In the last few years, the media has been filled with negative stories about asylum seekers. But in recent weeks that's all changed, with people across Europe loudly and publicly proclaiming their support for refugees from war-torn Syria.
To highlight the strength of this groundswell of opinion, humanitarian aid charity Doctors of the World has teamed up with London/Sydney-based digital agency Impero (opens in new tab) to create a real-time visualisation of all the positive things being tweeted about refugees.
The Journey of a Refugee map (opens in new tab) shows all tweets in real-time, and plots them along the routes refugees are travelling across the continent.
It works by using the Twitter streaming API to capture tweets as they happen, pushing new tweets into the browser using WebSockets (opens in new tab), with the help of socket.io (opens in new tab) and node.js (opens in new tab).
A variety of key words and hashtags are used to identify relevant tweets and sentiment tracking to ensure that these are positive.
"We wanted our contribution to help drive change," says Michael Scantlebury, creative director and founder of Impero. "By visualising the very real issues faced by refugees in combination with positive stories of support throughout Europe, the map offers an accessible way for Britons to understand the current crisis.
"Partnering our creative and technical teams with the expertise of Doctors of the World has produced an awareness tool that we believe can have real impact."
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