UCLA Project Keeps Eye on Tweets From Egypt

"Twitter is our conduit to capture the voices coming out of Egypt"

As the crowd celebrated Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square, a team at UCLA was watching every tweet and passing it on to the world.

"Hypercities Egypt: Voices from Cairo through Social Media" streams Twitter updates and overlays them on a digital map of Cairo.

"Twitter is our conduit to capture the voices coming out of Egypt," said Yoh Kawano, a member of the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities program.

"There are, literally, hundreds of Tweets per minute," Kawano said.

Here are a few from Friday morning after it was announced that Hosni Mubarak would step down as Egypt's leader:

Kawano and his team got together last week to launch the project. He said the application took about three days to build and launch.

They created a similar program during Iran's 2009 presidential election. It featured YouTube videos, Twitter updates and images in chronological order.

"Last week, when the unrest was happened, three of us from the Digital Humanities Collaborative got together and said, 'Let's try to build something that relevant for today.

"One of the more powerful Tweets I saw was that at the end of a speech, everybody had taken their shoes off and waved them in the air."

The program was built to work with Internet Explorer 8, but also functions on Firefox 3.6, Chrome and Safari.

Click here to read more about the department and the project.

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