#ParisAttacks: How Twitter Tells the Story

By Guest Author 2015/11/19

Note: This is a guest post by Tableau Zen Master Jonathan Trajkovic in Paris.

This is an analysis of Twitter hashtags over the weekend following the terrorist attacks in Paris. I chose to try to tell the story with Twitter's data. I used the website talkwalker.com to get the data. The data set is aggregated by the hour starting on Friday, Nov. 13.

Why This Data Visualisation?

I made this data visualisation because I was really moved by all these attacks. The victims were in my age group. I live in Paris Xe, so it was in my neighbourhood. And I love going to concerts, and drinking a beer with friends. So this was a way for me to pay tribute to the victims.

Why This Data?

I chose to use aggregated data because I did not have so much time. But I was really interested in row data that showed geolocations and users. I was also interested in retweets and bookmarks. In fact, I would have loved to have the details of each tweet. But as I mentioned before, I did not have so much time.

Why a Red Color Palette?

It was difficult for me to choose a design. I tried different palettes but none was quite right. When I tried the red palette, I said to myself, “Wow, this is really aggressive,” and I thought about it for a long time. I chose to use this even if it is aggressive because, indeed, #ParisAttacks were really aggressive.

When my colleagues and friends looked at my visualization, they told me that there is too much red and it is aggressive. I told them that it is the aim of red palette. I want readers to have the same feeling than me about #ParisAttacks. Apparently, it is working.

Why Use Story Points?

First I tried to make a one-page visualization. But when I looked at the data and how hashtags move, I saw that telling a story could be a good solution. So I used Story Points to show the various hashtags that followed the events of Friday night.

Feel free to leave a message or a note about this work.

For more works by Jonathan, visit his blog, Tips&Viz.


Submitted by Matt Lutton (not verified) on

Great stuff Jonathan - keep up the awesome work!

Submitted by Inge (not verified) on

Nice viz Johathan on how to analyze twitter.
But indeed the cause why is sad.

Submitted by daniela joão po... (not verified) on

Do not forget PARIS

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

" With the cuning and verve of.... but with an intensity all its own "# Dare Me and The Fever......smile.

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

A long list of studies have shown a positive effect of spiritual practices and beliefs on mental. (health) In this new version of my life, my altered routine had pushed oside one of my usual practices: time spent in prayer and contemplation every morning......Love..smile.

Submitted by Shaunak (not verified) on

Hi, Did you used R for Twitter Data for importing. Do you have additional data .

Submitted by Sucina (not verified) on

Hello there I just thought I would tell you that I did enjoy visiting your blog and to wish you all the best with it in the future - Sucina