As internet software, and our interaction with it, evolves, so to does the representation of the data being used. An increasing amount of web-based services now incorporate data from multiple sources, integrating databased information to represent some sort of compiled narrative. Furthermore, this is not limited to the mining of data from static websites but includes the input of data direct from social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and from GPS-enabled devices such as the iPhone. Such visual mashups reflect trends and merge information in unexpected ways to produce interesting ways to perceive the information being mined.
Visualcomplexity.com is a site dedicated to being interested in such data collection, and showcases various projects whose visual representations of data produce new, original and sometimes useful (such as the Google Maps traffic visualization) mappings of data which either live online or interact with online technologies.
From the site’s GOAL:
VisualComplexity.com intends to be a unified resource space for anyone interested in the visualization of complex networks. The project’s main goal is to leverage a critical understanding of different visualization methods, across a series of disciplines, as diverse as Biology, Social Networks or the World Wide Web. I truly hope this space can inspire, motivate and enlighten any person doing research on this field.
Not all projects shown here are genuine complex networks, in the sense that they aren’t necessarily at the edge of chaos, or show an irregular and systematic degree of connectivity. However, the projects that apparently skip this class were chosen for two important reasons. They either provide advancement in terms of visual depiction techniques/methods or show conceptual uniqueness and originality in the choice of a subject. Nevertheless, all projects have one trait in common: the whole is always more than the sum of its parts.
VC thus offers a compelling approach to dealing with vast quantities of information of which users generally only experience a fraction. With each showcased project, unique interactive methodologies produce all manner of visual links between data sets, mappings of linkages across content.