Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?
Watch the full version with annotations and links at http://datajournalism.stanford.edu.
Produced during a 2009-2010 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.
The Imaginary Foundation says "To Understand Is To Perceive Patterns"...
Albert-László Barabási, think about NETWORKS:
“Networks are everywhere. The brain is a network of nerve cells connected by axons, and cells themselves are networks of molecules connected by biochemical reactions. Societies, too, are networks of people linked by friendships, familial relationships and professional ties. On a larger scale, food webs and ecosystems can be represented as networks of species.
'For decades, we assumed that the components of such complex systems as the cell, the society, or the Internet are randomly wired together.
Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, writes about recurring patterns and networks:
“Coral reefs are sometimes called “the cities of the sea”, and we need to take the metaphor seriously: the reef ecosystem is so innovative because it shares some defining characteristics with actual cities. These patterns of innovation and creativity are fractal: they reappear in recognizable form as you zoom in and out, from molecule to neuron to pixel to sidewalk. Whether you’re looking at original innovations of carbon-based life, or the explosion of news tools on the web, the same shapes keep turning up... when life gets creative, it has a tendency to gravitate toward certain recurring patterns, whether those patterns are self-organizing, or whether they are deliberately crafted by human agents”
“Put simply: cities are like ant colonies are like software is like slime molds are like evolution is like disease is like sewage systems are like poetry is like the neural pathways in our brain. Everything is connected.
"...Johnson uses ‘The Long Zoom’ to define the way he looks at the world—if you concentrate on any one level, there are patterns that you miss. When you step back and simultaneously consider, say, the sentience of a slime mold, the cultural life of downtown Manhattan and the behavior of artificially intelligent computer code, new patterns emerge.”
Geoffrey West, from The Santa Fe Institute,
"...Network systems can sustain life at all scales, whether intracellularly or within you and me or in ecosystems or within a city.... If you have a million citizens in a city or if you have 1014 cells in your body, they have to be networked together in some optimal way for that system to function, to adapt, to grow, to mitigate, and to be long term resilient."
Author Paul Stammetts writes about The Mycelial Archetype: He compares the mushroom mycelium with the overlapping information-sharing systems that comprise the Internet, with the networked neurons in the brain, and with a computer model of dark matter in the universe.
"Adrian Bejan takes the recurring patterns in nature—trees, tributaries, air passages, neural networks, and lightning bolts—and reveals how a single principle of physics, the Constructal Law, accounts for the evolution of these and all other designs in our world.
Everything—from biological life to inanimate systems—generates shape and structure and evolves in a sequence of ever-improving designs in order to facilitate flow. River basins, cardiovascular systems, and bolts of lightning are very efficient flow systems to move a current—of water, blood, or electricity.
Geoffrey WEST on The sameness of organisms, cities, and corporations:
Stephen Johnson’s LONG VIEW
A collaboration of /Jason Silva and /Notthisbody incorporating:
**and some original animations from Tiffany Shlain's film CONNECTED: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology // music is Clint Mansell's "We're going home" from Moon Soundtrack. Buy it on iTunes!
Tamara Munzner (http://bit.ly/tmunzner) presents very lucid and useful guidelines for creating effective visualizations, including how to correctly rank visual channel types and how to use categorical color constraints. She explains advantages of 2D representation and drawbacks of 3D, immersive, or animated visualizations. She also describes how to create visualizations that reduce the viewer's cognitive load, and how to validate visualizations. This talk was presented at VIZBI 2011, an international conference series on visualizing biological data (vizbi.org) funded by NIH & EMBO. This video was filmed and distributed with permission under a creative common license. Slides from the talk are at http://bit.ly/nCJM5U