• Review: Data Flow, Visualizing Information in Graphic Design

    March 16, 2009  |  Data Art, Reviews

    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.
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  • Explore Flickr Videos On Flickr Clock by Stamen Design

    March 5, 2009  |  Data Art

    full-shot

    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?

  • Nokia Collaborates With Generative Artists for Beautiful Interactive Pieces

    March 5, 2009  |  Data Art

    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:

    Great stuff.

    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.

    [Thanks, Sermad]

  • Microsoft’s Vision for 2019 is Data Visualization

    March 2, 2009  |  Data Art

    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):

    <a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-GB&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:a517b260-bb6b-48b9-87ac-8e2743a28ec5&showPlaylist=true&from=shared" target="_new" title="Future Vision Montage">Video: Future Vision Montage</a>

    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]

  • The Universe in 2009 from Seed Magazine

    February 18, 2009  |  Data Art

    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.

  • George Dubya Bush Bull’s-eye

    February 5, 2009  |  Data Art

    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 bullseye—part eye chart, part pie chart, part Otto Preminger-esque movie poster for the Bush-whacked masses.

    [Thanks, Linda]

  • Showcase of Student Personal Annual Reports

    January 28, 2009  |  Data Art

    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 – or for a university course. So the project setting became "personal annual report". Since a long time, I’m interested in visualization methods from journalistic infographics to scientifc information visualisation – so I’m convinced it’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.

    [Thanks, Christophe]

  • Twistori for the Inauguration

    January 20, 2009  |  Data Art

    twistori

    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.

  • Fun With Words that Collectively Make Pictures

    January 19, 2009  |  Data Art

    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]

  • Sculptural Data Visualization – Stock Market and GDP

    December 17, 2008  |  Data Art

    anfischer_fundament_1

    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?).
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  • Typographic Illustration for Jay-Z’s ‘Brooklyn Go Hard’

    December 4, 2008  |  Data Art

    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]

  • Visualization Projects from Database City – Visualizar’08

    December 2, 2008  |  Data Art, Mapping

    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 José 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.
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  • Explore Your Feeds in a Cloud of Posts – RSS Voyage

    November 26, 2008  |  Data Art

    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]

  • Mmm, Chocolate Pie… Chart

    November 18, 2008  |  Data Art

    In the spirit of turning pie charts into food, Mary and Matt kick it up a notch with some design and 5.5 ounces of chocolate. It's a chocolate pie chart of 70% milk chocolate, 20% dark, and 10% white. Get yours today for just 20 bucks. It looks delicious.

    [via swissmiss]

  • Word Portraits of Famous People – Einstein and Ginger the Cockapoo

    November 18, 2008  |  Data Art

    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.

  • Showing This Many Per Second – Data Humanized

    November 3, 2008  |  Data Art

    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.

    [via infosthetics | Thanks, Tim]

  • A Bunch of Japanese Women’s Bra Responses

    October 27, 2008  |  Data Art

    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.
    Continue Reading

  • Daily Design Workout – DONE by Jonas Buntenbruch

    October 9, 2008  |  Data Art

    DONE is a sketching project by Jonas Buntenbruch. He takes 30-60 minutes per day and puts his design skills to work. He began at the beginning of this year on January 1 and has produced a sketch/design for every day so far.

    Some of his work is charts and graphs, but most are of the typography, cartoon, and icon variety. Nevertheless, it's a great way to hone the design skills. You learn what works, what doesn't work, and skills that need sharpening. Learn by doing has always been my philosophy - mostly because I suck at learning by listening, writing, and reading. Seriously. I took a learning test in fourth grade that told me so.

    Can someone please do a data visualization per day? Don't forget to make it awesome.

    [Thanks, Adam]

  • Doodle Your Way Through the News – DoodleBuzz

    September 25, 2008  |  Data Art

    I feel like I've been seeing and writing a lot about artistic visualization lately. Maybe it's because summer's ending and all the designers are finishing up their side projects. I dunno. In any case, Brendan Dawes provides you with a way to explore the news by doodling and scribbling. The piece is called DoodleBuzz. Type in a search term and then start doodling. News results (via the Daylife API) shoot off whatever path you draw.

    DoodleBuzz spawned from Brendan's desire to browse the news in a way that was completely different from the usual top-down scrolling we're used to seeing on the Web:

    DoodleBuzz was born out of an idea to create an entirely new way of exploring information - one that allows for a kind of "quiet chaos" that gives people the opportunity to explore unthought of paths and connections along their news gathering journey. You may start at Iraq but end up finishing on Britney, whilst taking in The Catholic Church, Global Warming and 50 Cent.

    I don't know about you, but the "quiet chaos" gave me a small headache. What do you think? Go try it and let us know what you think in the comments.

    [via Data Mining]

  • Visualization Workshop in Madrid – Database City

    September 24, 2008  |  Data Art

    It's hard to believe that it's been almost a year since I was in Madrid at the Medialab-Prado for the Visualizar workshop. It was a two-week event where designers from all around got together and created projects focused on data. There was a wide variety of data-centric projects on Twitter, email, art, spam, and traffic (above). I worked with migration data. It was also a pretty diverse group – computer science, graphic design, and of course, me, the token statistician.

    Call for Projects and Papers

    Now it's time for Visualizar 2008: Database City. There's an open call for projects and papers with the idea of a database city. Imagine a city where there are displays that show energy consumption, pollution, or carbon footprint. What would that city look like? Would we act differently with that type of information right in front of us?

    From the Visualizar page:

    Urban environments, which are becoming increasingly dense, complex and diverse, are one of contemporary society’s largest "databases", daily generating volumes of information that require new methods of analysis and understanding.

    How can we use the data visualization and information design resources to understand the processes governing contemporary cities and better manage them? What can we learn from studying traffic and pedestrian movement flows through the streets of Madrid? What would happen if we filled the streets with screens providing information updated each moment about water and electricity consumption?

    Important Dates

    This year's workshop is also two weeks long from November 5 - 18 and no doubt you will learn a lot. The Medialab-Prado offers housing to participants at a youth hostel and will also consider covering traveling expenses on a case-by-case basis. Submission deadline is October 5.

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