Data visualization meets game design to explore your digital life

Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

The list of one-off applications that visualize your digital life, whether it be your Twitter feed, Facebook updates, or Foursquare checkins, has been growing for a short while. Ben Cerveny and Tom Carden, both Stamen Design alumni, aim to take this idea to the next level with Bloom, with elements of game design.

Our mission to bring you a new type of visual discovery experience is already underway. We’re building a series of bite-sized applications that bring the richness of game interactions and the design values of motion graphics to the depth and breadth of social network activity, locative tools, and streaming media services. These new ‘visual instruments’ will help you explore your digital life more fluidly and see patterns and rhythms in the online services you care about.

Bloom is still in development, but the team recently relaunched with a couple of visualizations that you can play around with. The first is Fizz (above), which lets you see your Twitter or Facebook feed develop. The second is Cartagram (below). It displays Instagram photos in a map layout.

About these two instruments, Cerveny notes:

What is important to realize about these, as with all of our coming applications, is that they are the foundations of a constant flow of ongoing iterative development, much like video game franchises.

And it’s not just about analysis and technical insights. Some applications will be analytical, yes, but others will be playful or lyrical or a combination of all of the above. Best of all, they’re designing with mobile in mind, too, which could really put it over the top.

I’ve been eagerly waiting to see what these guys have been working on, so it’s great to see the first works in action. Now I can’t wait to see what comes next.

[Bloom via infosthetics]

Favorites

Where People Run in Major Cities

There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep track of your running, riding, and other activities. Record speed, …

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.