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.
The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a research group well-known for its tracking of monetary influence on United States politics, announced some great news. Their expansive dataset is now available to the public via OpenSecrets.
Politicians, prepare yourselves. Lobbyists, look out. Today the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics is putting 200 million data records from the watchdog group's archive directly into the hands of citizens, activists, journalists and anyone else interested in following the money in U.S. politics.
Yeah, 200 million data records. Correction. 200 million cleaned, formatted, and documented data records. Awesome. They've got data on campaign finances, lobbying, personal finances, and 527 organizations, which can be downloaded as CSV files or via the RESTful API. Let the mashups begin.
[via Ben Fry | Thanks, Gegtik]
Designers seem to have taken a liking to the idea of showing world statistics as a village of 100. For example, if the world were a village of 100 people, 48 of them would be men. While we're essentially just looking at percentages, the village metaphor seems to do a better job at humanizing the numbers. Along the same lines, this poster series from Tony Ng, World of 100, uses simple graphics to relate to demographics like money, food, and computers:
This is a self-initiated project based on the scenario â€“ If the world were a village of 100 people. There are a few different versions of this text in circulation about the worldâ€™s statistics. I found the data very striking and neatly summarises the world that we live in. So I used information graphics to re-tell the story in another creative way.
A few of the graphics seem kind of random, but hey, it's amusing.
[via The Daily Dish]
Elizabeth Currid (USC) and Sarah Williams (Columbia University), collaborate to map the geography of buzz in Los Angeles (above) and New York (below). The two researchers mined thousands of photos from Getty Images which provided a dataset of parties in art, music, fashion, movies, film, etc and created density maps which in turn show the hip places to be.
This network graph shows common contributions between representatives in Congress:
A relationship exists between two elements in the visual if they share a relationship with at least one member of the other group. For instance, both Bernie Sanders and Sam Brownback received campaign contributions from the the National Association of Realtors.
Line thickness represents number of shared relationships; and color represents Democrat to Democrat, Republican to Republican, and cross-party connections. There's a zoomable version, but like a lot of network stuff it still feels cluttered. I'm sure some node interaction goodness would do this some good.
Zappos, the online shoe retailer, maps sales across the United States in real-time. We've seen this before in Twittervision and other Google Maps mashups, but the difference here is that every shoe that pops on the map is cash in the bank. Keep that in mind, and this mashup takes on whole new meaning. Disregard the bug that doesn't reposition markers on zoom.
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]
The number of Web applications to collect data and information about yourself continues to grow; if you want to track something, most likely there's an online tool to do it. This is great - especially since a lot of the applications seem to have a lot of users, which means an interest in data. Whether it is deliberate or not is a different question, but you know, that doesn't really matter. What does matter is that people are taking notice. However, as users, developers, and designers, we shouldn't be satisfied too quickly with what we have. Want more. Demand more. It's interesting and oftentimes fun to log data about your life - whether it be when you go the bathroom, your sugar levels, or your mood. You get some nice graphs and charts, it looks cool, and maybe you learn something about yourself.
But all the self-surveillance tools so far are mostly about a single dataset or two at most. You track your weight and what you eat, but it's more complex than that. Life is complicated and data is an abstraction of life after all. Do you eat when you're depressed or are you depressed when you eat? Do you feel better if you exercise? What about sleep? How much sleep and exercise is best for you? What days should you exericse and how many days in a row and for how long? What truly makes you happy? I want my self-surveillance application to not only give me the ability to find these answers but to give them to me with very little effort on my part.
Daniel Catt from Flickr maps 24 hours worth of geotagged photos (about 64,000 of them) on this animated 3-D globe (below). The project was implemented in Processing, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone, and we've seen this type of 3-D globe thing before. What's cool here is that all the data came from the Flickr API:
All the data was pulled down (using Processing, of all things) via the API, and probably took around 12 minutes (when it's behaving itself) as I was being a) gentle with the servers b) was getting it as JSON which takes a while for Processing to parse each page. And then written to a flat file.
I didn't realize that public Flickr data was so accessible. Although, there wasn't really any reason for me to think otherwise. Maybe it's time to consider a little Flickr side project with some Modest Maps.
