Jeannie Harrell takes Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler, and puts it in flowchart form. Yes, you guessed it. It's Friday. And what better way to start the weekend with the music video in all its 1980s glory.
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?
The Texas in a Bottle guide to Texas Wine [pdf] reads:
Ever listen to somebody describe a wine? They talk about it having "character" and "personality." To hear them tell it, wines are a lot like people. We've talked it over and came to a conclusion - they have it backwards. People are a lot like wines.
And to that end, Go Texan Wine goes on to describe your personality based on what type of wine you prefer. Do you like Merlot? There's a mystical side to you, slightly mischievous, but that only makes you the life of the party.
I'm difficult. I'm demanding. But oh, oh, oh, I am so worth it. What's your wine personality?
[via Cool Infographics]
As far back as I can remember there's always been a mystique around the Kennedy family. It's almost like if you bear the Kennedy name, you're destined for greatness. With the recent passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Patterson Clark of The Washington Post maps out the famous family tree. The tree starts with the marriage of Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald and branches out to current family members and what they do for a living.
David McCandless from Information is Beautiful plots the calories in popular beverages versus the amount of caffeine in them. At the bottom right of the plot are drinks low in calories and high in caffeine. At the opposite end, top left, are beverages of high calories and low in caffeine. Food items (on the left) and physical activity (on the right) provide context to the calories.
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]
Greater Greater Washington maps rider flow for the DC Metro. As you might guess, the thicker the path, the greater the estimated number of riders in that given area.
As the author notes, the data collection process was an unscientific one, so it should be taken with a few grains of salt, but this makes me wonder. These types of subway maps seem to be getting fairly common, in both the static and interactive/animated variety - but the visualization always seems to come from estimates.
Have any metro systems released their full data? I am sure there are tons of data logs sitting somewhere, growing every time someone swipes their metro card or drops in a subway coin. And more importantly, are metro systems using these types of visualizations to figure out how to distribute trains at different times per day? Do they use something better?
The U.S. Census Bureau doesn't ask questions about religion because of political issues involving separation of church and state, so we don't always get a very detailed view of religion. The Glenmary Research Center does collect this data, however.
In the August issue of Wired are the New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans. On the cover is a picture of Brad Pitt wearing a bluetooth headset. Rule number 52 reads: "Ditch the headset. He can barely pull it off â€“ and you're not him." Clearly these are confusing times, but you're in luck, because Wired has mapped out how you should properly deal with this new way of living. Stick to the new rules and the media diet above (by Jason Lee) and you're good as gold.
Mentorn Media and Cimex Media, on behalf of BBC, explore crime patterns in Oxford over time. In a map, that I am happy to see is not a Google mashup, select different kinds of crime (e.g. violent crime, burglary & theft), or if you live in the area, compare different neighborhoods by postcode. The interactive also provides three animations for a week in crime - street violence, street robbery, and rowdy behavior - complemented by narration and explanation.
One thing I'm not so sure about is the color scale. I think I would have gone with a yellow to red progression and left out the green since green usually means something positive. I'm also not sure what 'high' and 'low' levels of crime actually means in numbers. What do you think?
Remember those choose your own adventure books that you used to read as a kid? As you read through the book, you come to these points where you have to make a decision for the main character, and depending on what you chose, a tailored adventure would divulge itself. It always seemed like death was a common ending no matter what path you chose though.
That somehow seems wrong, no? I liken it to something like... even in your own fantasy, you die or end with an unfavorable outcome. Such is life, I suppose.
View the full-size version here [PDF].
From Shan Carter, Amanda Cox, Kevin Quealy, and Amy Schoenfeld of The New York Times is this new interactive stacked time series on how different groups in America spend their day. The data itself comes from the American Time Use Survey. The interactive has a similar feel to Martin Wattenberg's Baby Name Voyager, but it has the NYT pizazz that we've all come to know and love.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) keeps an archive of what British citizens have consumed over the years. The Times Online, in collaboration with designer Marcin Ignac, visualizes this data in their recent interactive. Consumption is by grams with a percentage breakdown up top with the donut chart, and a weekly average (for each year) on the bottom. The donut chart updates when you scroll over a bar in the time series chart. Very nice work I think. What do you think?
The Sartorialist is a unique fashion blog that highlights people's hot styles on the street. I'm pretty sure there's very little overlap with its readers and FlowingData's, but maybe I'm wrong. The above infographic shows how you can get shot by the Sartorialist. I'm all over it.
Similar to other visualizations showing location (e.g. Cabspotting, Britain From Above), this one from Australia-based data visualization group, Flink Labs, shows the ebb and flow of Melbourne trains over the course of a single weekday using the Melbourne train schedule as the data.
There's a lot of talking in congressional meetings, but what are your state senators and representatives talking about? Design group Periscopic explores what congress men and women said from 2007 to 2008 in this tongue-in-cheek comparison tool with talking heads. The best part about the tool is that behind the humor is actually something useful.
Compare word distributions of senators, of states, of a senator to a state, or representatives, so on and so forth. We get breakdowns by gender, number of words spoken, and by state. All data come from public records.