When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 7 it was the strongest tropical storm ever to hit land. Thousands of people have called for help and donations on Twitter. This interactive map shows every geotagged Tweet mentioning the word ‘help’ (in 22 different languages) combined with key terms around the disaster.
The visualization technique
The edge bundling algorithm groups edges together to minimize the amount of ink used to render a graph. This particular paper introduces a fast technique to perform edge bundling.
Take for example this map connecting locations between the east coast in the US and western Europe:
The algorithm creates a proximity graph for the edges where each of the edges is represented by a node. Then the algorithm bundles edges as long as we’re saving some ink in the final rendering. Here’s an intermediate step on the bundling animation:
And here’s the final result: