After seeing this map on The Guardian, I was curious about what other data was available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. It turns out there's a lot and it's relatively easy to access via FTP. What's most surprising is that it's detailed and fairly complete, with columns for weather, number of people involved, date and time of accidents, and a lot more.
The above shows vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2010 (which is different from number of crashes or number of fatalities). This data was just released last month, at the end of 2011 oddly enough. It's a calendar view with months stacked on top of one another and darker days indicate more vehicles involved.
Nearly every single data point also has location attached to it, so I tried some mapping, but they look like population density more or less. Here's one that shows crashes that occurred on local roads (orange) and those on freeways, highways, etc (blue). Road patterns start to come out for the major interstates.
If you're a teacher looking for data to use with an assignment or just want to practice, this is a good set, despite the somber topic. You can find the data here, and there's an FTP link in the footer of the page to download more detailed data. You'll also need this guide [pdf] that defines all the variables.
Martin Dittus, a former Last.fm employee, grabbed listening data for staff, moderators, and alumni, and visualized 8.7 million scrobbles in an extended calendar format.
At its most basic level this visualisation shows how frequently someone has been scrobbling over time, which in itself probably isn't that interesting. But the particular layout reveals some patterns in everyone's listening habits that aren't obvious from just looking at a timeline. Lunch breaks, dinner, the commute — as long as it happens regularly and interferes with one's music listening you should have no trouble finding it in the graph. In a few graphs you can even see seasonal effects!
There is a row for each year from 2005 to 2011, and each wide column represents a month, hence 12 across. Each small row, within an annual row, is an hour per day, and each small column, within each monthly column, is an hour of the day. Days of the week were aggregated for each month, so each month is a 7 by 24 grid. Make sense?
It's like a calendar view, but instead days, the interest is centered around hours of the day. Deeper orange indicates more activity.
There are about 180 graphs, one for each person Dittus produced a graphic for. Most likely you aren't one of them or know any of them, but I like the use of the calendar-like grid to look for temporal patterns. It's an under-utilized layout that should be played with more.
Best of the conference calendars – has the two I'm working on, Personal Digital Archiving, and Screening the Future.
For reunions last year, OIT created a special web site tailored for the small mobile devices that are now proliferating in the marketplace, cell phones with web browsers, iPhones, Blackberries, and the like. The experiment proved to be quite successful. To accelerate the development of such services, OIT signed an agreement in December that will give the University access to Blackboard Mobile, an environment that will permit users to access public information about the University in a format especially suited to such mobile platforms.
The result will soon be a Princeton-specific application, m.Princeton, for leading brands of smart phones.
Mobile Central was founded by a group of Stanford students who developed the core products offered by Mobile Central by rising to the challenge of a course assignment in a Stanford computer science class - the task: to deliver real mobile solutions for the Stanford campus community.
iStanford now permits users to search the campus directory and campus map, view athletics and course information, and a variety of other campus services. The students later formed the company TerriblyClever Design in 2007, and developed several more mobile suites for other colleges and universities.
During the past year, several universities, notably Stanford, Duke, and MIT, have used these same services to permit mobile users to access campus maps, directories of people and places, bus schedules and campus tours, event calendars, announcements and news, as well as images and videos.
Princeton is now building a full suite of such mobile applications for the benefit of the entire campus, as well as visitors, parents, and prospective students. OIT has assembled a team with representatives from several departments to complete the first phase of the work in time for reunions this coming May. The first phase will include a campus map, a campus directory, athletics schedules, course information, news, and the public events calendar.
During the first phase, Princeton will also assemble support for Reunions, from events and campus maps through directories and local restaurant menus.
The second phase will be ready in time for the fall. It will deliver real time shuttle information, access to the library catalog, an image gallery, additional video content, building maps (library floor plans, for example), as well as an online Orange Key tour.. Additional changes will be made as needed and will be delivered as updates to the existing application.
At the April 28 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar, Janet Temos ‘82 *01 and Ryan Irwin ‘10 of Blackboard Mobile Central discussed the details about the coming Princeton mobile apps. They noted that the apps will be delivered in formats that support the Blackberry Storm, Curve, and Bold, the iPhone, the iPod touch, and eventually the iPad. The apps will also work on any smart phone that can support a web browser. The application will be free, but users will need to download the application that suits their brand of phone.
The Apple applications will be available for download via iTunes. Blackberry applications will be available from the Blackberry app store. Blackboard Mobile Central and Princeton will host the web-based version.
Check back soon at www.princeton.edu/princetonmobile.
Janet Temos was trained as an architectural historian, and received degrees in art history from Williams College (MA 1992), and Princeton University (PhD 2001). She began working with the Educational Technologies Center (ETC), in 1993, and became a full-time member of the staff in 2000. She is now director of ETC, and continues to work with faculty who wish to use computer technology in their teaching. Current projects include courses on film, archaeology, medieval manuscripts, African languages taught in the US, and a collaborative project with the Princeton University Art Museum to develop an on-line repository of digital images of objects in the museum’s East Asian collection.