The Trending Topics sidebar is a great place for an at-a-glance look at what’s popular on Twitter right now, but it doesn’t give you any context. How long has that hashtag been popular? Which is the most popular one right now?

There’s a great interactive infographic available for you to answer all of these questions and more. Using What’s Up, you can explore how popular different hashtags have been, how long they were talked about, and compare days, weeks or months of trending topics. It’s a data-lover’s dream.

What’s Up is a bubble scatterplot that displays Trending Topics in different black bubbles across your screen.

Both the size and position of a bubble represent its popularity. The larger a bubble is, and the higher it is placed on the screen, the more popular (i.e. a high volume of tweets) it is. The farther to the right a bubble is placed, the longer that topic has been talked about.

There is a time bar along the bottom of the graph that let’s you configure your Trending Topic search. You can use this to follow the development of a current Trending Topic by looking at only the past few hours of data, or examine the whole ecosystem by widening your view to several months.

And as an added bonus, What’s Up includes a link to Wikipedia, Twitter and Google search related to each topic, so you can quickly and easily find out its meaning.

This is quite an addictive tool if you’re anything of a data lover, as you can literally watch Twitter trends come and go before your eyes. Plus, if you’ve ever had a question about whether something has trended when you were away from Twitter, you’ll find your answer here.

What’s Up is a User Interface Design GmbH project.