Tasty Tweets
Have you ever wondered what twitter tastes like?

Tasty Tweets is a data visualization experiment that allows users to explore current twitter trends through taste with a press of a button.

Using the Twitter API, it collects tweets containing mentions of specific fruits such as blueberry, pineapple, apple and carrot and creates a smoothie that represents the blend. The smoothie is created based on the same proportions of fruits collected from the tweets. Because twitter trends change quickly, each smoothie has a unique palette of flavors.

Data from which the smoothie is created are graphically represented on a computer screen. It shows the proportions of flavors in the current smoothie as well as the most recent tweets from which the smoothie was created. Furthermore, a historic view of past smoothies allows users to compare trends over time.

To add another dimension to the visualization, Tasty Tweets is constructed in a way that makes it possible to layer the different juices within the glass. The layering of the juices results in a visual representation of the proportions of flavors in the smoothie – a graph in a glass.

We used the Twitter API to gather the tweets, processing to analyze and process the data, and an Arduino microcontroller with solenoid valves to control the flow of liquids into the glass in order to create a smoothie that represents the data. Here is a short video that shows some of the apparatus operating behind the scenes:

Tasty Tweets allows the user to experience, understand and interpret huge datasets in a new way.
It is a result of a one week Data Visualisation course at CIID, taught by Golan Levin(CMU) and Marcin Ignac. It is a fully functional prototype and was developed by Kat Zorina, Ruben van der Vleuten and Kostantinos Frantzis.

Tasty Tweets has received a lot of press coverage. You can view some of the main articles on the Press section. We were also invited to demonstrate the project at Campus Party Europe conference in Berlin (August 2012) where we had a lot of people seeing the project in action. The demonstration was part of a talk we gave at the conference titled: "Data visualisation beyond traditional means".