In recent years we have moved from data scarcity to data abundance. As a response, a variety of methods have been adopted in art, design, business, science and government to understand and communicate meaning in data through visual form. emoto (emoto2012.org) is one such project, it visualised the online audience response to a major global event, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. emoto set out to both give expression to and augment online social phenomena, that are emergent and only recently made possible by access to huge real-time data streams. This report charts the development and release of the project, and positions it in relation to current debates on data and visualisation, for example, around the bias and accessibility of the data, and how knowledge practices are changing in an era of so-called 'big data.'