Urban Emotions

Visualizing the sentiments and emotions that are associated with urban areas. The project collects and analyzes huge numbers of tweets to find out with which sentiment people write about different German cities online.

  • Year 2015–2016
  • Context Extended course project, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
  • My Role
    • Visualization
    • Visual Design
    • Development
    • Data Collection & Analysis


The projects basic idea was to detect and visualize different spatial patterns of sentiment in discussions and comments on Twitter. While the focus initially laid on political discussions, it shifted towards comments about cities during the project.

Design Process

The was started within a university course and continued as a side project later on. Throughout the process, many mockups, interactive sketches and prototypes have been created.

Some of the mockups, interactive sketches and prototypes I created throughout the project

While I initially used Processing to produce rapid visual results, I switched to web technologies later on and developed the frontend with HTML, CSS, Javascript and D3.js. The data collection and analysis was done in Python with a language processing library and a sentimental dictionary.


The final visualization compares tweets about different German cities under an emotional point of view. It reveals the expressed sentiments in the online conversations about the cities and allows to visualize these sentiments in relation to different social-demographic and socio-economic datasets.
Moreover, the visualization offers a detailed view for each city to make the aggregated data more understandable. Tweets can be cross-filtered by frequent terms and the expressed sentiments. Through reading the tweets, one can conclude how the sentimental value was aggregated and how it is connected to different used words and terms.

Spatial visualization — Comparing the sentiment of different cities in a schematic map view of Germany
Relating the sentiment to different societal datasets to find relations

Exhibition »Streams and Traces«

Urban Emotions was featured in the exhibition Streams and Traces in Berlin in November 2015.

See more projects:

Touchable Harmony
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  • Interaction Design
  • Physical Computing
Werkschau 2016
  • Webdesign
  • Development

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