Archive for the 'Convergence' Category

The rise of ubiquitous computing

Virtual/immersive environments:
CAVE – Cave Automatic Virtual Environment

CaveUT (an extension of the CAVE tech) is an open source mutator for Unreal Tournament 2004. Developed by PublicVR, CaveUT leverages existing gaming technologies to create a CAVE environment. By using Unreal Tournament’s spectator function CaveUT can position virtual viewpoints around the player’s “head”. Each viewpoint is a separate client that, when projected on a wall, gives the illusion of a 3D environment.

Applications:
The RETAIL environment is the place where reactive and immersive battles will be fought (and won) and we will be the pawns. IBM business partners recently predicted that next generation stores will be:

Sense and respond environemnts that morph themselves to meet the temporal demands of customers’ immediate shopping objectives.

Soon films like Minority Report might not be the stuff of science fiction.

This leads us quite nicely into the realms of ubiquitous computing.

Ubiquitous computing is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities. As opposed to the desktop paradigm, in which a single user consciously engages a single device for a specialized purpose, someone “using” ubiquitous computing engages many computational devices and systems simultaneously, in the course of ordinary activities, and may not necessarily even be aware that they are doing so.

Mark Weiser – considered to be the father of ubiquitous computing, as he coined the phrase in 1988 – believed that technology should have a calming influence if it was to be of merit. It should basically make our lives easier, less stressful. What do you think? Does technology achieve this on the whole?

What about the semantic web?

Humans use the Internet to carry out basic tasks – book tickets, check the time of a gig etc. A computer can’t perform the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines.

The semantic web is about publishing pages designed to be understood by computers so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing, and combining information on the web.

Languages specifically designed for data: Resource Description Framework (RDF), Web Ontology Language (OWL), and Extensible Markup Language (XML).

•    HTML describes documents and the links between them.
•    RDF, OWL, and XML, by contrast, can describe arbitrary things such as people, meetings, or airplane parts.

Tim Berners-Lee calls the resulting network of Linked Data the Giant Global Graph, in contrast to the HTML-based World Wide Web.

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What’s the big deal about Web 2.0?

web_2cartoon2

Web 2.0 World

These terms; Web 1.0, Web 2.0 are simply labels that marketing men have assigned to different types of web application since its inception – but there are some key things that differentiate the two.

Ostensibly Web 1.0 is a set of Internet applications that rely on the ‘Client Server Principle’. This is based on a simple idea where interactions between software systems are broken down into two roles:

client-server

The client server model

Clients request services : : Servers provide them.

It was the advent of browsers that enabled this scheme to become widespread. With the advent of Mosaic – the first graphical browser capable of displaying more than just ASCII (plain text) – a browser could access document and data using FTP for the first time. And it could display HTML (text, anchors, images etc). It even supported several video formats.

So why was HTML so successful?

  • It can be employed WITHOUT a deep understanding of programming
  • It is FAULT-TOLERANT
  • Numerous tools are available for writing HTML docs from simple text editors to sophisticated WYSIWYG environments

It was the release of Netscape along with various other non-Internet related events that caused an explosion in what we now refer to as Web 1.0

THE FLAT WORLD MODEL – Tom Friedman (2000)

  1. The fall of the iron curtain – opening up a whole new Eastern European market.
  2. Netscape and IE proving that MONEY could be made from the web (both browsers immediately picked up in Eastern Europe too).
  3. Software with compatible interfaces and file formats enabling people to connect all over the world (e.g Office suite).
  4. Open sourcing – the idea of self-organising collaborative communities capable of running large software projects
  5. Outsourcing – where companies concentrate on their core business and leave the peripherals to others who can do it better and cheaper
  6. Offshoring (look at how call centres have been relocated to the Indian sub-continent for example) China!
  7. Supply chaining – the idea of streamlining supply and production processes on a global basis.
  8. Insourcing – it sometimes makes sense to bring specific functions in (or back in) to a company for efficiency (look at UPS Toshiba repairs)
  9. Informing – thanks to SEARCH ENGINES. In the flat world model knowledge and entertainment can be had anytime anywhere. A 21st Century person no longer depends on print material, libraries or office space.
  10. Finally the STEROIDS (the technological developments that have made all this possible). These include: digital cabling, wireless computer access  – PDAs, cell phones, laptops, storage, computers with high-end capabilities etc etc.

