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Two of the very best visualization designers and researchers around today, Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg, have started a new website, titled Hint.fm [hint.fm] (or it exists much longer and I just didn't know). The website collects their past presentations, publications, exhibitions, press coverage, and all of their works, of which Many Eyes, FleshMap, and Phrase Nets are just a few. Most projects are remarkable in their apparent focus on combining the aspects of beauty and story-telling through the presentation data. As they state themselves in the colophon, "Unlike ... traditional uses, we believe visualization to be an expressive medium that invites emotion."

Two latest project stand out. "Flickr Flow" is based on a large collection of photographs of the Boston Common taken from Flickr. A specifically design algorithm calculates the relative proportions of different colors seen in photos taken in each month of the year, and plotted them on a wheel. The resulting diagram picks up the ebb and flow of seasonal colors.

Web Seer" attempts to visualize people's innermost thoughts by using data originating from Google Suggest (the drop-down box that guesses your search query while you write). The interactive tool contrast two separate search queries, as it highlights the commonly shared and opposite suggestions proposed by the Google algorithm. The arrow thicknesses show the number of web pages for each question. Insightful examples include "are Democrats" versus "are Republicans", or "shopping for men" versus "shopping for women". Both authors describe a qualitative analysis of the resulting graphs at a recent op-ed ("op-chart") in The New York Times.

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1 COMMENT

One great link! Those are two very talented artist. Thanks.

Thu 21 Jan 2010 at 10:36 PM
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