Japan Earthquake: Emotions at a glance

What was the country “feeling” after the earthquake?  Was it engulfed in sorrow?  Anger?  Fear?  What effect did the hundreds of aftershocks have on the populace?  In an attempt to answer these questions, a social media analysis can provide a window  into the sentiment that was prevalent at each phase of recovery by visualizing each emotion group played out over time.  The charts below stacks each emotion group, one on top of another.  These was generated using the Protovis Javascript API.  Clicking into any of the emotion charts will allow interaction with their values over time:

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In concordance with previous analyses, the most noticeable observations come in the “fear” emotion on April 7th.  Looking at the “Earthquake magnitude” chart, one can see that the second largest aftershock occurs on that day, bringing meaning to the notion that “fear” was a predominant emotional reaction to an already stressed nation at the time.  One can also depict that while the April 7th 7.1 magnitude earthquake was the largest aftershock since the big one on March 11th, that the country was consistently rocked throughout, averaging more than 10 earthquakes a day.  However, as the earthquake chart reveals, the number of quakes had tailored off considerably over time, perhaps causing it to expose even more shock value to the “big” 7.1 quake, at a time when the people were starting to feel a level of normality.

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