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MapD, a new software program from Todd Mostak and Sam Madden at MIT, allows for very quick visualization of large datasets, MIT's Technology Review reports. Rather than rely on CPUs, MapD uses GPUs to process data, which Tech Review adds, allows it to be some 70 times faster.

Thus far, Mostak and Madden have used the program to visualize tweets. In a related video, Tech Review's David Talbot shows how it can quickly — within milliseconds — visualize where someone in the US has tweeted the word "rain."

“Many laptops even contain fairly powerful GPUs — fast enough to dramatically accelerate the interactive exploration of moderate-sized datasets of, say, 20 million tweets,” Mostak says.

Tech Review adds that the Sunlight Foundation plans to use the program to examine 22 years' worth of US state and federal campaign donation data, and Nvidia is also interested in the program.