Inspiration

We wanted to create a large scale visualization system for the torrent of political tweets that are flowing down the central stream of human information. Analyzing this data provides a well rounded picture of the current geopolitical landscape within the United States down to the second.

What it does

PoliTweets scans the Twitter Stream for any tweet mentioning the five current candidates for the US Presidency: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and John Katich. A C# application pulls a 1% random sample of all POTUS-hopefuls' Twitter mentions. Data is summed on a per second basis to get an idea of the current political tides by state. This is then displayed on a color-map of the United States which can be viewed on the web or the iOS app. Historical data can be browsed as well to compare changes in the political climate over time. Both the web and mobile app access this data via an API exposed by PHP.

How we built it

We built this application on Amazon Web Services so that it could remain accessible long term and available to continue to track geopolitical data as we approach the elections. The iOS app leverages the javascript representation of the data that is represented in a web browser, and presents it in an easy to use, and modern interface.

Challenges we ran into

  • Managing the large volume of data from the Twitter Stream
  • Tackling iOS as a new platform for the group
  • Stringing together different languages to form a cohesive user experience
  • Porting C# to run in an AWS mono environment

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Clean, intuitive user interface in the iOS app
  • Mirroring the user interface on both the web, and the iOS app
  • Packaging the application so that it can run fully self sufficient on an AWS instance

What we learned

  • We learned how to use the bed language for each task and build APIs to communicate between them
  • High level large scale data visualization for a consumer
  • iOS integration with Big Data

What's next for PoliTweets

  • Continue to refine iOS app and release on App Store
  • Develop a parallel Android app
  • Track further data points for Presidential candidates

Domain Submission

Actual Domain: politweets.com (still waiting on DNS) Our Punny Alias: hocusPOTUS.net

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