Visualising tweets and website traffic with the Cinder framework

Over the last week or so I’ve been playing around with ways of visualising the tweets and website traffic related to my HTML5 Google balls logo. This is a quick overview of what I’ve done so far, from starting out in Processing, to really pushing the performance boundaries with Cinder.

Over the last week or so I've been playing around with ways of visualising the website traffic and tweets related to my HTML5 Google balls logo (you remember that old thing, don't you?). I started with Processing, a Java-based language, but it lacked in performance and it's kinda restrictive sometimes. I basically didn't like how Java did stuff. Even so, I achieved a lot and created something along the lines of what I had imagined.

This is as far as I got with Processing

Because of performance-related and other restrictions I decided to give the Cinder framework a go. This is a c++ framework which, I'm told, gives better performance over Java. I don't know about the specifics but I can tell you it's a lot better at handling loads of data. The downside to using Cinder is that I had to learn c++, from scratch. Fortunately once you learn one programming language the concepts are basically the same in all others.

It's been crazy fun working on a proper data visualisation project. I'm by no means finished but the core functionality and design of what I imagined is there, although I nearly died implementing a few features (like the night/day gradient overlay). I can see a tutorial in the future resulting from all I've learnt from this!

So take a look at the video below and let me know what you think.

Using Cinder to visualise 100,000 visits to the website over a few days

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