Mainstreaming Info

I will begin to tackle the broad question of how to better visualize information and how it can more effectively reach the people that need it most.

2 Interesting Data Visualization Examples –
Breathing Earth This is a clean and effectively designed realtime visualization of CO2 emissions and birth/death rates across the US. It makes a very targeted and clear point.
Amaznode This app allows users to search Amazon related products and form visual connections between them. It brings the idea of a network of related items into a visual map allowing you to see a wide range of information in a much quicker and simpler format than the typical list of links.

Useful Data Sources
CIA World Factbook – This site provides a wide range of statistical information from most nations on earth.
WTO Homepage – WTO has been seeking to become more and more transparent in recent time spurring a wealth of information related to international trade. Detailed information regarding trade disputes among other things; reveals a lot about how states interact globally.
World Bank – Worldbank also has a wide range of statistical information from around the world.
A few Others – CountryWatch, Economist Intelligence Unit and Roll Call

Information Experience Proposal
I want to focus on data visualizations that shift a viewers set perception about an issues and then give them a direct avenue for action. In my opinion, many of the strongest data visualizations are ones that effectively reveal a large disparity in a clear and effective manner. This disparity can be between a variety of different topics and areas, effectively exposing an underlying inequality or ineffectiveness that the user would have never perceived under normal circumstances. Make something secluded become blatantly obvious. Different strategies exist from infographics to realtime data visualizations. The measure of success has to do with whether the info visualization spurs change rather than the amount of technical or data complexity.
Specifically I would like to focus on disparities in wealth across the world and within the US. In particular attempting to correlate these wealths with associated industry and business practices. Can corruption be linked to other underlying factors such as trade policies, city infrastructre or freedom of speech? Hopefully existing data correlations are out there that I can attempt to visualize in a real-time manner.
Other domestic topics of interest include over-incarceration and criminalization in our country. Also issues of bio-diversity and sustainability issues related to farming. What type of data visualization would spur the average person to take action to support sustainable farming? What can they do with their dollars to support this?
It is important to not only display this type of data but also provide a solution to the problem or at least a next step for the viewer. A data visualization can take the form of a persuasive technique for change. This next step can take the form of money donation, joining a mailing list, networking with like minded individuals, and linking to extended information on the topic. Create a realtime visualization of exactly what happens when you support alternative sustainable farming. I think one of the main goals of data visualization is a creating transparencies in business operations, thus creating acccountability and an inevitable push towards social change. The specific aesthetic of this visualization are yet to be determined and based one whatever data sets I am able to find. Opening a dialogue is a vital role of any sort of information visualization. The aesthetic of the visualization depends on the topic but should be one of clear simplicity. The most effective visualization is the one that is able to distill a complex topic into a concise one.

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One Response to “Mainstreaming Info”

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