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Tag "olympics"

I will be speaking at the Society of Cartographers 48th Annual Conference today. The talk will focus on the New City Landscape maps under the title New City Landscape Maps: Urban Areas According to Tweet Density.

The maps are visualising location based tweet activity in urban areas and part of the talk will focus on urban morphology and real world feature to influence the virtual activity. The range of maps produced show that unique conditions exist for different cities from around the world and this is reflected in the Twitter landscape maps.

Three types have been identified showing similar characteristics. A type with one central core are, a type with several different islands of high activity and a type showing an area or shape of high activity.




Image by urbanTick for NCL / Top row central type, middle row feature type and bottom row island type.

Also we have been monitoring Twitter activity in London during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whilst this is still ongoing a first preview of the data is showing a surprising shift of activity, a new addition to the landscape of the NCL-London map respectively.

There has an actual peak appeared over the area of the Olympic park with masses of location based tweets. It is something we have always talked about in presentations of the maps in the past couple of month and here it is, it finally did show up as a major ‘landmark’ in the virtual map of London.


Image by urbanTick for NCL / Locationbased Twitter activity in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Olympic park on the right does show up as a remarkable peak during the early period of the Olympic Games. A final version will be produced in the after the end of the Paralympic Games.

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The Olympics are in town and about to kick off tonight in a packed Olympic Stadium out in Stratford. The last week was all about gearing up to for London to this big event. There were a few new changes, including the Olympic lanes for official traffic, but also simple things like chaining the timing of traffic lights for example.

Image taken from zimbio / The Olympic Rings 2012 being shipped up the Thames past the O2.

Image taken from msn.car / The official Olympics 2012 London car.

However so far things are running smoothly if only the weather plays along. But then a bit of the very British weather won’t harm the good spirit, it’s the Olympics!

The venues are reported to be all set. The velodrome was one of the first venues to be finished already last year. Now the Olympic Stadium is open, the Aquatics centre plus the little venues. Also the observation tower in the Olympic Park is open to visitors, at extra cot unfortunately.

Image taken from London2012 / The Olympic Park as of July 2012. Compare to earlier stages for example in previous posts on urbanTick.

London has prepared through out the city a massive events program to go alongside the Olympic Games. There are cultural events like the Tate is running at the newly opened Tanks or of course the official Olympic Festival with a massive program of arts and culture events through out the Olympics.

The sponsors have all their own way of being present at the games. Coke has set up a pavilion that is at the same time a musical instrument. The facade is built from sensor equipped cushions and visitors can play tunes by interacting with the facade of the pavilion.

EDF, also one of the big sponsors is running a special light show on their very own London Eye. Every evening the light on this big London attraction will have a light show on display that is governed by the mood of the nation.

Image taken from gizmag / The London Eye with the Energy of the Nation light show in progress, earlier this week.

The installation is using Twitter data to feel the pulse of the nation through out the day and summarise it in the evening for a show of flashing lights and colours. The data from Twitter is analysed regarding the positive or negative content of the message. The overall count of this rating is then via an algorithm transformed into the pattern of light and colour displayed on the wheel.

For the Energy of the Nation project, EDF is work with Mike Thelwall, from the University of Wolverhampton and SOSO design company on this project, to light up the London Eye with a daily custom light show.

Talking about Twitter data visualisation another one, pretty unrelated to the Olympics has been put together recently by Nikhil Bobb. Its a lens flare sort of visual effect to let the tweets blink up on a map. Looks very nice and the map is interactive and you don’t have to wait until the evening to enjoy it. You can check it out round the clock fro London from HERE. Other cities are in the list on the left if you want to travel the world on a lens flare trip. Via Living Geography.

Image by urbanTick / Tweet flare visualisation of real time tweets by Nikhil Bobb.

Let the Games Begin!

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It is now only One Year to Go! for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Summer Games 2012 here in London. The big event is moving closer by the day. Officials are eagerly pointing out that the planning and the preparation work is on schedule, very well in shape, but still has a mountain of work to do.