Design elements of a typical Web 1.0 website

  • Static pages
  • Framesets
  • Proprietary HTML extensions such as the <blink> and <marquee> tags introduced during the first browser war
  • Online Guestbooks and contact forms
  • Top-down information
  • Meta tags

Design elements of a typical Web 2.0 website

  • Dynamically created pages
  • Categories, tags
  • Breadcrumbing
  • RSS/Atom feeds
  • User-generated conent – bottom up information

KEY DIFFERENCES

  1. Web 1.0 was about reading, Web 2.0 is about writing
  2. Web 1.0 was about companies, Web 2.0 is about communities
  3. Web 1.0 was about client-server, Web 2.0 is about peer to peer
  4. Web 1.0 was about HTML, Web 2.0 is about XML
  5. Web 1.0 was about home pages, Web 2.0 is about blogs
  6. Web 1.0 was about portals, Web 2.0 is about RSS
  7. Web 1.0 was about taxonomy, Web 2.0 is about tags
  8. Web 1.0 was about wires, Web 2.0 is about wireless
  9. Web 1.0 was about owning, Web 2.0 is about sharing
  10. Web 1.0 was about Netscape, Web 2.0 is about Google
  11. Web 1.0 was about web forms, Web 2.0 is about web applications
  12. Web 1.0 was about screen scraping, Web 2.0 is about APIs
  13. Web 1.0 was about dialup, Web 2.0 is about broadband
  14. Web 1.0 was about hardware costs, Web 2.0 is about bandwidth costs

From Darren Barefoot blog

Peer to peer network

Peer to peer network

The Way Back Machine

Surveilance & Privacy in a Networked World

Sousveillance : What type of Surveillance is this?

Sousveillance original French [suvɛjɑ̃s]) as well as inverse surveillance are terms coined by Steve Mann to describe the recording of an activity from the perspective of a participant in the activity, typically by way of small portable or wearable recording devices that often stream continuous live video to the Internet.

Inverse surveillance is a proper subset of sousveillance with a particular emphasis on “watchful vigilance from underneath” and a form of surveillance inquiry or legal protection involving the recording, monitoring, study, or analysis of surveillance systems, proponents of surveillance, and possibly also recordings of authority figures and their actions. Inverse surveillance is typically an activity undertaken by those who are generally the subject of surveillance, and may thus be thought of as a form of ethnography or ethnomethodology study (i.e. an analysis of the surveilled from the perspective of a participant in a society under surveillance)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sousveillance

Read the article from wikipedia and follow some of the links at the bottom of the article. These links are are worth following.

http://www.anonequity.org/weblog/archives/2006/01/exploring_equiv_1.php

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13130

http://www.reason.com/news/show/28942.html


Ask yourselves some questions:

  • Do you think about the identifiable trail that you leave whilst using networks?
  • Do you worry about being tracked by your online activity?
  • Do you worry about being tracked in the real world?
  • Has your picture been taken by a government body?
  • What information do you place online?

Panoptican : http://www.cartome.org/panopticon1.htm

The PANOPTICON was proposed as a model prison by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), a Utilitarian philosopher and theorist of British legal reform.

The Panopticon (“all-seeing”) functioned as a round-the-clock surveillance machine. Its design ensured that no prisoner could ever see the ‘inspector’ who conducted surveillance from the privileged central location within the radial configuration. The prisoner could never know when he was being surveilled — mental uncertainty that in itself would prove to be a crucial instrument of discipline.

