Just got back from Toronto where I attended HASTAC2013 and had the chance to present a good chunk of my dissertation research and got a lot of good feedback. It was a really intense but productive weekend where I got to meet some very interesting colleagues, hear about amazing projects and even, surprisingly, find people who were into my own research! Thank you very much to all the organizers and participants for making it a great event!
In recent years, visualization has become an all-purpose technique for communicating and exploring data within the humanities. There are a wide availability of tools offering different points of entry from IBM’s Many Eyes to Gephi to Tapor 2.0.
In fall of 2013, HASTAC @ Duke will be participating in a collaborative project as part of Duke University's Bass Connections program in the area of Information, Society and Culture. The following is an in-depth look into what participating students can expect to learn from this interdisciplinary project, which builds on HASTAC's CI-BER research and roadmap.
Over the last 12 years, astronauts have taken a lot of pictures from the International Space Station. About 1.1 million of them. And they're all archived on NASA's servers. Nathan Bergey mapped them.
Most of the photos are taken of land. Coastlines, islands and cities seem to be popular targets. So much so that it’s possible to make out basic continents. This makes sense, photos of clouds over an otherwise blank ocean get old after a while. I'm sure every astronaut has taken at least one photograph of the town they grew up in.
Above is the use of small multiples to show pictures taken during separate missions.
There's a strand of the data viz world that argues that everything could be a bar chart. That's possibly true but also possibly a world without joy.
—Amanda Cox, 2013
There's a great interview with Amanda Cox from The New York Times on visualization, some of the skills required, and where the field is headed. I like this tidbit on design:
Design and typography do matter. It's about hierarchy of information and how people perceive information. Done properly, that clean up work really matters. On the other hand, it's easy to believe that it matters more than it does. If you make a fantastically interesting chart and some poor design decisions, the data will still come through. If you make a bad chart with a beautiful design, what have you done, really?
The idea has been in our heads for a few years, and was born out of noticing how beautiful infographics can look as an art form. It was reinforced by seeing that infographics have become increasingly important in contemporary pop-culture. While they haven’t made their way to videogames yet, we think it’s a place where they can work exceptionally well. This is not just because of their pretty aesthetics as much as it is about actively changing data and how that can be visualized.
The teaser above shows a guy running on and jumping over bar and line charts, and the last sentence of the paragraph seems to suggest that these things will be based on actual data. I kind of doubt it though.
How about a SimCity-like game that uses real-time crime, traffic, and government data? Now that'd be something. They already kind of do that for sports games with injuries and starting lineups. [Thanks, Raphael]