The Common North American Belly
Yes, I’m hungry. No, I haven’t eaten today.
But I have been playing with FoodMood, an interactive visualization project that pulls data from Twitter about how people relate to the foods they mention while posting.
Using geo-located tweets as a primary data source together with natural language processing techniques and public access data from WHO and CIA Factbook, we capture and analyze, in real time, the foods that people are tweeting about in their cities and how they feel about them…
…As a sentiment analysis tool, FoodMood develops a more informed global picture about food and emotion. As a datavisualization project, FoodMood shows the connections, patterns and relationships that exist between the variables — insights that are otherwise practically infeasible. Ultimately, FoodMood helps reveal a hidden layer of digital and social data that pushes the boundaries of awareness and understanding of our surrendings one step further.
The data that drives FoodMood is from Twitter. We scrape Twitter in real time and assign a sentiment rating to any tweet about food. So if someone said they just ate a cake and they love it the sentiment rating will be high. If they ate a snail and it made them feel weird (and they tweeted that) then the sentiment rating would be low. We only use English-language tweets on FoodMood.
So, what we’re looking at above is a comparison of Canada, Mexico and the United States. Each has salad, eggs, pancakes, pizza, cake and sandwiches among their top 10 most mentioned foods, and each has the same mood about them.
Sticking within the top 10, Mexico and the United States share a love for chipotle and tacos. Strong choices and yes I’m getting hungry.
Of the three countries, Canada is the thinnest but least happy. The United States appears (at least for those tweeting away) fat and happy.
I’m off to lunch (tuna melt panini if you’re interested), but give the site a play. You can compare foods, moods, countries, look at data at a particular point in time, or over a period of time. — Michael
Image: Screenshot of FoodMood comparing food sentiment as measured via Twitter Posts in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Select image to embiggen.