The New Surveillance:


Freedom of Information Activism Online: http://www.cfoi.org.uk/

Surveilance Society Critique:

http://wearcam.org/sousveillance.htm


Facebook and Social Networking Software:

It’s worth how much?

• 15 reasons Facebook may be worth $15 billion BBC article

• There’s less to Facebook and other social networks than meets the eye Economist article

• Social graph, Social network Wikipedia (usual disclaimer)

• On valuation, bidding war Microsoft, Google, NewsCorp: Friend accepted Economist article

The (future) value is in advertising

‘Facebook is expected this year to bring in just $150m of revenues through adverts and extras – about $3 per user per year, or less than 3 pence per week.For all the big “social networking” names – MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn – the only way to make money is through advertising….the future of making money from social networks is reckoned to lie in having the best advertising network (or platform): being able to thrust carefully targeted pieces of text, pictures or even video in front of people’s eyes.’Guardian article

Facebook announcements

‘Facebook is announcing three things: Social Ads (ads targeted based on member profile data and spread virally), Beacon (a way for Facebook members to declare themselves fans of a brand on other sites and send those endorsements to their feeds), and Insight (marketing data that goes deep into social demographics and pyschographics which Facebook will provide to advertisers in an aggregated, anonymous way). These three things together make up Facebook Ads.’GuardianCompany linksAnnouncementA video of Facebook’s chief revenue officer Owen Van Natta’s presentation at a U. K. marketing conference

Commentary

• Privacy ‘Is Facebook Beacon a privacy nightmare?’ Om Malik

• Spam Facebook fatigue

• ‘Identity is performed and crafted in Facebook’ Boundaries, identity

• Tapping at the window Peeping

Questions to ask yourselves:

So how do you feel about social advertising and use of data which identifies you?

• Does this change matter?

• Will people react by moving to other social networks?

• Is the effort (opportunity cost) of moving to another network too great? Have Facebook achieved software lock-in?

Technology:

• Plugins for adding pictures and so on have been part of the success of facebook. Tell us about the plugins you find useful.

• Open standards, Google Open Social

Some alternatives

Your Responses could be…..

Write a blog entry commenting on one of the following:

• ‘Unlike other networks, social networks lose value once they go beyond a certain size.’ Discuss with reference to Facebook.

• Beacon and social advertising. Smart move, or not?

• Review a Facebook plugin. What makes a successful plugin for social networking?

More resources:Useful Visual tracking history of Social Networks

SNS timeline

A good overview of the field, Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, by Danah Boyd and Nicole Ellison in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.

A very critical piece by Tom Hodgkinson. Who owns Facebook? What are their political beliefs? Have you read the Facebook privacy policy? With friends like these …

All the start ups covered. Some to IPO, some to the deadpool Techcrunch

All the Social Networking News at Mashable.com

A Brief History of the Internet

A Little History of the World Wide Web From the world wide web consortium

See also How It All
Started presentation
matierals from the W3C
10th Anniversary Celebration
and other
references
.

<a href=”http://www.w3.org/2004/Talks/w3c10-HowItAllStarted/&#8221;

A talk Given by Tim Berners Lee

from 1945 to 1995

1945

Vannevar Bush writes
href=”
http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm”>an
article in Atlantic
Monthly
about a photo-electrical-mechanical device called a Memex, for
memory extension, which could make and follow links between documents on
microfiche

1960s

Doug Engelbart prototypes an “oNLine System” (NLS) which does hypertext
browsing editing, email, and so on. He invents the mouse for this purpose.
See the Bootstrap Institute
library
.

Ted Nelson coins the word Hypertext in A File Structure for the
Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminate
. 20th National
Conference, New York, Association for Computing
Machinery
, 1965. See also:
href=”
http://www.sfc.keio.ac.jp/~ted/TN/PUBS/LM/LMpage.html”>Literary
Machines, a
href=”
http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~harpold/papers/ht_bibliography/history.html”>hypertext
bibliography.

