September 08, 2006

Information visualization conversation with Mike Migurski and Fernanda Viegas

Over on the IDEA Conference blog, I've posted the beginning of a discussion on information visualization, giving us all a peek into what Mike and Fernanda will be presenting at the conference.

Some choice quotes:

"At the conference, I'm hoping to talk about how to "democratize" visualization use (following successful deployments such as the NameVoyager vis)"

"I was super cautious about privacy and made a point of always explaining to my users (the owners of the email archives being visualized) that they would be the only ones looking at those visualizations. I explained to them that I would never show those images to anyone else without their consent. Well, as soon as people started playing with the visualizations, they wanted to share the images with others!!"

"If you look at the academic information visualization community, researchers aren't focusing on the social side of their applications. Infovis folks love to explore techniques that allow them to scale the data they are showing. But what happens when you scale the audience that's looking at a visualization? This is the question we are currently exploring."

"I think a key success of the NameVoyager is to keep the data visualized *super simple*. It's almost like there's an inverse relationship between the complexity of the data, and the complexity of the conversation around the data."

"I like the idea of visualization as an alert system for social information rather than a contemplative one, and we've made efforts to spur projects with this characteristic."

"Fun fact: the original drafts of our Digg work were called "The Ultimate Stoner Tool", because author & blogger Om Malik said during some panel that his favorite activity was smoking dope and watching Digg Spy scroll by."

Posted by peterme at 08:42 AM | TrackBack

September 06, 2006

A great way to spend 8 minutes 12 seconds

I listen to around 60 minutes of podcasts everyday (yay commuting), and while much of it is fine, rarely does it elevate to something special.

That happened recently, when I listened to the Kitchen Sisters' "Hidden Kitchens" segment on Georgia Gilmore who cooked for the Civil Rights leaders in Montgomery, AL, including the Rev. Dr. King. The story elevates because of a combination of two factors -- the amazing story of this simple kitchen as a hub of the civil rights movement, and the power of the voices sharing their reminisces.

You can listen to the podcast either directly from the Hidden Kitchens site, or through the iTunes music store.

Posted by peterme at 09:36 PM | TrackBack

September 05, 2006

Pictographs for you to use!

Speaking of the National Park Service, clicking around their site, I found out that they have released a series of pictographs, symbols, arrows, and other map graphics, and all are free to use, because they're the product of the federal government, and in the United States that means it's in the public domain! You can get the imagery in PDF or Illustrator. This rocks pretty hard.

You can also download the map from any National Park brochure.

Posted by peterme at 09:47 PM | TrackBack

IDEA Conference Program Final

With the recent addition of Dave Cronin (interaction designer from Cooper, contributed to the GettyGuide kiosks and audio players) and the return of the National Park Service (design planner David Guiney), the IDEA conference program is now final!

As I mentioned in the latest IDEA blog post, we have an amazing array of contributors -- designers, authors, technologists, artists, librarians. This multi-disciplinary approach will allow us to address the challenge of complex information spaces from a range of perspectives, and force us to remove our blinkers and broaden our vision.

There are 10 days remaining for the discounted registration. I hope to see you there!

Posted by peterme at 09:42 PM | TrackBack


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