Emojis displayed in the Pulse installation
In the Museum of London's Sackler Hall
Pulse collects, analyses and displays tweets in the Greater London area in real time. Pulse will run 24/7 for 9 months, until April 2018, telling the stories of Londoners through an estimated 17 million tweets. Considering that on average people in London use 12 words per tweet, that will be around 210 million words, and a total of 8 million emojis.
Pulse only picks up geotagged tweets- posts sent with a location, so that we can be sure they come from within London. On an average day, in Greater London there are 65,000 geotagged tweets, with a frequency of 1 tweet per second during the day and a little less during the night. On an extraordinary day, for example the day after the general election 2017, the total tops 95,000 geotagged tweets.
Pulse runs in real time, which means that it takes a fraction of a second for a tweet to show up in our galleries once it’s posted. If you tweet from inside our free The City is Ours exhibition, you'll be able to see your own message appear in Pulse and be incorporated into the data on display. Pulse shows tweets as raw data on an LED 'curtain' and performs real-time analysis of the data on the attached screen.
Amanda Taylor, co-founder of Tekja and one of the brains behind Pulse, explained why it's perfect to help us understand the city:
"Our world is becoming increasingly data-driven and London plays a huge role in this global digital landscape - producing a vast volume of real-time data every second of every day. Pulse takes one source of real-time data from London – Twitter - and collects, analyses and visualises these live streams, tracking the digital ‘heartbeat’ of the city by exploring changing patterns, trends and reactions in the city in real-time.”