Results for moritz

  • A century of deaths and a lot of fake blood

    Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: ,

    Rather than bars, bubbles, and dots, Clara Kayser-Bril, Nicolas Kayser-Bril, and Marion Kotlarski use jars, bottles, and bowls of fake blood to show deaths from 25 major conflicts in 100 years of world cuisine.

    Ten casualties. Ten million casualties. Our understanding of conflicts is often nothing more than a handful of digits, the more precise, the less meaningful. The anchor’s tone remains the same when talking about major wars or isolated outbursts of violence. The horror lays hidden beneath the rigidity of numbers. Figures give us knowledge, not meaning.

    We wanted to put a picture on these digits. A shocking, gory picture, like the reality of war. We wanted to give context, like a scale on which we could visualize each conflict next to the others.

    The idea is straightforward. More blood = more deaths during the corresponding conflict. What do you think—does the medium make the data more meaningful?

    The graphic is also available in print.

    [100 years of world cuisine via @moritz_stefaner]

  • Beauty of Maps available in its entirety

    Posted to Mapping  |  Tags: ,

    Almost a year ago, the BBC aired the Beauty of Maps, but we Americans couldn't watch it online. Well, now you can. The full documentary is available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. The hour and a half film is broken up into 12 parts. They've actually been online since August of last year, but for some reason I'm just now hearing about it. Enjoy part one below.
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  • Review: Beautiful Visualization – Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts

    Posted to Reviews  |  Tags: , ,

    I finally got a chance to take a closer look at O'Reilly's most recent edition to their "Beautiful" series, Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts, and it's a good one. In case you're not familiar, each book in the series is a collection of essays from people who work in the field. Essays range in topic, but they usually focus on a single project and discuss the steps it took to make said project. To be clear, Beautiful Visualization isn't a how-to book, although you can learn a lot from the writings.
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  • Life cycle of sad and happy

    Posted to Miscellaneous  |  Tags: ,

    Along the same lines of the happiness flowchart, this graphic by Moritz Resl shows a simplified life cycle between happy and sad. Let's not forget though that sometimes doing stuff you like leads to sad, and more importantly, doing stuff you don't like can lead to happy. Have a nice weekend!

    [Moritz Resl via swissmiss]

  • Europe’s energy targets in perspective

    Posted to Infographics  |  Tags: , ,

    Designer Gregor Aisch has a look at energy usage in Europe. Click on a number of topics on the bottom to see how each country compares, or mouse over a specific country to get its details. Bubbles are color-coded according to relatively high or low levels (I think) and sized by population (I think). There isn't a whole lot of explanation of what you're actually seeing, but it has some interesting interactions in there. Maybe our European readers can add some context. Don't forget to take it fullscreen and put it on autoplay.

    [publicdata.eu via @moritz_stefaner]

  • Open thread: Is this map too confusing?

    Posted to Discussion, Mapping  |  Tags:

    This map, a collaboration between Good and Gregory Hubacek, shows three metrics from the most recent American Community Survey by the US Census: high school graduates, college graduates, and median household income. The goal was to see if there's a correlation between education and income. Does it work?
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  • Visualizing deletion discussions on Wikipedia

    Posted to Data Art  |  Tags: , ,

    Fact is not always clear cut. Sometimes fact is driven by opinion. People might have conflicting points of view or maybe the truth is simply unknown. We can see this via Wikipedia, where anyone can edit and create documents. Sometimes people propose that articles should be taken down, and if the proposal is approved, people can discuss. Dario Taraborelli, Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, and Moritz Stefaner have a look at the most active of these discussions.
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  • Filling in the black holes of the Facebook friendship map

    Posted to Mapping  |  Tags: ,

    While it was fun looking at the worldwide connections on Facebook, I thought it was more interesting to look at the places where there were very few connections, where it looked pretty dark on Paul Butler's map. Some commented that was just a product of no people in those areas. Where there's no people, there's obviously no Facebook. This is true in many areas, but not all them.
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  • Where refugees come from

    Thousands of people flee their country every year, and the travel patterns are by no means easy to understand. Christian Behrens, in a revamp of a class project, visualizes these refugee movements with three views. The first is a circular network diagram (above), where each slice represents a region or country. Lines represent flight and expulsions.
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  • Mapping the moves of New York residents

    Posted to Mapping

    A couple of months back, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show asked listeners who have moved to or away from New York some questions. They asked current zipcode, previous zipcode, year of move, and some other questions. BLS then posted the data and let information and data folk have a go at it. Here are the results.
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  • Understanding Shakespeare with visualization

    Shakespeare literature is confusing. That's not even an opinion. It's a fact. Stephan Thiel, for his B.A. thesis at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, takes a wack at understanding Shakespeare through a series of visualizations.

    As a result, and based on data from the WordHoard project of the Northwestern University, an application of computational tools was explored in order to extract and visualize the information found within the text and to reveal its underlying narrative algorithm. The five approaches presented here are the first step towards a dicussion of this potentionally new form of reading in an attempt to regain interest in the literary and cultural heritage of Shakespeare’s works among a general audience.