Andy van Dam and others build the Hypertext Editing System and FRESS in
1967.

1980

While consulting for CERN June-December of 1980, Tim Berners-Lee writes a
notebook program, “Enquire-Within-Upon-Everything”, which allows links to be
made between arbitrary nodes. Each node had a title, a type, and a list of
bidirectional typed links. “ENQUIRE” ran on Norsk Data machines under
SINTRAN-III. See: Enquire user manual
as scanned images
or as HTML
page
(alt).


1989

March
“Information Management: A
Proposal”
written by Tim BLand circulated for comments at CERN
(TBL). Paper “HyperText and CERN” produced as background (
href=”/Administration/HTandCERN.txt”>text
or WriteNow
format).

1990

May
Same proposal
recirculated
September
Mike Sendall, Tim’s boss, Oks the purchase of a NeXT cube, and allows
Tim to go ahead and write a global hypertext system.
October
Tim starts work on a hypertext GUI browser+editor using the NeXTStep
development environment. He makes up “WorldWideWeb” as a name for the
program. (See the first
browser
screenshot) “World Wide Web” as a name for the project
(over Information Mesh, Mine of Information, and Information Mine).
Project original proposal
reformulated with encouragement from CN and ECP divisional management.
Robert Cailliau (ECP) joins and is
co-author of new version.
November
Initial WorldWideWeb
program
development continues on the NeXT (
href=”People.html#BernersLee”>TBL
) . This was a “what you see is
what you get” (wysiwyg) browser/editor with direct inline creation of
links. The first web server was nxoc01.cern.ch, later called
info.cern.ch, and the first web page
http://nxoc01.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html Unfortunately CERN
no longer supports the historical site. Note from this era too, the
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/Link.html”>least
recently modified web page
we know of, last changed Tue, 13 Nov
1990 15:17:00 GMT (though the URI changed.)
November
Technical Student Nicola Pellow (CN)
joins and starts work on the line-mode browser. Bernd
href=”People.html#Pollermann”>Pollermann
(CN) helps get interface
to CERNVM “FIND” index running. TBL gives a
href=”news:3199@cernvax.cern.ch”>colloquium
on hypertext in
general.
Christmas
Line mode browser and
href=”People/Berners-Lee/FAQ.html#browser”>WorldWideWeb

browser/editor demonstrable. Acces is possible to hypertext files,
CERNVM “FIND”, and Internet news articles.

1991

February
workplan for the purposes of ECP
division.
26 February 1991
Presentation of the project to the
ECP/PT group.
March
Line mode browser (www) released to limited audience on “priam” vax,
rs6000, sun4.
May
Workplan produced
for CN/AS group
17 May
Presentation to “C5” Committee.
General release of WWW on central CERN machines.
12 June
CERN Computer Seminar on
WWW.
August
Files available on the net by FTP, posted on
alt.hypertext (
href=”/People/Berners-Lee/1991/08/art-6484.txt”>6
,
href=”/People/Berners-Lee/1991/08/art-6487.txt”>16
, 19th Aug),
comp.sys.next (20th), comp.text.sgml and comp.mail.multi-media (22nd).
Jean-Francois Groff joins the
project.
October
VMS/HELP and WAIS gateways installed. Mailing lists www-interest (now
www-announce) and www-talk@info.cern.ch (see
href=”
http://ksi.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/archives/WWW-TALK/www-talk-1991.index.html”>archive)
started. One year status report. Anonymous telnet service started.
December
Presented poster and demonstration at
href=”../Conferences/HT91/Overview.html”>Hypertext’91
in San
Antonio, Texas (US). W3 browser installed on VM/CMS. CERN
href=”
http://crnvmc/FIND?:cnl+204″>computer newsletter announces W3
to the HEP world.Dec 12: Paul Kunz installs first Web server outside of Europe, at
SLAC.

