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.
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. Continue Reading
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards are on right now (and I'm sure all of you are watching). Check out the live VMA Twitter tracker by Stamen and Radian6. It's kind of fun to watch, even if you aren't tuned into MTV. Celebrity profile pictures are dynamically sized by how much people are talking about them on Twitter. Apparently Kanye is performing right now... or he did something stupid.
The visualization explores the evolution of Charles Darwin's theory of, uh, evolution. It began as a less-defined 150,000-word text in the first edition and grew and developed to a 190,000-word theory in the sixth edition.
Watch where the updates in the text occur over time. Chunks are removed, chunks are added, and words are changed. Blocks are color-coded by edition. Roll over blocks to see the text underneath.
I Google myself every now and then. Everyone does. I don't know why people act like it's all weird to do it. We're all interested in what's out there on the Internet about us or someone with the same name as us. Some of it is right. A lot of it is wrong. Personas, from MIT's Metropath(ologies) exhibit, scours the Web and attempts to characterize how the Internet sees you.
In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer's uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.
The piece is about the incorrectness of your Internet profile just as much as what's right.
As many have pointed out, the end result is kind of anti-climatic, but it's fun to watch the process at work, which makes heavy use of natural language processing algorithm latent Dirichlet allocation [pdf] from Blei, et. al.
Map/Territory, by designer Timo Arnall, is a concept video of what it might be like to interact with a map embedded in real life - not just on a phone or on a computer screen. Imagine a world where a flick of the wrist draws up all the information you need in real time and space. Check out the 30-second clip below:
Nevermind the how part. Technically speaking, I have no idea how Map/Territory would ever come to fruition, and I'm pretty sure Timo doesn't either, but who cares? While technical know-how is absolutely useful and completely necessary, sometimes you need imagination and creativity to push the boundaries of what's possible.
We've all seen the new Star Trek by now. If you haven't, you should. There are amazing visuals throughout, especially on the bridge, where those aboard can just about interact with everything that can be touched. Albeit it's purely fictional and non-functional, but it's good to dream.
OOOii, the group behind the beautiful board in Minority Report and the immersive technologies in The Island, is responsible for bringing the interfaces in Star Trek to life. Continue Reading
Pixel City is a procedurally-generated city by Shamus Young. For the non-coders out there, this essentially means that based on a certain set of rules, this 3-D city is generated dynamically each time the program runs. Here, the video that shows the Young's process will make it more clear:
Check out the very detailed 10-part explanation for more on how Pixel City was built. Hopefully more comes out of it than just a screensaver. If it does become a screensaver though, I'd gladly use it.
This holographic video by Bruce Branit is completely fictional but oh so sexy. Can you imagine a digital world at that level of interaction - where just about anything and everything is at your finger tips? It's good to dream.
Information Architects, a design firm with offices in Japan and Zurich, release their annual web trends map. This is the fourth one in the series. Popular domains on the Web are mapped to the Tokyo Metro and organized by how they are most related to the cities. Heights represent success in traffic and branding. Subway lines are colored by area of interest. For example, take the orange line to find the creatives. Notice that there are several colors passing through Apple.
Here's the high-res zoomable version. Go full-screen for the full effect.
While the map would mean a lot more to me if I lived in Tokyo, the designers obviously have taken great care to cover the details, and that's something I can appreciate.
For 6 cents, turkers were asked to imitate a sound bite and were not told why they were doing so. What they were actually singing was a note from "Daisy Bell," originally written by Harry Dacre in 1892, or otherwise known as the first song sung by a computer in 1962. The full song is interesting, but it's even more amusing listening to the individual (dorky) voices singing the separate notes. Ehhhhh... wahhhh... eeeeeee... haha.
Stamen Design, whose workyou'vemostdefinitelyseen, comes out with their most recent collaboration with Flickr, the photo and video sharing service. It's called Flickr Clock. It lets you browse Flickr videos contributed to the Flickr Clock Group Pool. Videos are arranged as slices by time uploaded (or is it time contributed to the group?) and sized by their original upload resolutions. Click on a slice, and the video opens up like above.
