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When the world’s leaders and thousands of stakeholders come together to discuss climate change, people from around the world will want to voice their opinion.

How do you map the opinion of millions? Our job was to develop a mind-blowing concept mapping the sentiment around a climate conference and we decided to stay close to nature for inspiration.

As a visual representation of the online conversation about the COP17, we created something called the ECOSPHERE: a real-time 3D visualization of the COP17 discussions as they take place on Twitter. In the ECOSPHERE, trees that grow as the global conversation unfolds represent discussion topics. Every tweet tagged with #COP17 contributes to the growth of a tree that symbolizes a certain topic, such as #COP17#CARBON for instance. The more tweets come in on a particular subject, the taller its tree grows and the brighter it glows.

Just like with real trees, leaves sprout from the branches as the tree grows. Tweets that are unrelated to any existing topic in the ECOSPHERE are placed on the surface of the Sphere as digital seeds waiting to grow. Only when other users tweet about the same subject, the seeds will grow and new topic trees will pop up.

In order to make the ECOSPHERE’s vegetation behave as naturally as possible, we based its growth algorithm on actual organic growth patterns from the plant world. Just like plants and trees compete for space and light, so do the Tweet trees i... » view on website