• Taxonomy of the iPhone

    June 23, 2010  |  Data Art

    iphoneMap2-Heidegger-01

    Ben Millen diagrams the reach of the iPhone in our everyday lives:

    These are not maps in any conventional sense, but rather diagramatic representations of the interconnected space of technology, capital, instrumental value, exchange value, social and environmental impact that surround the device.

    The tube map metaphor is a little worn, but this is subtle, so it's not so bad. There are two maps. One covers the mechanics of the phone while the second is more about how consumers use the phone. The former is the more interesting one.

    So who's going to do the map for my 2004 Samsung flip? It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'.

  • Graphical data fiction

    June 21, 2010  |  Data Art

    Graphical data fiction

    We like to talk about the stories in data. They are the information and meaning in the numbers, and are meant to represent truth. Artist Kim Asendorf turns this around a bit and uses a series of made-up visualization pieces to tell a fictional story. It is the story of John.

    John is a scientist working in a corrupt lab called Sumedicina in Durham, North Carolina. The lab is in the business of selling vaccines, which is all well and good, but the problem is that they're the ones creating and spreading the viruses that their vaccines fight against. John is the lead scientist who creates these viruses.

    His conscience gets the best of him though, and he destroys the highly dangerous virus they are are currently working on and then quits. Sumedicina is having none of it. John is on the run. This is his story in data.

  • Twitter parade in your honor

    June 11, 2010  |  Data Art

    This is completely useless in the good sort of way. Twitter parade, by KDDI, takes your followers and throws a parade for you. You can also enter a keyword instead of a username. As the people march, their recent tweets are displayed.

    Thanks for the giant statue with the top half of my head, guys. Truly, the honor is all mine.

    [via datavisualization]

  • Review: Data Flow 2, Visualizing Information in Graphic Design

    June 8, 2010  |  Data Art, Reviews

    Review: Data Flow 2

    Note: The review copy I received is in French. Unfortunately, I only understand English. So this review is actually my impression of Data Flow: Design Graphique et Visualisation D'Informations as a picture book with titles, which in a way it kind of is anyways.

    Last year, the first Data Flow was published, featuring the data graphics of some fine designers. You can read my review of it here. Basically, if you liked the first Data Flow and could use some more inspiration, you'll probably like this second edition. The two are really similar in layout and in the way the graphics are split up. The title is exactly the same, save the 2.
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  • Twitwee the Twitter cuckoo clock

    May 19, 2010  |  Data Art

    I love it when data, or in this case, tweets, finds itself in physical objects. There's no reason data needs to stay plastered on our computer screens. Embed in the physical world as much as possible, I say. Haroon Baig, a communication designer in Germany, uses a clock that he calls Twitwee to cuckoo every time a tweet comes in matching a given query.

    This would get annoying really fast as it is now, but with a more refined filter or event recognition, this could actually be pretty useful.

    See Twitwee in action below.
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  • Design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece

    May 18, 2010  |  Data Art

    In 1934, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater, a house built partly over a waterfall. A couple of years ago, Smithsonian Magazine listed Fallingwater as one of the 28 places to visit before you die. Cristobal Vila, who himself has a knack for pretty things, animates the imaginary design and construction of Wright's famous building.

    Watch it unfold in the animated video below. Warning: after watching, you will have a very strong urge to visit.
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  • Dreaming in numbers

    May 10, 2010  |  Data Art

    I don't dream in numbers, but if I did, I'm pretty sure it'd look a lot like this. In Nature by Numbers, a short movie by Cristobal Vila, inspired by, well, numbers and nature, Vila animates the natural existence of Fibonacci sequences, the golden ratio, and Delaunay triangulation. Watch it. Even if you don't know what those three things are, the video will rock your socks off.
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  • Planets make sweet music together

    May 4, 2010  |  Data Art

    solar-system

    SolarBeat is an audiolization by Whitevinyl that makes music with the planets. Each planet is assigned a note. As the planets orbit, a note is played each time a year passes on that planet. Result: the planets make sweet, sweet music together.

    [via Information is Beautiful | Thanks, John]

  • Cultural colors of emotion and character

    April 30, 2010  |  Data Art

    Some colors represent different things in different parts of the world, while others are universal. For example, in movies, villains are almost always portrayed in black and passion is going to bring out the red. But what about death? American culture usually calls for black. Hindu calls for white. David McCandless and Always With Honor explore these differences.

    [Thanks, @augustjoki]

  • Connections among Twitter employees

    April 30, 2010  |  Data Art

    Because you can never get enough Twitter visualizations, Jason Stirman takes a look at the tweets among Twitter's first 140 employees. It's called 140 Characters [pdf]. Ha. Get it?

