James Eggers’ The Vibes of Ireland captures the mood of the nation on Budget Day

5 Dec 2012

Originally on display for a Science Gallery exhibition, young developer James Eggers has rejigged The Vibes of Ireland to track Ireland’s sentiments regarding Budget 2013 via social media.

Eggers, an 18-year-old student, is a two-time category winner at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (2011 and 2012) and this year pitched his idea for a Free Flow project, which would analyse traffic cameras and send real-time information to Twitter, to the crowd at the Dublin Web Summit.

Today, Eggers has revisited a project that was on display earlier this year during the Science Gallery’s ‘Happy? Take a Second Look’ exhibition. The Vibes of Ireland tracks the sentiment of tweets from users in Ireland about today’s Budget announcement. Location is determined by geotagging where available, or via the user’s stated location on his or her Twitter profile.

The map of Ireland shifts in colour to represent the mood of the country and assorted counties in relation to today’s news. Blue represents an unhappy lot, light blue is neutral, while yellow is, of course, happy.

Unfortunately, computers will have a hard time detecting sarcasm, and so the mood-tracking isn’t perfect – but judging by the predominant colour of the map it seems we are a sad old bunch today.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic