Tally Tracker Explorer

Tally Tracker Explorer is a visualization depicting live and archived game data from all players in Tally Saves the Internet, a browser extension that transforms the data that advertisers collect into a multiplayer game. It was designed by Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy of Sneakaway Studio as part of the NC State University Libraries' Immersive Scholar grant, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 


Developed during COVID when people are increasingly online, Tally Tracker Explorer visualizes our collective internet activity and its data trails to offer a glimpse at the internet’s underbelly. The Unity experience captures live data from Tally Saves the Internet (a browser extension that transforms the data that advertisers collect into a multiplayer game) and displays this data as a sea of avatars, each surrounded by small product monsters and attached to their unique data trails.

Both Tally Saves the Internet and Tally Tracker Explorer’s core goal is to visualize the internet and it's trackers in a way that makes the invisible (trackers) visible and the lingo familiar.

Tally Tracker Explorer was designed for display in D.H. Hill Jr. Library's Visualization Studio, and will be on display when health measures allow. 

How We Did It

Tally Tracker Explorer display with controls and monsters
The anonymized data included in this project comes from player activity on Tally Saves the Internet as a way to visualize how people are browsing the internet and being placed into the marketing categories by web trackers.

This project was constructed during an eight week creative residency in the Fall of 2020. Due to health and safety measure, the work was accomplished entirely online, with Joelle and Owen collaborating with a library team on technical specifications, some data workflows, and project management. All documentation for how the project was built is hosted at Sneakaway Studio's GitHub, including: 

  • Display requirements
  • Downloading and running the Unity application
  • Controlling the visualization


Created by Sneakaway Studio (Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy)

Supported by NC State University Libraries Immersive Scholar team, including - Micah Vandegrift, Walt Gurley, Hannah Rainey, Scott Bailey, and Colin Keenan. We are particularly grateful for Joseph Dasilva's work as a studio assistant. His knowledge of Unity was invaluable.

The music and sound effects were created by Drew Keefer and Siân Lewis.