• Glowing landscape shows river history

    May 3, 2013  |  Data Art

    DOGAMI Willamette

    The poster by Daniel E. Coe shows the life-like historical flows of the Willamette River in Oregon.

    This lidar-derived digital elevation model of the Willamette River displays a 50-foot elevation range, from low elevations (displayed in white) fading to higher elevations (displayed in dark blue). This visually replaces the relatively flat landscape of the valley floor with vivid historical channels, showing the dynamic movements the river has made in recent millennia. This segment of the Willamette River flows past Albany near the bottom of the image northward to the communities of Monmouth and Independence at the top. Near the center, the Luckiamute River flows into the Willamette from the left, and the Santiam River flows in from the right.

    Only $15 in print. [Thanks, Larry]

  • Time-lapse: Package shipped with a hidden camera

    April 18, 2013  |  Data Art

    Designer Ruben van der Vleuten was curious about the shipping process, so he did what anyone would do. He installed a camera in a cardboard box and shipped it to himself. Below is a time-lapse video of the package's journey.

    [via Co.Design]

  • Wall shelf represents water in snowpack

    April 5, 2013  |  Data Art

    Snow Water Equivalent Cabinet

    Melting snowpacks feed into streams and rivers and serve as a source of water for nearby communities. The Snow Water Equivalent Cabinet by artist Adrien Segal represents the amount of water in snowpack in Ebbetts Pass, California.

    Each drawer is one year of data for a total of 31 years - 1980 - 2010. The size of the drawer is directly related to the amount of water stored in the snowpack for the given year. Some of the drawers are so shallow that they are barely functional. Wet years have larger drawers.

    I understand the metaphor behind the limited functionality at low water points, but a totally functional version would be a sexy piece in a studio. Snow Water is currently on display at the Richmond Art Center as part of the Innovations in Contemporary Crafts exhibition until June 1. [Thanks, Michael]

  • A visualization of pi for high school math students

    March 22, 2013  |  Data Art

    On Kickstarter: A project that uses a visualization of pi to connect Brooklyn high school students to their community.

    They've already made a histogram of emotions in their school's hallway and a stacked area chart mural at a nearby senior center. Next up is a wall currently covered in graffiti.

    In Math class, students will construct the golden spiral based on the Fibonacci Sequence and begin to explore the relationship between the golden ratio and Pi. The number Pi will be represented in a color-coded graph within the golden spiral. In this, the numbers will be seen as color blocks that vary in size proportionately within the shrinking space of the spiral, allowing us to visualize the shape of Pi and it's negative space.

    Backed.

  • The world as one city

    March 8, 2013  |  Data Art

    Urbanism of the world

    When we build models of the world, we often think of it broken down into pieces, such as cities, counties, and countries. In their newly funded project The City of 7 Billion, architects Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis aim to model the world as one city, to study the impact of population growth on the environment and natural resources on a larger scale.

    Every corner of the planet, they argue, is "urban" in some sense, touched by farming that feeds cities, pollution that comes out of them, industrialization that has made urban centers what they are today. So why not think of the world as a single urban entity?

    Hsiang and Mendis don't yet know exactly what this will look like (that is the question, Mendis says). But they are planning to seed their geo-spatial model with worldwide data on population growth, economic and social indicators, topography, ecology and more. Ultimately, they hope, other researchers will be able to use the open-source platform for research on development patterns or air quality; the public will be able to use it to grasp the implications of building in a flood plain or implementing an energy policy; and architects will be able to use it to view the world as if it were a single project site.

    Along with a slew of other challenges I am sure, one of the big ones is finding comparable data at high granularity. Large cities tend to track (and hopefully release) data about what's going, but once you step out of the major areas, data grows scarce.

    They started with population, which was transformed into the physical installation above.

  • Pope face composite

    February 26, 2013  |  Data Art

    Cardinal compositeWith Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, 116 cardinals from various regions have to come a consensus on who will be next. Amanda Cox and Graham Roberts for The New York Times wondered what a composite of all the cardinals might look like, which looks exactly how you might expect the average to look.

