Data Visualisation

Data visualisation techniques can give new insights into large amounts of data, the results can be quite artistic. Because so much of what we do online is now tagged and categorised there are some tools out there to help us analyse patterns on the web in close to real time, and some data visualisations become new ways of navigating information online – occasionally the reveal more information at a meta level in the process.

Just for fun the people at Pitch Interactive created a visualisation of Oscar winning actors and directors (positioned on the inner ring) and their connections to non-Oscar winning actors (positioned on the outer ring).

The density of the connecting lines indicates that there are a few non-Oscar winners who repeatedly work with Oscar winners. It’s a pattern that would have been very hard to see in the original data.

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We feel fine searches for “feel” and “feelings” on the internet, and presents them in several ways. Madness is the format shown at right, with a cluster of emotions and the text of the selected emotion above.

One of the dataviews is a bar graph of the terms used, it’s sobering, apparently we specify our feelings online when we’re feeling low. Frighteningly the word most often used was “whatever”

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Amaztype have a freakishly mesmerising way of presenting search results on Amazon, you can search by title or author and the results are displayed as book covers that appear in the form of your search term. Picture 9
The Newsmap offers a great way of viewing news across a range of categories and several countries based on google news. The size and shade of colour give information on the ranking and age of the article. Comparing countries gives an insight into what’s important locally. Picture 5
My favourite is the Allosphere, it’s a collaboration between musicians, visual artists and scientists. The results are presented on the inside of a 10m diameter sphere in 3D. It is being used by scientists to understand biology at the molecular level and chemistry at the atomic level. The image at right is a visualisation of a lattice of atoms of hydrogen, oxygen and zinc which forms a new material for transperant solar cells.

It almost makes me wish I’d stayed in Science.

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