and narratives that emerge from that data. Unfortunately at the moment the only other example I've seen of Torque and Odyssey.js combined is another animated Twitter map - Ramadan: How the World Celebrates.

I'm fairly certain that sometime soon someone is going to create an amazing map with Torque and Odyssey.js. There is a lot of time-stamped geo-tagged data out there just waiting for someone to map using Torque & Odyssey.js. It's just not on Twitter.
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