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Tracking London’s most talked about topics and emojis

7 July 2017


Museum of London

14 July 2017 – April 2018

Part of the City Now City Future season sponsored by DLA Piper and supported by Bloomberg

The Museum of London will visualise the mood, thoughts and top used emojis of Londoners in real time. From July this year until April 2018, a new installation Pulse, created by data analysis and visualisation studio Tekja, will collect, analyse and contextualise live data about London giving real-time insights into the everyday life, current affairs, changing events, hot topics and moods of Londoners.

Museum visitors will be immersed in the raw data visualisations and be able to see the incredible volume and speed of information being shared on social media approximately 1 tweet per second. It will reveal the current emotional, human state of the city, the city’s reaction to live events and the highs and lows of emotion over time.

For June the key topics were: #GE17 with a spike of [thinking face] before the election and [thumbs up] just after, #GrenfellTower and #LondonBridge, that showed a very immediate and poignant response of solidarity expressed by thousands of [folded/praying hands], and #OneLoveManchester with lots of love messages and heart emojis.

Foteini Aravani, Digital Curator at the Museum of London, said:

“As part of City Now City Future, we want to harvest and capture what Londoners are feeling and writing about in real time. We’ll be able to find out and share information with our visitors such as London’s most talked about topics, reactions to key events happening in the city or what emoji is most popular among Londoners on any given day. The data will give us a clear understanding of the current state of the city and will empower others to share their views and join the conversation.”

Amanda Taylor, co-founder at Tekja said:

“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. The data will reveal the intimate, human stories of the city and will help us understand the very essence of what it means to be a Londoner such as, solidarity and often humour in the face of adversity and the many languages and cultures that entwine and overlap to create the city’s unique identity. At this moment of global significance, as data begins to inform and infiltrate more and more aspects of our lives, Pulse aims to immerse visitors in the processes behind our digital interactions and uncover the insight they contain, and in doing so, reveal the human characteristics of the city itself.”

Pulse opens at the same time as our new major exhibition, The City is Ours. The highly interactive exhibition will explore the key issues that affect Londoners and city dwellers all around the world today. Tackling affordable housing, effective urban planning, transport, air quality, green spaces, surveillance, smart city technology, diversity, activism and social cohesion, the exhibition presents the challenges that cities are faced with and the solutions that communities are coming up with to combat them.



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About The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all, and you can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added.