Thinking about food and people brings me happiness, they remind me of big family dinners, and happy memories of sharing good food with friends. And I found the perfect interactive infographic on #FoodMood.

FoodMood is an interactive visualization project about food and emotions. It collected and analyzed geo-located twitter feeds from people tweeting about their food to understand what emotions were associated with some foods eaten by people around the world over time. National GDPs and obesity levels for the individual countries were also included to explore relationships between different national GDP levels with food consumption habits as well as obesity levels.

Visual tools used in this project to present ideas include:

  • Emojis
    • In legend bar – for different emotions
    • In menu bar –  option to click on to view page differently
  • Hashtag – in the title to refer to Twitter
  • Icons – represent obesity levels and national GDP
  • Colors – that represent the different levels of happiness associated
  • Areas of boxes – they capture the number of tweets about a certain food; the bigger the box just means more people tweeted about this particular food.
  • Floating boxes – more info about a country or a food when you move around on the screen.
Fettuccine made the Chinese the most happy.

Fettuccine made the Chinese the most happy. This was in the sorted by happiest food mode, size of box is the same


Their difference with traditional journalism: 

  • Customizable – users can select the countries they wanted to compare from as many as 1 to all.
  • Using areas of boxes to represent size instead of bars or pie segments, allowing more food options to be represented
  • Included timeline – showing changes over time.

Traditional journalism just doesn’t have the ability show so many dimensions in one single graph or chart or even represent in words as easily to understand.

It was effective mainly due to the different sized and colored boxes allowing clear comparison between foods and countries and its customizability. However, I was annoyed when the map wasn’t very fast and responsive to country selections I made, which is a setback for user engagement. Also, when too many countries are selected to be compared, the page becomes crowded and it is less clear to identify the countries as well as the food.

Two countries in view

Two countries in view

And 18 countries in view

And 18 countries in view


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