The third edition of Visualizar is now finished and the projects developed during the workshop can be visited until the 17th of January in the Medialab Prado in Madrid. The exhibition shows the results of the two weeks of work - from 14 to 27 of November - when participants refined concepts, gathered and parsed necessary data and prototyped the visualizations. After this time, outcomes were quite diverse, varying according to the nature of concepts, the available data and number of contributors. Here is an overview.
The New Political Interfaces [newpoliticalinterfaces.org] aims to visualize the influence of new means of communication in politics. Inspired by the influence of social networking systems in the Obama campaign, the team looked into content generated by official sources and political parties, in contrast to those generated by individuals in online systems. Using data from Twitter, they developed beautiful visualizations to correlate official and personal information regarding the last presidential election in United States. The authors, Cristóbal Castilla, Héctor Sánchez-Pajares and José Hernández, all from Aer studio consider the state of their project as a sketch, and are already working to add further informational layers, and to expand the analysis to other social networking systems.
In What do they have? Alternate Visualizations of Museum Collections , Piotr Adamczyk aggregates and presents data from several art museums around the world. According to Piotr, visualizing public data about global cultural heritage can suggest how a culture sees another and lead to a more open discussion about how the story of public culture is being told. Kultur-o-meter [kulturometer.org/] by Pablo Rey, Mar Núñez and Traficantes de Sueños deals with cultural institutions in a different way. It shows the amount of resources that is allocated to each cultural niche of Madrid. By zooming (click to see full-rez version) into the graphic it is possible to see, for example, that the Medialab Prado corresponds to less than 0,5% of the total cultural budget of Madrid City Hall.
The Piratepie [thepiratepie.org] of Mar Canet, Jaume Nualart, and David Stolarsky, from Future Lab and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, aims to be a "piracy monitor" that would describe how, where and when Internet piracy occurs. By structuring data of all bittorent files indexed by The Pirate Bay, the team developed several visualizations such as the Pirate Voyager, an analogy to the Baby Name Voyager, and the Area Map, illustrated above, that displays quantitative data according to parameters set on the interface.
The FLUflux project shows correlations among US international flights and global pandemics. The authors Jihyun Kim and Andrés Colubri, authors of the project reckon that the influx of people traveling around the world reflects historical events. In the FLUflux interactive prototype, when a disease is selected, a diagram is presented in which each circle represents a country, while the central one represents the United States. The dataset chosen focused on the United States due to data constraints: it is only only country data makes extensive flight information available online. Connecting lines become shorter when the flux of passengers increases. Selecting a line or circle restricts data to the country that corresponds to the selected element.
In Evolution of Innovation. A visual history of patent registrations during the last decades Leonardo Solaas developed classical visualizations to show the evolution of patent registrations over time. He uses a stacked graph to show amounts of registered patents over time (picture below), a tag cloud to display trends of subjects and a network diagram to show citation patterns.
Hydro Status of Now, designed by Keyvan Minoukadeh and Katrin Caspar, was the most popular project among contributors, counting on 10 volunteers. With all this task force and because the theme can be approached in many ways, the group developed a set of different visualizations, ranging from videos to static graphs and flash prototypes. One such visualization (click to full-rez version) shows the correlation between availability and consumption of water in different countries. Each element represents a country and linking lines represent shared geographical borders. The aim was to raise questions about political relations and to display possibilities of water trading.
Also approaching the theme "water", the River Project [territoriosvivos.org], developed visualizations of the quality of water in rivers of Madrid. Data was gathered by the project itself, and the team even scheduled a visit to a river close Madrid inviting other participants to take part.
The reliability of datasets, a common problem of many information architects, was approached by Jonás Fernández Reviejo, Víctor Rodrigo Gudiel, and Miguel Valero Espada, in Surveillance under control. The team developed a tool to check the validity of datasets based on Benford's Law. With the toll it is possible to apply the law to databases and to visualize the deviation of its data.
Finally, the project In the Air [intheair.es], its web-version having already being featured in this blog, was invited by the Medialab to take part in the workshop, and develop an application for its new digital facade. One of the final data visualizations, displayed above, translated air polluting substances into colors, and displays amounts amounts of such substances through variation of saturation and brightness.
Many of the projects described above are still being improved or extended - also to include stable online versions of final prototypes. The overall wish to improve projects is also a result of the rich atmosphere created by participants, tutors and the Medialab staff during the two weeks of hard work. The mix of people from different backgrounds contributed to question predefined concepts, while new ideas and future work groups emerged from the intense atmosphere of living together through attending the workshop. The exhibition shows the good work developed in the short time frame of the workshop, but further results are still to be seen. You can also read more information at Visualizar's own overview.
This post has been written by Larissa Pschetz, interaction designer living and working in Hamburg, Germany.