Your personal networks visualized as microbiological cells in Biologic

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

Data exists in digital form, on our computers and spreadsheets, but the exciting part about data is what it represents in the real world. Bits are people, places, and things. This is especially true with social data from places like Twitter and Facebook, where ideas flow and people talk to interact with each other in different ways. It’s not just retweets and likes. Bloom Studio, the folks who brought you Planetary, embrace this idea in their just released iPad app, Biologic.

The basic concept: choose a social network from the Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn blobs on the opening screen. You will have to authenticate each one you try (only the first time) and then you will transition into a view of the people you follow represented as microbiological cells.

Glowing shapes inside the cells are activities (tweets, pictures, etc). The bigger the activity, the newer it is. The more the activity is moving, the more retweets/favorites/likes it has. Once you have read an item it gets darker so you can tell what’s new.

It looks like another great blend of data, generative art, and game dynamics. I don’t have an iPad though, so I’ll live vicariously through your comments. Grab Biologic (for free) on iTunes.

[Bloom Studios | Thanks, Tom]

1 Comment

  • Simon Conway March 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Nathan,

    This sounds like fun. I went to download but the user agreement says:

    This application will be able to:
    Read tweets from your timeline
    See who you follow, and follow new people
    Update your profile
    Post tweets for you

    The app is free. Ths made me less interested in case they use these priviledges to make money in ways that cause me grief. It looks like these rights could almost turn my account into the twitter version of a bot. I guess the would be called a Twot’

    Probably in the small print somewhere they explain how they won’t abuse my account. I couldn’t see it on the website so I’ve uninstalled without signing up.


The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.

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, …

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.