  • Time running parallel

    February 1, 2013  |  Data Art

    In Waters Re~ artist Xárene Eskandar placed video of the same landscape at different times of day in parallel.

    They capture the subjective and perceptual qualities of time expressed as events, moments, memory and landscape. The goal is to break the linear experience of time, allowing viewers to perceive multiple times within a single viewpoint. As a result insignificant moments become significant events, heightening one's experience of the landscape and one's existence in that particular moment in time and space.

    The results are beautiful. [via FastCo]

  • Evolution of science fiction covers in color

    January 24, 2013  |  Data Art

    Arthur Buxton plotted the most common colors of Penguin Publishing science fiction colors and arranged them over time. Also available in print.

    Changing science fiction colors

    I wonder if there's a good way to show connections between the titles or the different covers for each title.

  • Slitscanning online videos

    January 21, 2013  |  Data Art

    slitscanner

    Thanks to Sha Hwang, you can now siltscan videos on YouTube and Vimeo with an easy-to-use bookmarklet. Just go to the video and click. In case you're unfamiliar with the technique, here's a description from Golan Levin:

    Slitscan imaging techniques are used to create static images of time-based phenomena. In traditional film photography, slit scan images are created by exposing film as it slides past a slit-shaped aperture. In the digital realm, thin slices are extracted from a sequence of video frames, and concatenated into a new image.

    Be sure to switch over to HTML5 on YouTube or Vimeo first. The bookmarklet won't work with Flash.

  • silenc: Removing the silent letters from a body of text

    January 18, 2013  |  Data Art

    During a two-week visualization course, Momo Miyazaki, Manas Karambelkar, and Kenneth Aleksander Robertsen imagined what a body of text would be without the the silent letters in silenc.

    silenc is based on the concept of the find-and-replace command. This function is applied to a body of text using a database of rules. The silenc database is constructed from hundreds of rules and exceptions composed from known guidelines for "un"pronunciation. Processing code marks up the silent letters and GREP commands format the text.

    So nothing too fancy on the analysis side, but the experimental views are kinda interesting to see. [via @alexislloyd]

  • Random walk on pi

    January 9, 2013  |  Data Art

    Steps through pi

    By Francisco Javier Aragón Artacho, "This is a walk made out of the first 100 billion digits of pi in base 4 with the following rules for the steps: 0 right, 1 up, 2 left, 3 down." [via]

  • The family tree for All in the Family

    December 6, 2012  |  Data Art

    All in the Family Tree

    James Grady from Fathom Information Design had a look at the family tree of All in the Family, a popular television from the 1970s:

    All in the Family was the origin of seven spin-off shows that aired between the early '70s and the mid-'90s: Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Checking In, Archie Bunker's Place, Gloria, and 704 Hauser.

    In tribute to nostalgia, the end of fall and its beautiful colors, and my fascination with retro TV shows, I've created All in the Family Tree, an interactive visualization of all the characters from each of the eight shows listed above. Each character is represented by a leaf and each show is indicated by a separate color. A branch line connects a character's crossover from original show to spin-off and vice versa.

    It's a charming piece that's sure to bring back good memories for anyone who watched the shows. I was too young to appreciate them at the time, and all I can remember is the opening sequence of The Jeffersons. I think they were moving on up. To the east side.

  • Lunar Lander trails

    December 4, 2012  |  Data Art

    In 1979, Atari released Lunar Lander, a game whose object was to land a module safely on the moon. Digital artist Seb Lee-Delisle turned the game into an installation in which you play the game, and your paths are drawn on a wall by a hanging robot. The result, a unique trace of players' paths in the game, is quite nice.

    I'm surprised we haven't seen more video game-based pieces likes this. The only one that comes to mind is the Just Cause 2 point cloud, which showed 11 million player deaths. It revealed terrain and gameplay mechanics. There's also this graphic that shows what buttons to push to beat Super Mario Brothers 3, but that doesn't really count. It'd be fun to see the direct path of a Mario expert versus a novice path that doubles back and ends early. Pac-Man might be a fun one to see, too. Yeah, let's do that.

