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.
[via TechCrunch | Thanks, Pavan and Max]
Aaron Koblin and Daniel Massey team up to give us Bicycle Built for Two Thousand, an Amazon Mechanical Turk rendition of Bicycle Built for Two. They used custom software written in Processing to record 2,088 voices. Put together all those random voices, and you get this:
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.
Data Flow: Visualizing Information in Graphic Design isn't an Edward Tufte book. It's not an instruction manual nor is it a guide to analytical and statistical graphics. Rather, Data Flow is a showcase of visualization and infographics with a hard focus on aesthetics and form.
Stamen Design, whose work you've most definitely seen, 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?
In collaboration with generative artists Marius Watz, field, and others, along with Universal Everything and Wieden+Kennedy, Nokia has put together a beautiful art series involving communication as a promotion to their new E71 smartphone. The series include two interactive pieces and several videos.
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.
Google's chief economist tells us statistician will be the sexy job of the next decade. Now Microsoft provides its vision for 2019 (video below):
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.
[via istartedsomething | Thanks, dx0ne]
Seed Magazine, a publication dedicated to cool things in science, give us The Universe in 2009:
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."
From Vanity Fair:
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.
Remember Twistori? It's the Twitter mashup that shows tweets of love, hate, think, believe, and wish. I guess naturally, there's an inauguration version. It's not as effective, but still worth a look.
People have fallen in love with word clouds that make pictures. Zoom in and you see a bunch of individual words. Zoom out and you see a famous person's face. It is a dictionary or a portrait? Mystical. TBWA/Chiat/Day, an advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee of all places, brings the concept to promotion for the 2009 Grammy Awards - in animated form. Float through the cloud of songs and lo and behold, it's Stevie Wonder.
It's only a matter of time until someone creates the next version of Wordle. Let people upload a picture and some words and then charge people a few bucks for a printed poster. It'd be a huge hit. It's the perfect gift I tells ya. I'm looking at you, Jeff. We need to talk.
[via uncovering data]
In his latest data sculptures, Andreas Nicolas Fischer places data visualization in a physical space when we're so used to seeing it on a computer monitor. Above is a piece of two layers - the bottom is gross domestic product for 2007 (made of plywood) and the top maps "the derivatives volume, alloted to the coordinates of the countries on a map." I don't know what derivatives volume and I probably should, but I'm too lazy to look it up (a lil' help please?).
Evan Roth from the Graffiti Research Lab, uses typographic illustration in Jay-Z's music video for Brooklyn Go Hard. As the song plays out, we see sketches of Jay-Z drawn using Brooklyn (sort of what we saw from Jeff at Neoformix). It's quite the work of art:
You can download the source code for the video from Evan's site, which is pretty cool too.
[via Animal | Thanks, Max]
This is a guest post by Greg J. Smith, a Toronto-based designer and researcher. Greg writes about design, visualization and digital culture on his personal blog Serial Consign.
A few weeks ago the second edition of the Visualizar workshop wrapped up at Medialab-Prado in Madrid. In curating the event this year, organizer JosÃ© Luis de Vicente selected urban informatics as the focus of research and visualization development. Partially inspired by Cascade on Wheels (a project created at the workshop last year), the Visualizar mandate was in line with contemporary thinking about the city where the street is viewed as a platform and urban space is considered a DIY enterprise. Visualizar'08 brought together a range of programmers, designers, architects, illustrators and scholars to participate in a seminar on contemporary thinking about the city and then bunker down to "rapid prototype" seven visualization projects over a two-week period.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm seeing here, but Voyage, by Andy Biggs, is an abstract RSS reader that places posts in a 3D cloud. As you click on items, you can drill down further to later posts. You can also use the up and down keys on the keyboard or the scroll wheel on your mouse. (The latter isn't working for me right now.) For example, press up and you'll see earlier posts from your subscribed feeds. The horizontal placement doesn't seem to have any significance.
It's probably best to take Voyager for what it is. After all it was just meant to be an experiment in 3D Flash. It's pretty to look at and fun to play with, but not so much about practicality.
[via can't remember]
Jeff Clark of Neoformix has been doing some cool stuff with words lately. Above is a word portrait of Albert Einstein looking very chipper. Einstein's entire face is composed of the word "genius" at varying shades and sizes. Inspired by Gui Borchet, briefly explains the process done in uh, Processing:
The Word Portraits that I have been creating lately use an algorithm that analyzes a starting image and finds rectangular patches of a reasonably consistent color. These are then filled in the generated image with words or letters painted with the average color in the rectangle.
The algorithm can of course be generalized to not just words and can be used with non-human images as well. Ginger the Cockapoo serves as the case study in which Jeff reconstructs an image of the dog with rectangles, the letter O, leaf-like shapes, and filled circles.
Take a look through Jeff's other postings for more word portraits of Barack Obama and George Boole - inventor of a logical calculus of truth values.
I've always thought one of the best ways to make data relate-able is to humanize it. Wouter Walmink, from studio:ludens, does this quite literally in so_many_a_second. I'm sure you've across statistics that state something like "this many people die of this condition per second in the world," but that number, even though it's a rate - something that is dynamic, feels very static.
In so_many_a_second these rates are represented by objects in an attempt to show these types of numbers on a "human scale." The above shows number of plastic cups used by airlines per second. Oh yes, it's raining cups.
Depicting the ongoing stream of events, this application tries to get the user in touch with the emotional actuality of these objective data.
The concept itself isn't anything new. We've seen stuff sort of like this before (e.g. Running the Numbers: An American Portrait, Google employee count), but the novel thing with so_many_a_second is that you can create your own flows and compare them side-by-side. It's more than just a literal representation of numbers.
Yes, we could efficiently place all the rates in a horizontal bar graph, but somehow, so_many_a_second makes me care more.
Uniqlo gathered hundreds of responses from a couple hundred Japanese women about bra size, makeup, and shopping and put it into this sort of 3-d world of short video clips. Questions appear at the top, you get a few random video responses, and then the animation zooms out to show you the rundown. I can't say I know what exactly is going on since I don't know Japanese, but I'm guessing... bra commercial? OK, yeah, I have no idea.