Mauro Martino


Obama | One people

Obama | One people is an unprecedented analysis of Barack Obama's Inauguration Day on January 20, 2009.

In partnership with AT&T Labs, this work created visualizations of mobile phone call activity that characterize the inaugural crowd and address the questions: Who was in Washington, D.C. for President Obama's Inauguration Day? When did they arrive, where did they go, and how long did they stay? The results of our advanced data analyses are presented in two dazzling visualizations that celebrate Barack Obama and the people that paid him homage from all over the United States and the world.

Obama | One People features two high-resolution 3D graphic visualizations of mobile phone call activity during Inauguration Day:

The City illustrates the emotional flow of the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. Through an analysis of the number of mobile phone calls made in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day and the home state or country of phone origin, it is possible to see peaks of call activity as the crowd anticipates President Obama's oath, a drop in call activity as the crowd listens to his inaugural address, and peaks again as the crowd celebrates the inauguration of the new President. Through their cell phones, those present at the historic event share their impressions with friends and family in vast numbers: on the morning of January 20th, call activity is two to three times stronger than usual, and it rises to five times the normal levels after 2 pm as President Obama takes his oath and people begin to celebrate.

The World reveals the international nature of Inauguration Day. It represents the variation in call activity among US States and foreign countries as flows of people traveling to Washington, D.C. to celebrate President Obama, and then departing the capital to go back home. The event is truly international with people present from 138 countries, totaling over half of all the countries in the world. Among the foreign countries, the main international callers are from Canada, Great Britain, France, and Puerto Rico, which register a five-fold increase in call activity. In the U.S., the top calling states are also the country's most populous: California, Florida, New York, and Texas. Notably, Georgia also figures in the list of top five callers on Inauguration Day, even though it ranks ninth in U.S. population.