Underneath is a time browser for a zoomed out view with chunks by the hour. Click, drag, and browse or just sit back and let autoplay do the work for you if you're too lazy to move your mouse. The wider the chunks are, the more videos that were uploaded during the hour.
Flickr Clock isn't my favorite Stamen work (that title still belongs to Cabspotting), but I like it. It's fun. What do you think about Flickr Clock?
One interactive piece takes video from your webcam, audio from your mic, and text that you type as input to create a generative art piece that you can send to friends and download as desktop wallpaper. Here's what mine looks like:
The gray blobbies are from me waving my arm around, the blue waves are from me whistling, and the text strands are from me typing "welcome to the jungle" in the input box. It's pretty fun to play with.
The second one is a small (and pretty elegant) application that you download onto your E71. Use the application to send a text message and along with that message comes a generated image that looks something like the first image in this post. It'll be different bits of art as you send different messages.
Then there are the videos - all interesting and beautiful on their own:
By the way, I have the Nokia E71. It's an awesome phone, in case you're looking for a Blackberry alternative. Awesome design and really good feel to it. The GPS has helped guide me many many times and the keypad makes typing easy, which is perfect for my little self-surveillance project.
The future for 2019 looks a lot like data visualization and some serious data processing, yeah? So you better get ready. Hop on to the band wagon before all the seats are taken. The future sure is lookin' good. Check out the extended version of the above video in the link below.
In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism. Rethink your assumptions and post better questions about the future.
The Universe in 09 is essentially a simple mosaic where each tile is an idea. There's something that resembles a bar graph up top. Each bar represents a category, and as you scroll over a category, the height of the bar represents the numbers of ideas in that category (I think). It's not meant to be analytical really. It's mostly for fun, and they did a pretty good job at accomplishing that goal. The interaction is pretty entertaining. Check it out for yourself.
Linda Eckstein sent this graphic along to show the main ideas of Russ Baker's Family of Secrets. In Linda's words, "[T]he idea was for me to come up with a visual representation of the scope and complexity of Baker's book. In a way, it's the unWordle. Wordle only analyzes what is said, sometimes it's necessary to remind the public of what is NOT said."
The editors of VF.com, fascinated by the concentric circles of intrigue and coincidence that connect the Bushes to various nerve centers, nefarious and benign, commissioned information designer Linda Eckstein to concoct a graphic device that would serve as a sort of 21st century Power Crib Sheet. Consider it a modern-day version of those 1960s and 70s conspiracy theory flow charts that sought to drag the apparatus of the oligarchs, the generals, and the spooks out of the shadows. The result is this VF.com exclusive, a loopy, labyrinthine Family of Secrets bullseyeâ€”part eye chart, part pie chart, part Otto Preminger-esque movie poster for the Bush-whacked masses.
Some of the best stuff comes out of student projects. During the Screendesign workshop in Fachhochschule Potsdam last summer, students were asked to collect, analyze, and visualize personal data. Topics ranged from haircuts to movie consumption to telephone habits. The assignment was largely inspired by Nick Felton's Feltron Report:
I loved every single issue of the Feltron annual report. From the first time I saw it I was convinced it was a great topic for a personal project â€“ or for a university course. So the project setting became "personal annual report". Since a long time, Iâ€™m interested in visualization methods from journalistic infographics to scientifc information visualisation â€“ so Iâ€™m convinced itâ€™s a great and important topic to encourage people getting involved with. And it is a field that never stops evolving, where you are never about to reach the ground, no matter how deep you dive (yeah, this is for interactive media or even media in general, but it feels stronger to me when it comes to data visualization).
I really like to see courses like this centered around visualization and then the results from some inspired students. It goes to show how this area is growing. I just wish I got to take these types of courses.