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21 students from around the world are currently studying at the Interaction Design Pilot Year in Copenhagen, which is a collaboration between Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) and The Danish Design School (DKDS). This year is a test run, with an intensive, innovative and experimental programme that teaches programming, electronics and user-centered design. These skills are used to investigates longer-term problems like the design of physical interfaces, new services and future scenarios.

Under supervision of Shawn Allen from Stamen Design, the students were given a two week long class in data visualisation. Many students had no previous experience in programming or data visualization but managed to create a wide range of applications that used different approaches to deal with large amount of information. They got a crash course in Actionscript 3, lectures in how to approach Data Visualization as a discipline and details on how to connect and parse information from the UN Data site.

Please read on below for a short description of all the projects that were accomplished within the two weeks.


DEL.ICO.US SPEED DATING by Jacob Sikker Remin.
Jacob created a physics based visualization in Processing that compares two profiles from bookmarking website. Using data from RSS feeds connections between similar webpages are created so we can observe how much these two profiles match.

EDUCATION V INCOME by Magnus Bendtsen, Nina B. Nygaard Christoffersen, Sarasiff Kjærgård.
Magnus, Nina and Sarasiff used Actionscript and datasets from UNData to create a "question asking visualisation" of gender differences in education and wages in different countries. Bars in the inner circle represents education level and bars in the outer circle represents income for the particular country. User can explore data by moving mouse over visualization do get info for specific country and sort them using different criteria.

Kevin based his visualization on voting data from a pan-european song contest called Eurovision. Arcs between countries visualize who was voting for who, and you can also sort the countries by result. The data set is quite a complex set due to cross-voting and only a portion of countries participating in the finals. The result and viewing methods allow us to see how much voting is biased in different areas of Europe and discover groups of friendly countries.

GLOBAL TOURISTS by Andreas Hesse and Ashwin Rajan.
Andreas and Ashwin used datasets from UNData regarding tourism to visualize travel destinations of people from different parts of the World. Sizes of circles depends on amount of revenue created by visiting tourists while filled area is origin of this traffic.

Tobias decided to visualize bike accidents in Denmark based on data from StatBank Denmark. Each bike represents one accident and when you hover your mouse over it you can read more information and see the location of the accident on the map.

HAVE AND HAVE-NOTS by Eilidh Dickson, Siddharth Muthyala.
Eilidh and Siddharth explored relations between the number of computer users and internet users in ten countries of students from the Pilot Year. Figures of man holding globe represents percent of society in particular country having access to the internet while figures of man holding laptop represents people having computers but not connected to the net. The interactive timeline allows you to travel in time and observe changing patterns from 1990 to 2004.

MONEY VIS by Marcin Ignac.
Marcin used his personal money spending data that he collected during last 3 years as an input. Interactive charts allows you to see what he spends his money for by filtering by categories, different layouts and explorative detail levels. One interesting thing about this data set is that it contains multiple currencies and Marcin had to normalize all the data from historical currency rates before getting started.

TOBACCO TRADING by Francesco Saverio Mondelli and Nunzia Coco.
Francesco and Nunzia used data sets from UNData to verify what is the relation between places where tobacco manufacturers earn money and countries producing tobacco. Green bars represent tobacco production while yellow bars represent profits. You can go across timeline to see how this situation was changing over years. One interesting observation was that it varies quite a lot over the years which suggests that the tobacco industry moves around quite a lot. To answer why, more investigation is needed.

TOP TOURIST DESTINATIONS by Adam Little, Hyunjeong Son (Mimi Son).
Adam and Mimi decided to focus on origin of visitors travelling to top 10 travel destinations in 2005. After clicking on a circle representing country you can see how many people from different areas visited it in one year. Grey icons of people represent total number of visitors in this country.

WATER OR INTERNET? by Alice Pintus, Ujjval Panchal, Yu-Min Chen (Yves).
Alice, Ujjval and Yves compared improvement of access to the water and the internet. The inner circle represents percentage of population with internet access while the outer circle represents percentage of population with water access in each country. The interface allowed you to sort on different criteria and search for country by name.

WORK TIME CALCULATOR by Ane Eline Sørensen and Erlend Kyte.
Ane Eline and Erlend used unusual approach for visualizing how much time you have to work in different countries to afford the same thing; be it a car, a fridge or a chicken. A video animation shows an employee working away until he earns particular amount of money. By observing which country finish first and which country finish last you can compare wages and cost of living in these countries.

YOUTUBE STATISTICS by Hung-Lin Hsu (Jason).
Jason used data about Youtube videos to better understand activities inside Youtube community. Height of the bars represents number of views of particular video while color of the bar represents its category.

More information about other projects done during The CIID/DKDS Interaction Pilot Year can be found on its course list page. At the time of writing, CIID are currently accepting applications for next years course. For more info visit the admission page.

About the authors:

This guest post is a collaborative effort from two interaction designers, Kevin Cannon and Marcin Ignac.

Kevin Cannon is an Irish web & interactive designer. He likes dabbling with electronics and programming and is very interested in the power of data visualization and it's potential to change people's ideas about the world.

Marcin Ignac is a programmer, designer and artist from Poland. He focuses on using programming to create new kinds of experiences and interaction blending art, technology and design.

Currently they both are studying at The Interaction Design Pilot Year.


Really great blog post! the school is in Denmark though, not Norway as stated in the title!

Fri 01 May 2009 at 2:32 AM

Oops, mistake from the editor... Fixed it.

Fri 01 May 2009 at 2:17 PM

it still says Norway!? :)

Sat 02 May 2009 at 2:51 AM
eilidh dickson

That's odd. It said Norway, then Denmark, now it's back to Norway.

Sat 02 May 2009 at 4:14 PM
Kim Rees

Grrrmbl. The problem of having too many tabs open (while editing...). Sorry!

Sun 03 May 2009 at 4:12 PM

Great ideas. As they mentioned flash somewhere, I wonder if these projects are viewable online?

Mon 04 May 2009 at 6:13 AM

The flash programs are not online all together, but you can see more about the projects here

Mon 04 May 2009 at 8:28 AM
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