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information aesthetics

  • Permalink for 'TEDx Talk on Molecular Animation: Combining Cinema and Biology '

    TEDx Talk on Molecular Animation: Combining Cinema and Biology

    Posted: 24-January-2012, 9:35pm EST

    Right now, while you are reading this article, billions of your cells are busy replicating your DNA information. Although molecules are smaller than the wavelength of light, and thus we have no way to directly observe them, can we still somehow visualize these processes?

    Biomedical animator and MacArthur Foundation nominee Drew Berry of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research presents in a recent TEDx talk of less than 9 minutes, the state-of-the-art in molecular animation. He shows an accurate representation of the actual biological processes that happen on molecular scale, even at the correct speed2.

    Next to a movie that originates back from around 2003 that focuses on the replication of DNA, he also shows a newer version that has been accomplished through "updated science, updated technology", revealing how DNA mitosis through a nifty process of some quite 'mechanical' signal broadcasting system. At the end, he highlights the processes behind a malaria infection of a human child via a mosquito bite, through invasion of cellular tissues including the liver and blood. malaria spreads in your blood.

    More biological visualization videos can for instance be found at WEHI-TV and Harvard's BioVisions Lab.

    Watch the TEDx talk and some of the full versions of the shown movies below.

  • Permalink for 'Time Maps: Morphing a Country According to its Travel Time'

    Time Maps: Morphing a Country According to its Travel Time

    Posted: 25-January-2012, 9:30pm EST

    In the current age, we tend to think in time rather than absolute distance when estimating our itineraries. Accordingly, the beautiful Timemaps [] by Vincent Meertens of Graph[s]ic shows the required travel times within The Netherlands by public transportation through morphing its silhouette along a colorful, circular time measure.

    Users are able to select any train station location (by clicking inside the map), and time of day (via a slider). As a result, the map will expand at night, and shrink in the morning due to the availability of trains. The color coding corresponds to the number of hours (see legend below the map). If all goes well, the map should even be made available on iOS and Android.

    See also Travel Time Tube Map and Worldmapper.

    Via @ajdant.

  • Permalink for 'The State of the Union Address 2012 - Infographically Enhanced'

    The State of the Union Address 2012 - Infographically Enhanced

    Posted: 25-January-2012, 10:41pm EST

    Similar to the original approach in 2011, this year's State of the Union was made available online in a so-called 'enhanced' version, which basically consisted of a split-screen video that shows President Obama giving his speech on one side, and a large collection contextual information and facts, as well as infographics, on the other. In other words: 1 hour and 5 minutes worth of high-level political facts, captured in 102 unique slides, of which about 26 can be labelled as visualization of some kind.

    You can watch the 'enhanced' version of the State of the Union 2012 below or at the White House website [] itself.

    Importantly, there are already some critical reviews available, about this year's infographics [], but also about those of last year []. These reviews are quite worthwhile to read, as they point out some potential discrepancies in terms of the graphical representation, and the narrative it tries to convey.

    See also Obama Presidency by Numbers: Contrasting Statements with Statistics and Obama Loves Infographics.

  • Permalink for 'Visualizing the Demographic Reach of Yahoo! Homepage Stories'

    Visualizing the Demographic Reach of Yahoo! Homepage Stories

    Posted: 30-January-2012, 3:44pm EST

    Yahoo! recently released a dedicated data visualization website [] to highlight their Content Optimization and Relevance Engine (C.O.R.E.), a service that aims to personalize the Yahoo! experience depending on a collection of demographic (e.g. gender and age) and geographic (e.g. cities) variables, in combination with personal interests (e.g. Finance, Sports, Health).

    The visualization, developed by Periscopic, allows to explore the relevant content of their homepage according to a set of user-selected parameters, so that one can solve questions like: "What is the most popular story for females between 18 and 24?". The shown content reaches back up to 24 hours ago. Each separate story can be further analyzed in terms of popularity over time, plus its demographic reach of the audience that actually clicked on it. Notably, the floating 3D globe of particles consists of news stories.

    Via @johnmaeda.

    See also Yahoo Visualizes Real-Time Email Subject Line Keywords and Destinations.

  • Permalink for 'Spot: Visualizing Twitter Dynamics as Particles'

    Spot: Visualizing Twitter Dynamics as Particles

    Posted: 31-January-2012, 8:18pm EST

    Spot [] by Jeff Clark is a comprehensive real-time Twitter visualization that uses a particle metaphor to represent unique tweets.

    According to a set of user-defined keywords, the visualization gathers and displays the latest 200 tweets. The according particles are then organized in various spatial configurations to visually filter the available information by different parameters, such as: commonality of words, according to time, according to people, or categorized by the actual tool that was used to send the tweet.

    The tool also allows to explore the tweets from a specific list, such as the "Top 100" of the datavis community, for instance.

    More detailed information is available here.

    See also Revisit and Digg Labs Swarm. Alternatively, check out Visual Digg Explorer by the same designer.

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