Entire English Wikipedia in physical print

Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

The exhibit From Aaaaa! to ZZZap! opened last week with a hit of the start button. Michael Mandiberg wrote a script to upload the Wikipedia corpus to print-on-demand service Lulu over the course of a couple of weeks. The work comes from his larger project Print Wikipedia.

Print Wikipedia is a both a utilitarian visualization of the largest accumulation of human knowledge and a poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data. Mandiberg has written software that parses the entirety of the English-language Wikipedia database and programmatically lays out thousands of volumes, complete with covers, and then uploads them for print-on-demand. Built on what is likely the largest appropriation ever made, it is also a work of found poetry that draws attention to the sheer size of the encyclopedia’s content and the impossibility of rendering Wikipedia as a material object in fixed form: Once a volume is printed it is already out of date.

Hello, World Book Encyclopedia and Microsoft Encarta.

Favorites

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

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, …

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.

Who is Older and Younger than You

Here’s a chart to show you how long you have until you start to feel your age.