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

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.