    Much like Chris Harrison's Bible viz, 140 Characters represents connections, or in this case mutual follows, with arcs. Employees are sorted by account creation date, and larger arcs represent an older employee linked with a newer one. The bar graph shows the number of tweets, relative to everyone else. For example, the engineers @al3x and @evan are quite active, along with newer employee @tiger. Good stuff.

    140 Characters is meant only as something pretty to look at, but to take a step in the more analytical direction, I'd try sizing the bars by relative number of mentions between the employees. For one, you'd see who's most "popular" and second, you might start to see the conversations within the group. I'd expect @ev and @biz to have a lot of @mentions, especially during presentations. Placing employees by creation time, instead of just order, could be interesting too.

    [Thanks, @MacDivaONA]

  • Clothing color palette

    April 20, 2010  |  Data Art, Self-surveillance

    Jacobo Zanella makes a color palette every day, based on the clothes he's wearing.

    I observe the colors of the shoes and clothes I wear that day, how much skin is exposed, etc., and reproduce that observation digitally, through RGB combinations. No software or programming is involved in the making of the graphs.

    String them all together, and you've got multi-colors on top (shirts), a lot of black and blue towards the bottom (pants), and whites and grays all the way on the bottom (shoes).

    Too bad he's not logging it programmatically. That could be an interesting view (well, for him).

  • Crowdsourcing Johnny Cash

    April 14, 2010  |  Data Art

    Aaron Koblin (along with Chris Milk) is up to his crowdsourcing mischief again. It started with sheep, then the dollar bill, to a bicycle built for two, and now the Johnny Cash Project. Along the same lines of Aaron's other projects, viewers are invited to draw an individual frame to the tune of Ain't No Grave. In the end, drawings are put together to create a whole new music video for the song. Select any illustrated frame to watch a person's drawing session.
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  • Wear the weather as a bracelet

    March 26, 2010  |  Data Art

    We all know that data is the new sexy, so it's only natural for data to find its way into jewelry. This weather bracelet represents a year of temperatures and rain. Peak heights are mapped to minimum and maximum daily temperatures, and the holes in the sides represent weekly rainfall.
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  • wefeelfine-cover

    Review: We Feel Fine (the book) by Kamvar and Harris

    We Feel Fine, by Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris, is a selection of some of the best entries from the database of 12 million emotions, along with some insights into the growing dataset.
  • Math Functions in the Real World

    February 12, 2010  |  Data Art

    RIT student Nikki Graziano photographs math functions in the real world. Some are a stretch but others are dead on.
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  • Save pens. Use Garamond font

    January 29, 2010  |  Data Art

    Designers Matt Robinson and Tom Wrigglesworth looked at ink usage of some commonly-used typefaces, by hand-drawing them with ballpoint pens.
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  • Data Visualization Christmas Ornaments

    January 15, 2010  |  Data Art

    It's funny how data is finding it's way into everyday objects. There was jewelry a few months ago and coins last month. Now we've got this experiment with Christmas ornaments from Really Interesting Group (RIG). The snowman's head is sized by the number of followers on Twitter; the (rain) bars represent miles traveled per month on Dopplr; the red shows listening habits on last.fm; and finally, the blue one shows apertures you've used over the year for photos uploaded to Flickr. Continue Reading

  • The Decline of Maritime Empires

    December 24, 2009  |  Data Art

    This experiment (below) by graduate student Pedro Miguel Cruz shows the decline of Maritime empires during the 19th and 20th centuries .

    Pedro explains:

    I don’t wanna call this small experiment of information visualization neither information art. Either way sounds too pretentious - as the visuals are not very sophisticated or elegant, and the way that the information is treated doesn’t enable the extraction of advanced knowledge. Although, it works very well as a ludic narrative. I ultimately found it very joyful.

    So sit back and enjoy. It's fun to watch.

    Let's for a second consider an alternative to view this data more analytically for some more insight and what not. I'm thinking an area graph ala Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg's History Flow for Wikipedia dynamics could be interesting. What do you think?

  • When Twitter Says Good Morning Around the World

    October 19, 2009  |  Data Art

    Jer Thorp, an artist and educator from Vancouver, Canada, visualizes when people "wake up" on Twitter, or when they say good morning, rather. Here it is in its 3-d globe glory. It's called GoodMorning!. Notice the wave.

    Okay, wait, I know you're already furiously leaving or thinking about a comment on how absolutely useless and non-concrete this is - and Jer is the first to admit that - but there is obviously something to learn here.

    However, it's late, and I'm tired, so I'll leave that up to you. But off the top of my head, I'm thinking a more relevant subject like disease or need of help and color coding that's more meaningful. Your turn.

    [via datavisualization.ch]

  • The S&P 500 as a Planetary System

    October 13, 2009  |  Data Art

    stoc

    The Stock Ticker Orbital Comparison, or STOC for short, from media student James Grant, uses a planetary system metaphor to display activity with the S&P 500. Each circle represents a stock and they orbit a planet-like (or sun?) thing in the middle.
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