In order to understand and analyse the functionality and pulse of the Web, we require tools and visualisations of the flows, exchanges of information, and activity of different social machines. The situation room is SOCIAM’s solution to monitoring, analysing and tracking the emergence and evolution of social machines on the Web. Driven by Web Observatory, the SOCIAM Macroscope provides a real-time observational window to examine and compare human and machine interaction at the macro and micro level.
The Macroscope involves the processing, analysis and visualization of multi-modal, real-time streams of social machine activity, which is visualised using a matrix of 6 40” 4K screens each displaying analytically-based visualisation. The Macroscope is underpinned by the Web Observatory infrastructure and datasets, which relies on various layers of security, storage, and streaming in order to provide enriched real-time. The SSR offers more than just an observational window on the Web, it offers onlookers the ability to interact and filter the visualisations in order to focus on a specific topic, timeframe, or social machine.
As shown in the image taken during the pre-launch event, the Macroscope contained 6 different visualisations which were used various real-time streams being collected, processed and stored in the Web Observatory. Currently we are placing our attention to examining the activity of a selection of real-time streams which contain the activity records of Wikipedia, Twitter, and trends from Google and Yahoo. Each of the visualisations provide a unique perspective of these incoming streams, from calculating statistical analysis on the raw log Twitter data, to tracing the flows and cascades of information.
Ultimately, we see the SSR as a platform to observe the growth and pulse of the Web within and across different social machines.