• 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.
    Continue Reading

  • 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.
    Continue Reading

  • 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.
    Continue Reading

  • 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.
    Continue Reading

  • 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.
    Continue Reading

  • 2009 MTV VMA Twitter Tracker Live

    September 13, 2009  |  Data Art

    Picture 1

    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.

  • Ben Fry Visualizes the Evolution of Darwin’s Ideas

    September 7, 2009  |  Data Art

    origin-of-species

    Ben Fry, well-known for Processing and plenty of other data goodness, announced his most recent piece, On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces, made possible by The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online.

    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.

    As usual, excellent work, Mr. Fry.

    Happy labor day!

  • How Does the Internet See You? – Personas From MIT Media

    August 26, 2009  |  Data Art

    personas

    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.

    How does the Internet see you?

    [via infosthetics | Thanks, Alexandria]

  • Map/Territory Shows Augmented Reality of the Future

    August 19, 2009  |  Data Art

    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:

    I really love stuff like this. Stuff like Map/Territory, Bruce Branit's holographic world, Microsoft's vision for 2019, or even the Starship Enterprise is simply beautiful. It's fun to imagine what the future might be like.

    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.

    [via O'Reilly Radar]

  • Colored Tree, Cookies, and Stairs in Visualization Ad

    July 7, 2009  |  Data Art

    These ads for Hospital Alemán from Saatchi & Saatchi color code physical items for what parents say and what children do.

    TREE_HOSPITAL_COOKIES

    TREE_HOSPITAL_TREE

    It's not quantitative at all, and a lot of you probably won't even consider this visualization. It is pretty though, and I could see how this idea might be applied to data.

    [via I Believe in Advertising | Thanks, Ken]

  • Designing Interfaces for the Star Ship Enterprise

    June 9, 2009  |  Data Art

    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: Computer-generated City

    May 14, 2009  |  Data Art

    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.

  • Creating a World in Holograms

    April 15, 2009  |  Data Art

    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.

    [via infosthetics]

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