I’m only about a third of the way through these videos taking a mathematical approach to explaining the fourth dimension, but I had to post the link. The videos begin by explaining two dimensions, work through the third, and finish in the fourth. Pretty enlightening and entertaining stuff thus far. I’ll post some thoughts when I complete the series.
Yesterday, Tim Showers posted an interesting piece called “Visualization Strategies: Text & Documents” which features numerous techniques for visualizing text from sources such as stump speeches, or literature, or simply a sentence. He explains visualizations that span the spectrum from Tag Clouds to Document Arc Diagrams.
One of my favorite visualizations Tim mentions is “literary organism maps“, from Stefanie Posavec which demonstrate the subject matter of each chapter in a given piece of literature “within a textual context”. Being an English major in college, this concept is extremely interesting to me. Visit her project website to see all her impressive visualizations.
First, let me apologize for the lack of consistancy of postings. A few months ago, Dan and I committed to creating this blog, but have since done a poor job of keeping up with it. We recently agreed to make a conscious effort to maintain our schedules while still reaching out to our readers at least once a day. Communciation is important to us, and we need to make the effort to keep our end of the bargain. With that in mind:
I know it’s not new, but me being new to the “community”, I recently stumbled upon Many Eyes, part of IBM’s Collaborative User Experience research group. The stated goal of the group is to “democratize visualization and to enable a new social kind of data analysis”. Their approach seems to be one of an open community with discussion. With roots reaching as far back as 2003, there are numerous interesting ideas on the site regarding what information can be visualized and how to do so. They also have pages upon pages of visualizations, as well as 800+ pages of data sets.
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There’s a interesting, albeit simple, tool on the New York Times website visualizing the Olympic metal count since 1896, the advent of the modern Olympic Games. Take a peak. It’s interesting to compare world events at different times and make a corrleation regarding how those events effected medal counts. For example, an obvious assumption is that the popularization of flight in the ’20s and ’30s, increased the number of countries participating, and in turn winning medals.
Chris Harrison, a Ph.D. student at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, has a whole series of visualization projects posted on his website, which at a minimum, are pretty cool. While I understand the use of data visualization coupled with Social Network Analysis, and Link Analysis, and can easily think of countless applications, these types of visualizations are often beyond me. They are certainly aesthetically pleasing, and I understand the explanation Chris provides:
“These visual comparisons allow us to see differences in how the two subjects are used – both where they are similar and diverge. For example, among the top 120 trigrams, ‘He’ and ‘She’ have many common second words. However, they differ on some interesting ones, for example, only ‘he’ connects to ‘argues’, while only ‘she’ connects to ‘love’ (within the top 120).”
However, I often find myself asking, how can I apply this to what I’m doing…whether it be life outside the office, or a specific project I’m involved with at work? Are these types of visualizations simply a way to demonstrate a technology’s “features” and capabilities; or is there an everyday use? I certainly hope there’s some applicability, because the technology, and more to the point, the resulting visualizations, never cease to impress me.
On July 30, 2008, Flare was released in its newest version. For those of you unaware, much as I was, Flare is a piece of data visualization software created by the UC Berkeley Visualization Lab, used to create charts, graphs and interactive graphics. The visualizations created run in Flash. The Flare website contains some demos, sample applications, as well as a tutorial, and API documentation. Personally, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to determine what the software is capable of as of yet, but based on the demos alone, it’s something I’ll definitely be looking at.
On any given day, there are numerous data visualization and analysis events being held. Here’s a small list of just some events taking place in the coming months:
–Government Summit 2008 (September 4, 2008 , Reston VA)
–The Advanced Visualization and Data Analytics Technology Expo (September 16, 2008, Norfolk VA)
-IS&T/SPIE’s International Symposium on Electronic Imaging 2009 / Conference on Visualization and Data Analysis 2009 (January 18 – 22, 2009, San Jose California)
If you know of others, please share the relavant information with us in the comments section.