1992

15 January
Line mode browser release 1.1 available by anonymous FTP (see
href=”News/9201.html”>news
). Presentation to AIHEP’92 at La Londe
(FR).
12 February
Line mode v 1.2 annouced on alt.hypertext, comp.infosystems,
comp.mail.multi-media, cern.sting, comp.archives.admin, and mailing
lists.
April
29th April: Release of Finnish “Erwise” GUI client for X
mentioned in
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/Erwise/Review.html”>review

by TimBL.
May
Pei Wei’s “Viola” GUI browser for X test version dated May 15.
(See
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/Viola/Review.html”>review

by TimBL)At CERN, Presentation and
href=”../Conferences/JENC92/Demonstrations.html#3″>demo
at
href=”../Conferences/JENC92/Sessions.html”>JENC3
, Innsbruck (AT).
Technical Student Carl Barker (ECP) joins
the project.
June
Presentation and demo at HEPVM (Lyon). People at FNAL (Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory (US)), NIKHEF (Nationaal Instituut voor Kern- en
Hoge Energie Fysika, (NL)), DESY (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron,
Hamburg, (DE)) join with WWW servers.
July
Distribution of WWW through CernLib, including Viola. WWW library
code ported to DECnet. Report to the Advisory Board on Computing.
August
Introduction of CVS for code management
at CERN.
September
Plenary session demonstration to the HEP community at CHEP’92 in
Annecy (FR).
November
Jump back in time to a snapshot of the
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html”>WWW
Project Page as of 3 Nov 1992
and the WWW project web of the time,
including the list of all 26 resoanably reliable
href=”History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/DataSources/WWW/Servers.html”>servers
,
NCSA’s having just been added, but no sign of Mosaic.

1993

January
By now, Midas (Tony Johnson, SLAC), Erwise (HUT), and Viola (Pei Wei,
O’Reilly Associates) browsers are available for X; CERN Mac browser
(ECP) released as alpha. Around 50 known HTTP servers.
February
NCSA release first alpha version of Marc Andreessen’s “Mosaic for X”.
Computing seminar at CERN.
The University of Minnesota
href=”
http://www.funet.fi/pub/vms/networking/gopher/gopher-software-licensing-policy.ancient”>announcedthat they would begin to charge licensing fees for Gopher’s use, which
caused many volunteers and employees to stop using it and switch to
WWW.
March
WWW (Port 80 HTTP) traffic measures 0.1% of NSF backbone traffic. WWW
presented at Online
Publishing 93
, Pittsburgh.The Acceptable Use Policy prohibiting commercial use of the Internet

href=”
https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/jcthomsonjr/web/j561/NSFpolicy-7.html”>re-interpreted.,
so that it becomes becomes allowed.
April
April 30: Date on the declaration by CERN’s directors that WWW
technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable
to CERN. A milestone document.
July
Ari Luotonen (ECP) joins the project at CERN. He implements access
authorisation, proceeds to re-write the CERN httpd server.
July 28-30
O’Reilly hosts first
href=”History/1994/WWW/WorkingNotes/Overview.html#z45″>WWW Wizards
Workshop
in Cambridge Mass (US).
September
WWW (Port 80 http) traffic measures 1% of NSF backbone traffic. NCSA
releases working versions of Mosaic browser for all common platforms:
X, PC/Windows and Macintosh.September 6-10: On a bus at a
href=”
http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/old/events/intl.seminars/1993/contents.html”>seminar
Information at Newcastle University, MIT’s Prof. David
Gifford suggests Tim BL contact Michael Dertouzos of MIT/LCS as a
possible consortium host site.
October
Over 200 known HTTP servers. The European Commission, the Fraunhofer
Gesellschaft and CERN start the first Web-based project of the European
Union (DG XIII): WISE, using the Web for dissemination of technological
information to Europe’s less favoured regions.
December
WWW receives IMA award. John Markov writes a page and a half on WWW
and Mosaic in “The New York Times” (US) business section. “The
Guardian” (UK) publishes a page on WWW, “The Economist” (UK) analyses
the Internet and WWW.Robert Cailliau gets go-ahead from CERN management to organise the
First International WWW Conference at CERN.

