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The SocialSphere: Data Visualization In The Motor City…of Germany

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In the heart of Wolfsburg, Germany, adjacent to the Volkswagen HQ lives a mecca for auto enthusiasts, known as the Autostadt — featuring a customer pickup center and pavilions showcasing VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley, Buggati, and Lamborghini. The museum houses treasures such as the original Model T, the millionth Mini, and even huge obstacle courses for off-roading adventure!

Already well-known for their innovative and intricate exhibits, they wanted to create an experience that allowed visitors to interact with the social web in real time — to provide a glimpse of how the proliferation of social media now affects everything from Autostadt, Volkswagen, and even how we perceive the concept of transportation on a global scale. That’s where iStrategyLabs comes in.

In a groundbreaking collaboration with the Sandbox Network, we built the “Socialsphere”, which opened to the public on June 1st, 2011.  The Socialsphere features 22” touchscreens that allow visitors to interact with giant 15’ x 15’ displays — all powered by a custom data management system for easy moderation and updating. The 7 custom applications pull real-time social data from Twitter, Foursquare, and Flickr, which are visualized in compelling ways, and are controllable by mounted touchscreens that visitors can manipulate.

iStrategyLabs created all design, technology and hardware integrations for the project. See for yourself what we’ve been building and let us know what you think!

Walk-through Video:


You can see the following 7 social applications live on this microsite.

1)  Word Cloud - see how far the rabbit hole you can go through clouds of words associated with Autostadt, Wolfsburg, and Volkswagen on Twitter

2)  Travel Plans - a heatmap of Foursquare check-ins at airports and translations around the world

3)  Movements – Choose between Biking, Driving, Flying, and Running and see a Twitter layer on top of Flickr images

4)  Guess The Model – An interactive game pulling from Flickr, think you know the differences between an Audi A3 and S5?

5)  Buyers - Spin and manipulate the globe as geocoded tweets appear around the world

6)  Photo Album - Browse through Flickr photos tagged with Autostadt, and you just might see some party pics from the club underground the distribution tunnel running straight from the factory

7)  Panoramas – See Tweets appear (yes, even your own) on a custom map of Wolfsburg, Germany, as you zoom your way around town

3 Responses to “The SocialSphere: Data Visualization In The Motor City…of Germany”

  1. Jen says:

    Amazing job, DJ & team! – Congrats!

  2. [...] Image and video courtesy of iStrategyLabs. Find more of them on their blog! [...]

  3. Vic says:

    This is pretty cool. Good Job!

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