  • Pinball machine as Etch A Sketch

    November 29, 2012  |  Data Art

    Pinball machine as sketcher

    When you plan pinball, the ball bounces around creating paths for itself and the better you play, the more control you have over those paths. Recent design graduate Sam van Doorn modified a machine so that you can see those paths in his project STYN. A poster is placed underneath the flippers, and the ball gets a douse of paint on the way out, so you get a unique sketch each time you play. [via infosthetics]

  • Lego New York

    November 16, 2012  |  Data Art

    Lego New York

    I'm not sure what these digitally rendered Lego blocks by JR Schmidt represent, other than the geography of New York, but the image sure is pretty. This may or may not also have to do with me loving everything Lego.

  • Data visualization as cultural phenomenon

    November 8, 2012  |  Data Art

    In 1979, Joy Division released their album Unknown Pleasures, and the cover was an image of readings from a pulsar. That image grew into a cultural phenomenon. With the kick off of the new Visualized conference in New York, this short video explores the growth of the icon. [Thanks, Eric]

  • Beauty in movement

    November 1, 2012  |  Data Art

    For the Made by Humans exhibit at the Hyundai Vision Hall in South Korea, Universal Everything turns basic movements into a visual spectacle. Pretty. From the Creators Project:

    As the founder and creative director of Universal Everything, Matt Pyke leads a creative mission to create gorgeous visual spectacles on screen that, while they will never be attained in physical reality, reinterpret the nuances of natural human motion.

    His effectiveness with capturing movements and transforming them into sweeping animated forms allows him to show us shapes we have never seen before while preserving the individual human element in all his creations.

    [via Fast Company]

  • ReConstitution recreates debates through transcripts and language processing

    October 17, 2012  |  Data Art

    ReConstitution

    ReConstitution 2012, a fun experiment by Sosolimited, processes transcripts from the presidential debates, and recreates them with animated words and charts.

    Part data visualization, part experimental typography, ReConstitution 2012 is a live web app linked to the US Presidential Debates. During and after the three debates, language used by the candidates generates a live graphical map of the events. Algorithms track the psychological states of Romney and Obama and compare them to past candidates. The app allows the user to get beyond the punditry and discover the hidden meaning in the words chosen by the candidates.

    As you let the transcript run, numbers followed by their units (like "18 months") flash on the screen, and trigger words for emotions like positivity, negativity, and rage are highlighted yellow, blue, and red, respectively. You can also see the classifications in graph form.

    There are a handful of less straightforward text classifications for truthy and suicidal, which are based on linguistic studies, which in turn are based on word frequencies. These estimates are more fuzzy. So, as the creators suggest, it's best not to interpret the project as an analytical tool, and more of a fun way to look back at the debate, which it is. It's pretty fun to watch.

    Here's a short video from Sosolimited for more on how the application works:

  • Data sculpture shows emotional response to Olympics

    September 20, 2012  |  Data Art

    plates

    During the Olympics, Studio NAND, Moritz Stefaner, and Drew Hemment tracked Twitter sentiment with Emoto. This interactive installation and data sculpture is the last leg of the project.

    The emoto data sculp­ture repres­ents message volumes, aggreg­ated per hour and senti­ment level in hori­zontal bands which move up and down according to the current number of Tweets at each time. This resulted in simpli­fied 3-dimensional surfaces which allows visitors to identify patterns in message frequency distri­bu­tion more easily. And while not being specific­ally designed in this direc­tion, the surfaces also nicely support haptic exploration.

    The sculpture itself is black and unchanging, and it's used as a projection surface to display a heat map and overlay text. The projection is controlled by the user, which makes for an interesting blend of physical and digital.

  • Make cool images with emergent algorithm

    September 17, 2012  |  Data Art

    Ablaze

    I'm not sure what I'd do with Ablaze.js, a JavaScript library by Patrick Gunderson, but the results are sexy. Play around with the app here. [via @jeffclark]

Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.