Virgil Griffith, a CalTech graduate student, follows up books that make you dumb with music that makes you dumb. "Dumb" people listen to Lil' Wayne and "smart" ones listen to Beethoven, that is, if you believe that SAT is a good judge of smarts. I'm not sure if this is actually new or just became popular again because it was in the WSJ. Virgil put up the book version over a year ago. Oh well, it's Friday. I'm personally all over the board on this one. What kind of music do you like?
This map from Dan Meth displays popular sitcoms by where they took place. It's a comic and totally amusing, so there's no need to pick it apart, but let's imagine for a second that it's an infographic. What could we do to make this graphic more informative? How do we turn this comic into a more useful map? Discuss amongst yourselves.
After much thought and arguments with myself, I've decided to quit data. It's been almost two years writing for FlowingData and almost four years as a statistics graduate student, and data never stops. I think I know what postal employees feel like. Every day is just more and more data. Gimme more. Everyone wants more - but to what end? There's too much of it. Sometimes I just want to curl up in the fetal position in the corner of my office and cry.
Why do we need data anyways? It just makes life more complicated, and educated decisions are overrated. Guesswork is underrated. So - and it pains me to say this - I've decided to quit FlowingData and graduate school. I will be joining a traveling entertainment troupe that eats paper. I just need one of those sticks with the back on the end of it. You know, like the ones that they show on TV... with the hobos. Forget it, I can't remember. I'll just get a garbage bag.
I hope you all understand. Like I said, I've given this a lot of thought, and this is really the best thing to do at this point of my life. Visualization, design, statistics, or computer science will never be able to handle all the data that are to come, so it's best I part ways now before it's too late. Keep an eye out for my paper-eating entertainment troupe. We don't have a name yet... and it's really just me, not so much a group. I also don't have any paper, or actually, I do have a few post-it notes. No, that won't be enough. Maybe I can be the used-napkin-eating person guy thing. I dunno. Well - keep an eye out. It will be the show to watch. Thanks everyone for reading and all of your support. Please do sign the guest book to stay up to date on the
paper-eating napkin-eating troupe.
All the best,
UPDATE: Just to be clear - happy april 1 :)
When you read a book it can feel as if youâ€™re encountering a series of hidden networksâ€“characters who talk to each other, ideas that relate to each other. Our new visualization, the Phrase Net, is designed to bring some of these networks to light.
Upload a body of text and choose connecting words like and or the and the Phrase Net provides a network of words that shows these connections.
The infographics and news design blogs have been buzzing the past few days with the announcement of this year's Malofiej awards, which is essentially the awards ceremony for graphics in the news. There were winners from many papers around the world, but as you might expect, The New York Times shined brightest. The Times took home the Peter Sullivan Award (best in show) for Ebb and Flow at the Box Office (above) as well as the Miguel Urabayen Award (best map) for the Electoral Explorer (below).
As we learned last week, Facebook has been growing worldwide ever since it began as a private network at Harvard in 2003. From 2004 to early 2006, the Facebook user base was all students, but ever since Facebook opened up to anyone with an email address the social networking site has been attracting an older crowd too. The fastest-growing group is now people over 35. This graphic from Lee Byron of the Facebook data team shows this worldwide growth along with interactions among an example user's network.
I finally got around to putting all the FlowingData projects together. As many of you know, I like to post my own experiments once in a while (a few that I forgot that I had even done), but I never had them all together; now you can find them all in one place. I also moved some stuff around so that everything is more unified. Lastly, there's a new growth map up, alongside Target and Walmart, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
Mike Wirth maps medal winners from the Great American Beer Festival from 1987 to 2007. I'm not surprised that California has won so many medals, because, well it's a big state, but check out Colorado and Wisconsin. There must be some good beer there. Although, it's hard to make any real judgment based just on medals. Coors and Budweiser have each won seven medals. Really? To each his own, I guess.
This interesting chart from Russel Investments shows the current state of the economy and what it typically is according to seven key indicators such as credit risk, corporate debt, and market volatility. The blue bars provide a "typical" range, and the orange pointers show the current values. Above each orange pointer is an arrow that indicates whether we're trending towards or away from the typical.
So for example, corporate debt is much higher than usual and it's trending towards typical. Mortgage delinquencies, however, are trending away from the typical. Scary. The chart is updated once a month. Hopefully all those arrows are pointing towards blue soon.