Successful Maps – Interactive and Static

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The ongoing project Seattle Band Map is an interactive visualization of the northwest’s music scene, allowing viewers to explore the relationships between artists and their collaborations, venues, and personal relationships.  Seeing bands through their connections rather than their body of work offers viewers a different perspective in which the differences between the Seattle-popular Soul, Funk, and Grunge genres are invisible but unrepresented artists and genres are spotlighted.  Most recently updated artists, artists with the most connections, and most popular artists are listed at the bottom of the map.  Artist bios include a list of their connections, location, a link to their website, and the names of the members.

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Mapping 31 Days in Iraq is a static visualization, in the words of Sinclair a “[tool] for display,” presenting one unchanging perspective of the data.  However, the visualization is created in a way that forces the viewer to interact with the information and read each Iraqi day like a playing card: civilian of hostile fire, American forces of car bombs.  This visualization does not simplify numeric data in order to make it easily digestible for viewers to see and understand faster than they would if they were to glance over a spreadsheet.  Instead, Mapping 31 Days in Iraq organizes numeric data (“based on data from the American, British and Iraqi governments and news reports,” and likely incomplete due to “the fog of war”) to create a visceral impact on the viewer through interaction with the visualization.  The visualization’s author, Alicia Cheng, intentionally complicated the data in order to facilitate interaction; viewers are guided to digest the data day by day, slowing the examination process and therefore prompting reflection.

 

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