Twitter and Zoopla data used to create ‘interactive map of happiness’ in London

By Seb Joseph | News editor

July 13, 2015 | 4 min read

Picking an area to live does not have to be as binary as its distance to the tube station or postcode if you have an interactive map of London that uses Twitter and Zoopla data to help show the mood of the location.

A quick search online reveals house hunters are not short of access to advice though the advice on offer often falls short of explaining how to gauge the mood of neighbourhood. This could be a thing of the past for those buyers who place their faith in a new produc - a 3D map of the city that uses same style of a weather forecast to visualise the mood of a postcode.

The “Happy Forecast”, developed by creative agency Clubhouse Studios, uses bright motifs such as fruit trees and clear blue skies to depict positive areas, whilst the gloomier postcodes use lighting clouds, sparse trees and dark skies. Each postcode scene was designed to look as unique as the real location with different sounds, colours and animations being used to reflect the changing mood.

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It plugs into Twitter’s API to scrape geo-tagged tweets in real-time to offer the “current mood” of the area. The data is then fed into a machine-learning algorithm to scan and then categorises them by positivity. Additionally, visitors can also compare their forecast to the average house prices for the area, which is pulled in live from Zoopla.

The initiative’s methodology is underpinned by a year-long observational study of social interactions in public spaces. Clubhouse Studios worked with the University of California, Berkeley to shape these observations around what psychologists and sociologists refer to as ‘transitory social interactions’ - brief and often anonymous encounters that cumulatively affect peoples’ mood, and in the long term their social wellbeing.

Will Orrock, Managing Partner of Clubhouse Studios, said plans are already underway to expand the project further with additional research on social wellbeing as well as user-generated content.

“We are exploring possible brand involvements and the many learnings are already proving useful. Interestingly, Zoopla and Twitter’s open APIs have meant they have been involved unofficially in this Clubhouse project. Open APIs like theirs are a great way for brands to crop up in projects like these.”

Moving forward, Clubhouse Studios plans to integrate more data sources into the map as well as findings from other research on social wellbeing and user-generated content.


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