    The above is a sample from an exploration of the most frequently used words for each character. The major characters' speeches are highlighted in yellow.
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  • Visualization underneath the surface

    Posted to Visualization

    Moritz Stefaner of Well-formed data gives thought to propositional density as it pertains to visualization. There are two kinds. The first is surface propositions, which are straightforward statements about what we see. The second is deep propositions. These are statements that aren't so straightforward, like how we feel while looking at a graphic.

    Moritz uses the FedEx logo as a simple example. First, the surface proposition:

    “The FedEx logo type is purple” and “The FedEx logo type is set in a sans-serif font” are propositions, and because they describe salient, perceptible properties of the design, they are referred to as surface proposi­tions.

    Then there are deep propositions:

    Now, the FedEx logo became famous for a perceptual trick: The white space between the E and the x cre ates an arrow. This arrow induces, by its semi otic read ing, a num ber of addi­tional associations and readings of the design: “FedEx is on the go”, “FedEx is forward-thinking”, etc. Note that these propositions, unlike the surface propositions, are much harder to enumerate as they depend on the meaning that the observer ascribes to the arrow.

    So how does this pertain to visualization? Oftentimes work is judged by graphical perception alone - how well does it show the trend or does it properly represent outliers? That's just the tip of the iceberg though. We have yet to look closely at what's underneath.

    Read the rest on Well-formed data. It's interesting to think about, even if you disagree with the argument.

  • Elastic Lists code open-sourced

    Moritz Stefaner, whose work we've seen a few times here on FD, just released his code for Elastic Lists (in Actionscript).

    For those unfamiliar, Elastic Lists builds on the idea of faceted browsing, which lets you sift through data with multiple filters. Think of when you search for an item on Amazon. In the initial results, filters for price, brand, and category rest in the sidebar. Similarly, Elastic Lists lets you browse data on multiple categories, but with more visual cues and animated transitions.
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  • Conversational Twitter threads visualized

    Add another piece to the ever-growing list of Twitter visualizations. What makes Moritz Stefaner's Revisit different is that it focuses on the conversational threads between Twitter users over time. Tweets (symbolized by authors' avatars) are stacked vertically and organized by time horizontally. Tweets that have more attention via @mentions are closer to the middle.
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  • Elastic Lists Celebrates Five Years of Information Aesthetics

    Posted to Infographics

    In celebration of Information Aesthetics' birthday, Moritz Stefaner of Well-formed Data adapted his elastic lists concept to all five years of infosthetics posts. Each white-bordered rectangle represents a post, and colors within rectangles indicate post categories.

    Select categories on the right, and the list updates to show related categories. Similarly, filter posts by year, author, and/or number of categories. Select a rectangle to draw up the actual post.

    Go on, give it a try for yourself. Excellent work.

    And then head over to infosthetics and wish it a happy birthday.

  • 37 Data-ish Blogs You Should Know About

    You might not know it, but there are actually a ton of data and visualization blogs out there. I'm a bit of a feed addict subscribing to just about anything with a chart or a mention of statistics on it (and naturally have to do some feed-cleaning every now and then). In a follow up to my short list last year, here are the data-ish blogs, some old and some new, that continue to post interesting stuff.  Continue Reading 

  • Ranking and Mapping Scientific Knowledge – eigenfactor

    The Eigenfactor Project and Moritz Stefaner collaborate in these interactive visualizations "based on Eigenfactor Metrics and hierarchical clustering to explore emerging patterns in citation networks." Yeah... or in other words, this series of four visualizations - radial diagram, stacked, clustering, and network map - explore journal article citations.
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  • What Jobs Are There in Data Visualization?

    Posted to Visualization

    I got an email from Harald asking, "How does the job market for DV developers work?" I find this question, or some variation of it, in my inbox every now and then, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I am after all a graduate student who will graduate eventually, so let's take a look at some of the options. I'd like to expand on the question though, and not just focus on developers. What's the job market like for anyone who wants to do data visualization for a living?

    In the News

    Infographics in the news have been commonplace for a while now. Maps, charts, graphs, plots, etc. are in the newspaper every day, and as news on the Web continues to expand, so do the types of interactive visualizations. In fact The New York Times has its own graphics department as well as a group dedicated to online interactives. It's only a matter of time before the other big news organizations follow suit (unless they go bankrupt first).

    Examples: The New York Times / MSNBC / Washington Post

    Design Studios

    There are a lot of data visualization specialists who masquerade as graphic designers. As a result, there are lots of design studios that do data visualization (although they don't focus on just that alone) that do work for the Web or a slew of other things like company branding, physical installations, or simply art pieces. I can only think of a handful of design groups that are specifically known for data visualization. Either way though, most stuff that the studios push out are more on the artistic end of things, naturally.

    Examples: Stamen Design / Bestiario

    Analytics Groups

    Analytics is on the opposite site of the spectrum. It's all about decision-making. Businesses are starting to rack up terabytes of data per day, but aren't sure what to do with it. Basic Microsoft Excel skills will only take you so far. You'll also hear about dashboards pretty often. Think lots of graphs and lots of charts and lots of data which takes a certain statistical expertise to manage effectively.

    Example: Juice Analytics / Axis Maps

    Research Labs

    While the analytics groups tend to be more about application of existing visualization techniques, there are research labs that primarily think of ways to improve the existing or new representations of data. They design, experiment, analyze, and then write papers. It's like getting paid to be a graduate student, I imagine. Visualization software companies not dissimilar to FlowingData sponsors might also be bundled into this group.

    I visited AT&T research labs a few months ago, and there was a small group focused on the best way to show network graphs. The IBM Visual Communications Lab does a lot with social data analysis.

    Examples: AT&T Labs / IBM Visual Communications Lab

    Academics

    This one is sort of obvious I guess. Academics is similar to working in a research lab, and really, a lot of academic groups call themselves a research lab anyways. Often you'll see collaboration between the two. The only difference is, uh, professors have to put up with graduate students like me. Tough nookies.

    Examples: Berkeley Visualization Lab / MIT Media Lab

    Freelancing

    A lot of businesses aren't looking for a full-time visualization person. They just need some help with things here and there. There are also a lot of online developments that can benefit from having some visualization. Some have already got developers, but want some aesthetics, while others might have a specific data set that they want realized - might be just for show or actually something quantitative. There's certainly a wide variety out there.

    Examples: Daniel McLaren / Moritz Stefaner / Jon Peltier

    What About You?

    That covers a good bit, but I'm almost certain that I've missed something. If your expertise is data visualization, what do you do for money? I, among many others, would be interested to know in the comments.

  • maeve Installation Shows Relationships Between Projects

    The Interface Design Team at the University of Potsdam revealed maeve last week. It's an installation that lets users place physical project cards on an interactive surface and see the relationships between those projects. Move cards over the surface and the network relationships (e.g. inspired by, social relation) follow. The more cards that you throw on, the more relationships that form.

    Here's the demo video:

    Pretty. I would love to have one of these as my coffee table (sort of like the Microsoft one).

    [Thanks, Moritz]

  • Is There a Market for Premium Online Data Visualization?

    Posted to Visualization

    Ever since I posted my visualization that shows the spread of Walmart, I've gotten a lot of emails asking how I did it, if I've considered applying it to other datasets, or if I could help with a customized version of the Walmart visualization. I've gotten similar inquiries about the gas price graphic. This makes me wonder -- is there a market for premium visualization online?

    Existing Premium Visualization

    I know there's definitely a market for data-specific visualization - viz made specifically for a certain type of data - otherwise design groups like Bestiario and Stamen wouldn't be around. But what about visualization that developers (or non-developers) can integrate into websites and applications with their own data?

    FusionCharts

    For example, FusionCharts lets developers integrate the more traditional visualizations like bar charts and basic maps into their websites. Everything runs in Flash and has a little bit of animation and some interaction. According to the site's homepage, 30,000+ developers use FusionCharts. Licenses run from $69 for individuals to $1,999 for enterprise.

    Constellation Roamer

    Daniel develops Constellation Roamer. It's a network graph interface that lets you explore connectedness. The Roamer has been out for about four months now and according to Daniel, has sold about 10 individual licenses at $550 each. This is interesting because the leads come from search engines without any advertising or publicity. While the sales are modest, he's also gotten a lot of freelance work for customized versions of the Roamer to keep him plenty busy.

    Relation Browser

    Similarly, Moritz developed Relation Browser a couple years ago and says he gets an inquiry about once a week even though, like Daniel, doesn't advertise. Relation Browser is a network graph visualization that lets you explore relationships. The example below shows relationships between countries, but can also be applied to something like a social network. Moritz releases his code for free, but requires commercial vendors to purchase a license for 400 Euros (about $600) each.

    Free Visualization Tools

    So there's definitely some kind of demand for a more refined online visualization; however, there's been a growing number of free visualization tools available to developers. Do these take away the need for paid online visualization tools?

    Google Visualization API

    Most well known is perhaps Google's visualization API that they released in March, including the motion chart shown below. The API also includes a basic graphing utility along with a hodge podge of some other, uh, not so useful tools.

    Many Eyes

    Many Eyes promotes social data analysis and is best known for its interactive visualizations. Last year, they brought embeddable visualization, mostly for bloggers to share with others. However, the drawback is that you can't push frequently-updated data into the Many Eyes application. The only way to get an updated visualization is to edit an existing dataset or upload a new one manually.

    Room for Both Free and Premium

    It seems that there's room for both. While the free tools from Google and Many Eyes are useful in their own right, premium visualization can provide a higher level of customization (for complex data streams and aesthetics) and integration into a site or an application.

    Tweeting Thoughts

    I asked the same question on Twitter a few days ago and got some interesting responses from my Twitter friends:

    @Omomyid: hmmmmm, how would you make it extensible though? The thing about cool infographics is that they are purpose built right?

    @chris23: prolly a possible analyst service to provide visualizations/tools for market interests.

    @der_mo: yes, totally. I keep selling the relation browser (http://der-mo.net/relationB...) although it is a couple of years old...

    @hungryclone: maybe to companies w/ no dedicated employees that know how to make them?

    Your Thoughts

    What do you think? Is there a marketplace for visualization on the web or do the free APIs make it a moot point?