SGI Launches Global Twitter Heartbeat, Powered by Gnip

File this under cool news.

SGI’s Big Brain Computer has created a Global Twitter Heartbeat, allowing the supercomputer to analyze the Twitter stream for sentiment and geolocation to create a Twitter heartbeat telling us how the world is feeling based on emotions communicated via Twitter. Not only is this a cool undertaking by the folks at SGI, but we’re proud to announce that it is powered by Gnip’s decahose Twitter stream.

To make this happen, SGI partnered with Kalev H. Leetaru of the University of Illinois and Dr. Shaowen Wang of the CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information (CIGI) Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This isn’t just some simple stream.  The SGI supercomputer analyzes every Tweet to assign location (not just GPS-tagged tweets, but processing the text of the Tweet itself) and tone values, then visualizing the conversation in a heat map that puts Tweet location, Tweet density and tone into a unified geospatial perspective. The entire process from ingestion to data analysis to producing the heat map runs at a speed that allows visualization of a map frame per second.

To see it live, check out SGI’s Facebook page.

You can also see videos of the Twitter Heartbeat for the Presidential Elections and Hurricane Sandy.