On April 30th, Kenya burned 105 tonnes of ivory which was the biggest ivory pile to be burned in history. There was a lot of media coverage, both traditional and social and it was graced by dignitaries like our President and other high level dignitaries.
On social, the ivory burn was given a hashtag #WorthMoreAlive on Twitter where you could see all the activity around the event that was led by updates from Kenya Wildlife Service. Twitter also prepared a Moment where you could see all the videos and tweets posted around the event which makes it more immersive than indiviual tweets.
However, the world is a global village and the event was not being followed only in Kenya and its immediate environs. Twitter has the ability to let people engage on an event happening in one country while being in another and in the same light, people from around the world joined Kenya to raise awareness of poaching in the country.
The best way to show data is using visualizations like charts or in Twitter’s case, using an animated map. Twitter has prepared an animated map where you can be able to see how people from around the world reacted to the Ivory burn in Kenya.
The data set used to create the map is private but you can see that the tweets used were obtained on 30th April from 0310hrs and on 5th May which ended at 0253hrs. Initially, the activity was very strong in Kenya and the UK then gradually, the engagement grew to other countries in all continents. North and South America engagement peaked on 30th April at around 5pm while other countries in the Middle East and Far Asia showed little engagement on this topic.
It is quite revealing to see the reach of the Ivory burn on Twitter around the world and that is what makes these maps special. You can learn more about Twitter Maps here.