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Westeros Sentinel – A Visual Analytics Dashboard for HBO’s Game of Thrones

Unpredictable characters, political intrigues and complex social relations are key ingredients behind the success of HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones. The result is an active exchange on social media platforms, with heated online discussions among the fans of the series. With Westeros Sentinel, webLyzard provides a visual dashboard to explore the online dialog. Released ahead of the series’ fifth season, the system is named after the fictional continent Westeros, which is home to the capital and a central hub of the storyline.

Try out Westeros Sentinel at got.weblyzard.com

“Westeros Sentinel uses the webLyzard Web intelligence platform to better understand viewer engagement by analyzing streams of user-generated content”, explained Prof. Arno Scharl, Managing Director of webLyzard technology. “We have chosen the popular television series Game of Thrones as a showcase, because it has established a reputation for lively and animated discussions via social media platforms”. The system aggregates the user comments from these platforms in real time, and combines them with the latest news articles. It then determines the sentiment of comments about fictional characters automatically, and provides an interactive dashboard with trend charts and visual analytics components.

Press Release: PDF | DOC | TXT (also available in German).
Press Images: Select a file below or download the complete ZIP archive.

Measuring Viewer Engagement

The platform addresses changes in the media landscape, and the significant impact of social media on the viewing experience. Television programming professionals no longer measure the success of a show such as Game of Thrones merely by the size of the audience, but rather by engagement. Social media allow audiences, critics, actors, producers, and marketers alike to share experiences, discuss important events, express views and provide interpretations.

Westeros Sentinel captures this social engagement around Game of Thrones and provides a much deeper insight into evolving viewer perceptions and opinions. Advanced text mining tools provide an unprecedented level of transparency about emerging trends. They reveal how new plot elements trigger and shape discussions, for example, or how real-world events such as an actor’s public appearance at an award ceremony affect viewer sentiment.

Visual Tools to Analyze the Online Dialog

The webLyzard dashboard customized for Westeros Sentinel goes beyond simple charts and statistical representations. Multiple coordinated view technology supports different types of information seeking behavior such as browsing, searching, and trend monitoring. Real-time synchronization mechanisms help to analyze and organize the extracted knowledge. The dashboard not only shows how often viewers mention fictional characters, but also highlights concepts that the audience associates with the unfolding storyline of each new episode.

References

Scharl, A., Hubmann-Haidvogel, A., Jones, A., Fischl, D., Kamolov, R., Weichselbraun, A. and Rafelsberger, W. (2015). “Analyzing the Public Discourse on Works of Fiction – Automatic Emotion Detection in Online Media Coverage about HBO’s Game of Thrones”, Information Processing & Management: In Press.

Scharl, A., Hubmann-Haidvogel, A., Sabou, M., Weichselbraun, A. and Lang, H.-P. (2013). “From Web Intelligence to Knowledge Co-Creation – A Platform to Analyze and Support Stakeholder Communication”, IEEE Internet Computing, 17(5): 21-29.

About webLyzard technology (April 2015)

webLyzard technology provides advanced Web intelligence and visual analytics services. It helps to better understand the perceptions of stakeholders who engage in online communication – customers, journalists, policy makers, etc. – and extracts important indicators for campaign management and public outreach programs. For this purpose, webLyzard captures news and social media content to maintain an evolving knowledge repository and update its award-winning media analytics dashboard (category winner at the Austrian National Award for Multimedia and e-Business 2008, winner of the Digital Earth 3D Visualization Challenge 2007 co-sponsored by Google and NASA). The dashboard enables decision makers to identify relevance and sentiment of online content, measure brand reputation, and apply the industry’s most advanced communication success metric.

The Westeros Sentinel is based on the (2015-03 release) of the webLyzard platform. It is not sponsored by or affiliated with HBO or any other organization involved in the production of the Game of Thrones television series.