True size of Africa – Infoviz project

Online maps that we use for directions use the Mercator projection, and this tends to dictate how we perceive the size of countries and continents. If you look at the world map on Google, for example, Africa doesn’t look that much bigger compared to China or the United States. In reality though, it’s a lot bigger. Kai Krause scales countries by their area in square kilometers and then fits them into a Africa’s borders for some perspective.

The World’s Facebook Relationships Visualized – Dataviz project

Facebook intern Paul Butler was interested in the locations of friendships, so he decided to create a visualization of Facebook connections around the globe. How local are our friends? Where are the highest concentration of friendships? How do political and geological boundaries affect them?

Butler started by using a sample of 10 million friend pairs, correlated them with their current cities and then mapped that data using the longitude and latitude of each city.

World Processor – Ingo Günther / Infoviz project

Worldprocessor is an interesting project started on 1988 by the anthropologist and artist Ingo Günther. Ingo creates beautiful globes by representing on them different kinds of information in a visually appealing way. Exhibitions of the globes have been done all around the world. More information about the globes below and many others can be found in his  catalogue or in his blog, where he posts photos of the globes regularly. The works are also published on an artistic book.

Life expectancy is a core factor in the human development index. With 82 years Japan has the highest life expectancy. All 35 countries at the bottom of this list are located in sub-Saharan Africa; their citizen's average life expectancy is between 52 and 39 years.

Art, Politics and Visualizations

Can art visualization bring death?

The process of visualization is not limited and restricted to the simplistic idea that data have no consequence. Even less so that data manipulations are not art. The process of visualization is a knowledge based process that is contextualized in the reality of contemporary society, in the personal limitations, aspirations and emotions of both the author and the user. More  importantly it is a symbolic representation of life and death that can go beyond the mere technological issues and reach philosophical, aesthetic and metaphysical questions. Therefore becoming art.

Who said that visualization is not art? Or that it does not have any relation to contemporary politics and social issues? And if it could be accepted as art, what then happens to the person who discovers the reality of human condition?

The case of Mark Lombardi is a story of visualization processes,  visions, revelations and legal entanglements, as well of life and death, that reveals a small insight in the strange undercurrents of contemporary times. And that for me is art.

Exhibition at the University Art Museum of University at Albany
Exhibition at the University Art Museum of University at Albany

a new book about infoviz: designing universal knowledge

I didn’t have a chance to look at the content of the book but seems like a nice collection of recent visualizations.

The World as Flatland – Report 1
Designing universal knowledge
Gerlinde Schuller

Lars Müller Publishers, 2009
17 x 24 cm, 304 pages, English
Hardcover, with a large amount of images
ISBN 978-3-03778-149-4

Time Graphs


Such is the wonderful world of search results on google that in an inadvertent manner it helped me locate something that I was looking for and the name of which I had forgotten. When Murat posted tag galaxy I was immediately reminded of a stunning data visualization project on Flickr. But try as I might I could not remember what it was called. And then I woke up this morning to find that someone, somewhere in the world had conducted a search using the terms “flickr information visualization” and had found us. However number one on the search results was Time Graphs, which was the piece that I was looking for!

So here it is: Ladies and gentlemen, Time Graphs!

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