1994

January
O’Reilly, Spry, etc announce “Internet in a box” product to bring the
Web into homes.
March
Marc Andreessen and colleagues leave NCSA to form “Mosaic
Communications Corp” (later Netscape).
May 25-27
First International WWW
Conference
, CERN, Geneva. Heavily oversubscribed (800 apply, 400
allowed in): the “Woodstock of the Web”. VRML is conceived here. TBL’s
closing keynote hints at upcoming organization. (Some of Tim’s
href=”/Talks/WWW94Tim/”>slides on Semantic Web
)
June
M. Bangemann
href=”
http://www.earn.net/EC/bangemann.html”>report on European
Commission Information Superhighway plan. Over 1500 registered servers.Load on the first Web server (info.cern.ch) 1000 times what it has
been 3 years earlier.
alt=”Over June ’91 to June 94, stead” />

July
MIT/CERN agreement to start W3 Organisation is announced by Bangemann
in Boston.
href=”//dxcern/userd/timbl/hypertext/WWW/History/Press/Release_940707.html”>Press
release
.
href=”//dxcern/userd/timbl/hypertext/WWW/History/Press/940708_Clarinet.txt”>AP
wire
. Reports in Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe etc.
August
Founding of the
href=”
http://sdg.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Public/IW3C2″>IW3C2: the
International WWW Conference Committee, in Boston, by NCSA and
CERN.
September
The European Commission and CERN propose the WebCore project for
development of the Web core technology in Europe.
1 October
World Wide Web Consortium founded.
October
Second International WWW
href=”
http://141.142.3.70/SDG/IT94/IT94Info-old.html”>Conference:
“Mosaic and the Web”, Chicago. Also heavily oversubscribed: 2000 apply,
1300 allowed in.
14 December
First W3
href=”./Consortium/Prospectus/Overview.html”>Consortium

Meeting at M.I.T. in Cambridge (USA).
15 December
First meeting with European Industry and the European Consortium
branch, at the European
Commission
, Brussels.
16 December
CERN Council approves unanimously the construction of the
href=”
http://www.cern.ch/CERN/LHC/LHCwelcome.html”>LHC (Large
Hadron Collider) accelerator, CERN’s next machine and competitor to the
US’ already defunct SSC (Superconducting Supercollider). Stringent
budget conditions are however imposed. CERN thus decides not to
continue WWW development, and in concertation with the European
Commission and INRIA (the Institut
National pour la Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, FR)
transfers the WebCore project to INRIA.

1995

February
the Web is the main reason for the theme of the G7 meeting hosted by
the European Commission in the European Parliament buildings in
Brussels (BE).
March
CERN holds a two-day
href=”
http://www.cern.ch/CERN/WorldWideWeb/mediaday/”>seminar for
the European Media (press, radio, TV), attended by 250 reporters, to
show WWW. It is demonstrated on 60 machines, with 30 pupils from the
local International High School helping the reporters “surf the
Web”.
April
Third International WWW
href=”
http://www.igd.fhg.de/www/www95/www95.html”>Conference:
“Tools and Applications”, hosted by the
href=”
http://www.fhg.de/index.html”>Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, in
Darmstadt (DE)
June
Founding of the Web Society in
Graz (AT), by the Technical University of Graz (home of Hyper-G), CERN,
the University of Minnesota (home of Gopher) and INRIA.

See also:


Dan Connolly, 2000Webmasterfeedback to www-talk (
href=”
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-talk/”>archive) and/or
href=”mailto:site-comments@w3.org”>site-comments
(
href=”
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/”>archive),
please

$Revision: 1.49 $ of $Date: 2006/06/13 22:35:21 $

created circa 1995 by Robert Cailliau

The Read Write web

Dan Gilmour article http://www.authorama.com/we-the-media-3.html

Viral Video The Machine is Using US:

What to Do?

