CartoDB, a Spanish software company, maps Twitter

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CartoDB is a Spanish mapping software company that literally visualizes data by creating interactive maps. This company recently teamed up with Twitter to allow any user to create such a map.

Personally, I am excited that this kind of data journalism exists, because I’m a visual learner. I learn new topics easier and quicker when I can attach visuals to ideas.

The specific service that was created hand-in-hand with Twitter is called “Mapping Twitter.” Users can create interactive animated maps that collect information in real-time from geotagged tweets all over the world.

Particularly intriguing is the “Sunrise around the world” interactive map. Dark, shadowy waves represent the movement of the sun’s rays while golden sparkle-like specks pop up wherever the sun is rising at that moment.

Other than globally mapping little sunrises, “Mapping Twitter” created visually appealing interactive maps for events such as the Indian elections, the Super Bowl 2014 and the United States versus Portugal World Cup game.

CartoDB, which was recently chosen as one of the top ten startups in Spain, employs about 24 people and generates an annual turnover of about $2 million, according to Alex Barrera of It has offices in Madrid, Berlin and New York and has served places like The Wall Street Journal, United Nations Environmental Programme, BBVA and the World Resources Institute.

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