Choropleths

In this post I will simultaneously have Fun With Data and Fun With Maps. I will use public APIs to turn my Isle of Alameda into a “choropleth“, a map which displays areas that are colored or patterned in relation to data. To do this I will need to find boundaries within Alameda that I… Read More

Fun With Maps

Maps are one of the oldest and most powerful forms of visualization. Lately I’ve been learning how to make my own maps using open source data and public APIs. I started by simply plotting locations on a world map. World maps in svg format are readily available on the web. Wikimedia Commons, for example, has… Read More

Who Likes Me?

In my previous entry, Fun with Facebook, I described how to pull data from Facebook’s Graph API Explorer, organize it using NodeBox, and turn it into representations of friends, posts, and the “likes” that connect them. Here is the final result: The above image is a snapshot of a high-resolution poster with many fine details.… Read More

Fun With Facebook

I am often surprised by which of my Facebook posts are the most liked and by who likes what. I wondered: are there any interesting patterns there? Could I visualize them? My next question (as always) was: could I get the data? Thanks to the rise of  the API economy I could. Companies have discovered… Read More

Ultra Subjective Space

Architects design space. A building is just a way to create spaces. Information architects at Oracle design relationships with abstract concepts. So far the main way we have to create visible spaces for our users is by projecting pixels onto glass screens. This may change someday. If the promise of virtual reality is ever achieved,… Read More

A view of the Dactyl Nightmare playing field

VR Skeptic: 1994

Here is a blast from the past: a letter I wrote to some friends back in 1994 about my very first VR experience. VR enjoyed a brief spin as the next big thing that year. Jaron Lanier had been featured in the second issue of Wired magazine and virtual reality arcades began to appear in… Read More

NodeBox

In my previous post I argued that the hunt is on for a better way to code, a way more suited for a designer’s need to test new interactions. I said I wanted a process less like solving a Rubik’s cube and more like throwing a pot. What does this actually mean? “I want to… Read More

Better Ways to Play and Try

Fact 1: Dazzling animated displays (sprites, shaders, parallax, 3D) are more plentiful and easier to make than ever before. Fact 2: More natural and expressive forms of input (swiping, pinching, gesturing, talking) are being implemented and enhanced every day. Fact 3: Put these two together and the possible new forms of human computer interaction are… Read More

Woodblock of dowser

Dowsing for Smarties

Editor’s note: John and Noel (@noelportugal) need to chat about Google’s Physical Web gBeacons. I have been a tad skeptical about the usefulness of smart watches, but my colleague Julia Blyumen has changed my thinking. In her recent blog post, Julia noted that a smart watch could become both a detector and a universal remote… Read More

The Narrative Clip

Editor’s note: Here’s another post from friend of the ‘Lab and colleague, John Cartan. When John reached out, offering a review of the Narrative Clip (neé Memento), I jumped at the opportunity to read and publish his thoughts, and not just because I value his insights. When Noel (@noelportugal) and I were in the Netherlands for… Read More