I want to look in some detail at the task you have been set for your first piece of work. You have one more week to complete the still images and to place them online on flickr and link to your flickr account from your blog.

I am going to explore with you today a range of approaches that you could take with this first piece of work. To do this I am going to show you how other people are working currently in visualising data and also point you toward some of the tools, techniques or ways of thinking that may inform your own images that you make.

“We’re really close to the point where non-specialists will be able to find data online, ask questions of it, produce answers that bear on public policy issues, and share those answers online for review and discussion. A few more turns of the crank, and we’ll be there. And not a moment too soon.” Link


Telling a story, creating a narrative that matters to others as well as yourself

When choosing some data to visualise ask yourself a question: Does this matter to me? Is it an important part of my thoughts or experience? What does it communicate?

It might be argued that a good data visualisation tells a story it communicates in a way that we can understand and relate to. Remember the first example of data visualisation that we showed you. It was at Gapminder.org Although it is raw data from the UN it focuses on peoples lives and experiences in different parts of the world it allows us to compare our experiences where we are with other peoples experiences and life chances where they are. How long do people live? What do they survive on? And it tells that story in time.

Lets have a look at a Ted lecture with a Jonathan Harrison talking about one of his data visualisation projects.

Try out his online app at wefeelfine.org

Another similar app can be found at http://artport.whitney.org/commissions/thedumpster/dumpster.shtml This was commisioned by the Whitney Museum and Tate Online

Another interesting app is called newsmap which takes live news feeds from the web and displays them in terms of popularity and frequency.  http://marumushi.com/apps/newsmap/

All of these are fairly sophisticated and require some knowledge of programming and how to work with live feeds and to force them to display according to particular parameters. We are not expecting you to do this. We want you to choose some fairly simple statistics that have relevance for you and to display these statically as a series of stills in a flickr slideshow.

So what things might you choose to think about?

Personal Stats: collect your own data

  • Things you consume in a week, month, year?
  • Drink, Cigarettes, pizzas, etc
  • Petrol, electricity
  • money on food, entertainment, or just living
  • debt levels, week, month, year at end of course

How long you spend:

  • Watching TV
  • Listening to Radio
  • Listening to ipod or other
  • Working
  • Coursework

How you feel:

  • Relationships
  • Family
  • At particular times of the day, week, year
  • Hopes
  • Fears

All of these different types of personal stats could be compared to your friends or others on your course or in the module.

Non Personal Stats

Country, Continent, International

  • Literacy rates
  • Education Attainment
  • Divorces
  • Inequalities in wealth
  • Global Inequalities in wealth
  • Money spent on defence
  • Number of people in prison
  • Birth rates
  • death rates (life expectancy) in countries or different parts of the same country or even city

These are just some ideas that come immediately to mind, you, with a little thought, will be able to come up with many others. It doesn’t take much searching to find well regarded and detailed statistics.

Think about your day to day existence, think about things going on in the world. Soon after this lecture Barack Obama is giving his inauguration speech. You could use wordle to examine the frequency of the words used or a number of other tools to examine the breakdown of the words and ideas. Try to be imaginative and inventive.

Another text based tool form IBM is the Word Tree Guide

Wealth Gap in world cities.

Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis


How Might you work with Still Images?

A guy called Chris Jordan is currently working with still images and trying to use stills to visualise aspects of consumption the work he is creating is very US centric, but could easily be applied to our own or others consumption habits.

He speaks about his work, again at a recent TED conference.

Lets have  a closer look at some of his images.

prison uniforms

Although very simple ideas they work in a very powerful way in being able to make us take in the huge numbers that are being dealt with. When zooming into the image and seeing what it is composed of we understand the enormity of the things being expressed. The images in this sense are shocking because they only reveal themselves on closer inspection.