However, this One Year landmark is a moment for reflection and aso litte celebration. The Twitter hastag will be #1yeartogo The past weekend was filed with Olympic activities. To now celebrate and look forward to the games is definitely a more positive note after recently the ticket sale filled the media. There were a lot of disappointed Olympics fans after the ticket lottery announced the results. In that first phase, 700,000 successful applicants secured 3m tickets. In the second, a further 160,000 or so were accounted for. In total, Locog has shifted 6m tickets in a matter of months, which the chief executive, Paul Deighton, estimates makes it the most popular event of all time. THere seems to be a decent chance for unsuccessful applications of previous rounds to stil get a ticket as the Guardian reports.

Olympic Stadium One Year to go
Image taken from London2012 / A unique aerial image shows the number ‘1’ mown into the grass in the Olympic Stadium, starting the celebrations to mark one year to go until the Games begin.

Looking at the workload ahead, Britain’s olympics minister Hugh Robertson says there will be ‘difficult moments’ in the run up to the games, but that ‘we are in a very good place’ as he is quoted in the Guardian.

In terms of venues the largest part is taking place i the Lea Valley and a lot of the infrastructure is already in place. Most of the to be built venues are in their final stage or finished. The Olympic Stadium is has the turf laid already with the tracks being worked on at the moment. The Velodrome was one of the first venues to actually being handed over. Construction work started in March 2009 and Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy was involved in the design consultation.

Olympic Velodrom inside view
Image taken from London2012 / An inside view of the Olympic velodrome as it shall be ready for the London Games 2012.

What the venues are going to be is probably mostly known by now, the very big question is what the legacy of the games will be. THer is a lot of discussion and confusion around the ownership of the Olympic Stadium as well as other venues. Some venues will be demolished, but others such as the Velodrome and the Aquatics centre will be taken over by the respective sport groups.

However there is more to the legacy than only the venues. There will be a massive Lea Valley park that needs maintaining for the public and there is the large transport schema Londoners have been promised. All these things are currently being talked about. The Guardian reports: “There is significant conversion work to be undertaken and the Park is likely to be closed for the best part of a year. But the Olympic Park Legacy Company, mindful of capitalising on the excitement around the Games, has resolved to open it up in sections as quickly as possible and is seeking legacy operators for everything from the vast swimming complex to the Arcelor Mittal tower that towers over the stadium.”

The two maskots Wenlock and Mandaville are also very busy touring and promoting the Olympics and the Paralympic. The two characters of the Olympics are currently trying out the different spots disciplines around the UK visiting schools and sports facilities. On their website they introduce themselves: “Hi, I’m Wenlock, the London 2012 Olympic mascot… and I’m Mandeville, the London 2012 Paralympic mascot! We’re on a journey around the UK, making friends and finding out all about the Olympic and Paralympic sports. Explore our website to find out more about us and join us on our journey. Come back often – there’s always something new. Have fun!”

Olympic Mascots
Image taken from London2012 / The mascots fo the London Games 2012 trying out some of the sports to feature at the Olympics.

So what to do for this last year to go. There are many ways to get involved, as a volunteer or as a torch-bearer to carry the Olympic torch on its way across the UK. After the chaos around the traveling torch on its world tour pre Beijing Olympics the committee has scraped the idea of sending it around the world. The torch travels from Peloponnese to Land’s End were it arrives on the 18 May 2012 to travel 8000 miles across the UK. Some of the main event sponsors still accept applications if you are interested to run with the torch.

Olympic Park Aerial_110714_120
Image taken from London2012 / An arial view of the site currently (July 2011) for the London Games 2012. The three central elements are the Olympic Stadion, the Aquatic centre and in the middle the View Tower by Anish Kapoor a it is under construction. It is going to be Britain’s biggest piece of public art, a 120 metres tall looping tower.

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