I watched the 2012 elections on Twitter, and I wasn't alone. Data from the social network proves that out, with more than 31 million election-related tweets recorded that night. But what does that type of activity look like in real time? Using the SGI (s SGI) UV 2000 Big Brain supercomputer at the University of Illinois, two data aficionados were able to generate a heat-map of activity in real time.
The world according to Twitter as seen through a high-performance computer. A big brain computer tracks Twitter’s global heartbeat during the 2012 elections and Hurricane Sandy in a research project created by two Illinois academics proving that real-time analysis of unstructured data is possible if you only have enough cores, cache and networking I/O.