Even with your basic photoshop skills it would be possible for you to produce similar representations.

Possible Visualisation tools that you can use

Apart from Photoshop there are a number of ways that you can visualise. You can use screenshots of your online wanderings, you can take digital pictures, you can scan in drawings and images that you make or cut up from other sources.

You can begin to experiment with a host of fairly easy to use online tools for visualisation:

For your first Artefact we want you to use still images on Flickr and present them as a slideshow that communicates the information visually. You can tell a progressive story as the images change or you could show a variety of data related in some way. Remember the beginning of this piece asked the question about successful data visualisation is it because it tells a story. Always keep in mind the story that you are trying to communicate and keep it simple.

Radiohead Visual Data and realtime capture by scanning.

Have Fun

First Piece of Work (Don’t Panic)

During the module we are asking you to produce three pieces of work quite quickly so we are not looking for particularly polished final results. What we are looking for is the communication of ideas in a visual form. A communication that works. It can be a combination of picture and short text much like the film that we showed you about statistics releating to new network technologies and its impact on the world and peoples behaviour.

The above movie communicates very powerfully, but simply.

The First Artefact: Due Publish date from your Blog 27th Jan 09

We want you to try something similar using still images in a sequence working as a slideshow. To do this you can sign up with yahoo for a flickr photo sharing account and place your images in a desired sequence and then people can view them as a full screen slideshow.

A good number of images might be between 10-15, you can use more if you think this will communicate your idea better. Remember the images have to be on the screen long enough for people to be able to take in the text and the image. So you have to decide what the timings will be.

The Subjects for Your Images:

We want you to think about your own use of these technologies and you might illustrate your own use of these ie how long do you spend on Facebook, Myspace, etc How often do you watch YouTube during a day/week etc? Do you create content for youtube, facebook or other? How long do you spend on this?

1.How long do you spend using other media forms? Your Mobile, TV, Radio, Games, etc. What devices do you use during the course of a day/week etc? How might this compare with other people in your Group.

2.You could illustrate non personal statistics like literacy rates in different countries, the spread of wealth in different countries, the access to technology in other countries, the cost and debt that people get into when going through further or higher education in different countries.

3.You might think in more detail about how technology has impacted on your life over the past five years what has changed, how has your own behaviour changed? Ask others in your group compare together. The results could be really interesting.

Watch some of the movies that we have linked to on this blog or search for different data visualisation tools online to get other ideas.

Some Useful Data Visualisation Links:

There are currently some really useful tools online that allow you to visualise your own data that you might collect like:

Creating Images

So how might you create your images?

Remember they have to be big enough to work full screen so minimum size is 800pixels by 600pixels.

Be inventive you can take screen shots of what you are using on your computer, You can take screen shots of data visualisation tools like Google Earth or Google Maps. You can use your mobile phones, digital cameras, You can even capture video from your computer screen using a free firefox browser plugin, which I will leave you to search for. You can draw and scan your drawings in to photoshop.

You can use photoshop to add text or other composited effects. Most of all surprise yourself think about your own use of technology, your own experiences, have fun be provocative.

Reflections on Lecture Content

Each week we want you to respond with a post on your blog to content that you have seen during the course of the lecture.

What do we mean when we say we want a written reflection?

If we take the first week when we saw Stefan Sagmeister talk about three designs that had made him happy. Once you have watched this on your own a couple of times your response can be made by having a few questions in mind after you have watched and thought about what he was trying to say.

These questions might be, say in relation to the subway design example:

  • What did the project do on the subway?
  • What do you think it was trying to communicate?
  • How was it different to the usual subway signs?
  • Were the designs a commentary on our day to day experience of life in a city?
  • If so was it challenging, critical, useful, funny?
  • You might also contrast it with what makes you happy?

Having questions in mind enables you to structure and think about your own response to the design in a thoughful way. A good response is often short and concise. I you state something how do you back that up, what evidence do you refer to?