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We've been designing and building maps and data visualizations in San Francisco's Mission District for happy clients since 2001. Stamen is a 100% independently owned and operated company.

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MTV: Live Twitter Visualizations

Stamen has been working with MTV on a series of live visualizations of realtime Twitter data. The effort started with the 2009 Video Music Awards, and is being extended to multiple other simultaneous TV/Internet coverage of popular culture.

"In line with efforts to bring fans closer and truly make them part of the show, MTV is teaming up with leading interactive and social media companies Radian6 and Stamen to bring fans real-time online Twitter visualization experiences to complement the "2009 MTV Video Music Awards" airing live on Sunday, September 13 at 8pm ET/PT. Popular video blogger iJustine (Justine Ezarik) will be the official VMA "Twitter Correspondent," and will be interpreting Twitter comments during the red carpet pre-show. The on-air component will be executed through a new interactive application created in partnership with social media measurement company Radian6 and design firm Stamen, and will bring Twitter to the television in a new and interesting manner." (Reuters)

One of the more interesting parts of the project has been its use not only as a browser-based experienced to be viewed on a computer, but also as part of the live TV experience. The two environments are radically different: the internet screen is all about engagement, trying to make something lovely that pulls people in and rewards interaction and increased engagement, whereas the TV experience (especially on MTV) is all about the quick hit, the soundbyte, the "here's what's happening right now," and you have a maximum of 2 minutes to communicate something quite complex. So it's been a challenge, involving everything from the size of the type (it has to be bigger on TV) to the aspect ratio (on the web it's dynamic, on TV there's a safe zone) to the quickly-changing demands of a live television broadcast. But it's a good challenge to have, especially when the payoff is a live Stamen visualization on top of the marquee at Radio City Music Hall:

The project has captured some interesting cultural moments so far, like Kanye West's crashing of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech:

The internet made its opinion on the incident known in short order:

And the project has since been used to cover a variety of famous and infamous moments in pop culture: