I must've been in a pissy mood from too many spam-fographics in my suggestions inbox last year, because I brushed this game off for whateversville (and seemed upset about it). Metrico totally seems like a game I would like though. You essentially navigate a 3-D world of graphs, and the terrain changes based on your own actions and button pushes. Just don't use the game design as an idea bucket for your next slide deck. [via Wired]
Projection mapping — the use of projected images onto physical objects to turn them into something else — continues to grow more impressive. Nobumichi Asai and team combined it with face tracking to completely change a person's face to someone and something else.
Slightly creepy. Super fascinating. [via Boing Boing]
Daily life in cities tends to differ from daily life in small towns, especially by who we interact with. The MIT Senseable City Lab and the Santa Fe Institute studied this social aspect — individuals' contacts by city size — through anonymized mobile phone logs. As expected, those in cities with greater populations tended to have more contacts. However, when the researchers looked at who knew who, the results were more constant.
Surprisingly, however, group clustering (the odds that your friends mutually know one another) does not change with city size. It seems that even in large cities we tend to build tightly knit communities, or 'villages,' around ourselves. There is an important difference, though: if in a real village our connections might simply be defined by proximity, in a large city we can elect a community based on any number of factors, from affinity to interest to sexual preference.
Read the full paper for more details.
Entering the market of self-surveillance for sleep, via Kickstarter, Sense promises to be a smarter tracker that you don't have to wear.
In his ninth edition of the personal report, Nicholas Felton looks at communication through his phone, email, Facebook, and physical mail.
Also, don't miss the short video from the New York Times. Felton is half-jokingly asked if he's obsessive compulsive which always amuses me.
It reminds me of when I asked someone about her pedometer, and she gladly talked about how she logged her steps every day for nearly a decade. Days with a lot of steps reminded her of trips or long walks. So naturally, I brought up my dissertation work on personal data collection. I thought she would be totally into it, but she was skeptical. She wondered why anyone would want to collect data on their location, computer usage, or sleep habits. And again, this was right after she told me about her decade of step logs.
There's a disconnect.
Actively looking at your data seems to cross you over to the obsessive side. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but the separation between the active and passive seems to be getting fuzzier. Maybe one day there'll be a guy in an interview who doesn't collect data about himself, and everyone is curious why.
An additional hour of sleep can make a huge difference in how you feel the next day (especially when you have kids). It's the ability to concentrate for long periods of time versus the ability to stare at a clock until your next break. I got the Jawbone UP24 band to try to improve on that, and I still wear it every night to better understand my sleep habits.
So, it only seems natural for Jawbone to look closer at how people sleep as a whole in a couple of interactive graphics. Select your city to see how people sleep in your neck of the woods.
Every now and then we see a set of graphics that shows America's sleep habits, based on data from the American Time Use Survey. The Jawbone data is likely more accurate though, which makes it more interesting. The former depends on survey participants' memories and doesn't factor out things like reading in bed. The latter is actual sleep.
Most people probably wouldn't think much about this poster that shows the values of Thomson Reuters. But when you think of the graphic as a Venn diagram, it's hard to see much else.
It's an absolute myth that you can send an algorithm over raw data and have insights pop up.
— Jeffrey Heer in For Big-Data Scientists, 'Janitor Work' Is Key Hurdle to Insights by Steve Lohr
Crisis Text Line is a service that troubled teens can use to find help with suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and other issues via text messaging. The long-term hope was to anonymize and encode these text messages so that researchers and policy-makers could better understand something typically kept private to the individuals.
Following through, the organization recently released a look into their data and a sample of encoded messages. (There's a link to download the data at the bottom of the page.)
The visual part of the release shows when text messages typically come in, and you can subset by issue, state, and days. It could use some work, but it's a good start. Hopefully they keep working on it and release more data as the set grows. It could potentially do a lot of good.
For trending topics, Twitter likes to show an animated map of how a lot of people talked about something at once. They pushed one out for Ferguson tweets. Naturally, the map looks a lot like population density. So instead, Eric Huntley aggregated and normalized for a more useful view.
Ultimately, despite the centrality of social media to the protests and our ability to come together and reflect on the social problems at the root of Michael Brown's shooting, these maps, and the kind of data used to create them, can't tell us much about the deep-seated issues that have led to the killing of yet another unarmed young black man in our country . And they almost certainly won't change anyone's mind about racism in America. They can, instead, help us to better understand how these events have been reflected on social media, and how even purportedly global news stories are always connected to particular places in specific ways.
You won't find answers to the more important questions on Twitter.
With the situation in Ferguson, the New York Times mapped the distribution of military surplus through Defense Department program. Equipment, especially assault rifles, have gone to most parts of the United States.
Leading up to a Nike women's 10k run, design studio Variable made FuelBand Fibers, an artistic interpretation of a week of activity from seven individuals.
To celebrate effort of preparing for the run Nike has chosen 7 influential runners equipped with FuelBands. Up to the minute Nike Fuel data was then collected 24/7 and delivered to Variable to tranform into beautiful artworks. This is how Fibers were born. 7 digital fibers growing when the person is working out, one for each day of training, stylized uniquely for the given runner.
So each fiber represents a day, each essentially a timeline from bottom to top. Thickness represents activity, and colors represent times when a person led in the FuelBand community. The results: organic.
See more details on what the visuals show and how it was made on the project page.
Scott Harrison, the founder and CEO of charity: water, describes how the organization uses data to improve what they do, both on the ground and internally.
The first is program data, which is the information we collect on the water programs and projects we fund in 22 countries around the world. The second is data on our donors and supporters — for example, how much time or money they've given, which projects or aspects of our work they are most interested in and how they interact with our website. And finally, we collect internal data on our work in order to increase our effectiveness and efficiency as an organization.
Daniel Colman won $15.3 million in the The Big One for One Drop poker tournament, but he seems annoyed about it. What he had to say after the win:
First off, I don't owe poker a single thing. I've been fortunate enough to benefit financially from this game, but I have played it long enough to see the ugly side of this world. It is not a game where the pros are always happy and living a fulfilling life. To have a job where you are at the mercy of variance can be insanely stressful and can lead to a lot of unhealthy habits.
Clearly we're missing some details here — stuff that would make a person disgusted with winning — but how about that response. Stability and normality for the win. Or, well, in this case, variance for the win. Nevermind, forget it. [via Deadspin]
You get your CSV file, snuggle under your blanket with a glass of fine wine, all ready for the perfect Saturday night. Then — what the heck — there's a bunch of missing data and poorly formatted entries. Don't let this happen to you. CSV Fingerprint by Victor Powell provides a simple, wideout view of your CSV file, color-coded for quick quality control.
To make it easier to spot mistakes, I've made a "CSV Fingerprint" viewer (named after the "Fashion Fingerprints" from The New York Times's "Front Row to Fashion Week" interactive ). The idea is to provide a birdseye view of the file without too much distracting detail. The idea is similar to Tufte's Image Quilts...a qualitative view, as opposed to a rendering of the data in the file themselves. In this sense, the CSV Fingerprint is a sort of meta visualization.
Try it with your own CSV data. Never let a subpar CSV file ruin your Saturday night again.
We've seen migration within the United States before, but Gregor Aisch, Robert Gebeloff, and Kevin Quealy for the Upshot take a more time-centric look at how people moved state to state, over the past century.
The following charts document domestic migration since the turn of the last century, based on census data. For every state, we've broken down the population by resident's state of birth. The ribbons are color-coded by region, and foreign-born residents are included at the bottom, in gray, to complete the picture for each state.
The good thing about the ribbon approach, other than the flow-like aesthetic that lends well to the topic, is that you can see the change in order through the years. Unlike a stacked area chart, each layer isn't restricted to an original ranking, so you can for instance, see that a lot of people born in California moved to Idaho starting in the 1960s.
On top of that, there are lots of nice details like ribbons move to the top when you mouse over, labels that follow the time series pattern, and a thicker highlight bar at each point in time. All of these make the data easier to read.
This Chrome Experiment follows the unlikely odyssey of the ISEE-3, a spacecraft launched in 1978 to study the Sun, but better known for its amazing accomplishments beyond that original mission. "A Spacecraft for All" is an interactive documentary combining film and 3D graphics, allowing you to follow the spacecraft's story as you trace it along its entire 36 year journey.
The combination of video and interactive sometimes feels gimmicky, but this feels like they belong together. The interactive portion lets you casually interact in space and look at orbit paths, and the video portion explains what you're looking at. Guidance comes when necessary.