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.


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.


The Multi-functional Visualizations


I chose this one as my first example because it literally caught my eyes at the first time. This visualization is very clear and simple with its format and color. This piece for an Airbnb presentation maps out Airbnb’s top 50 markets. The thickness of the lines corresponds to the relative volume of travels between each pair of markets, which are labeled along the outside of this radial network visualization. The interesting thing I found with this one is that it gives you several feelings at the same time. Instead of numbers coming to your eyes, the color, thickness of the lines, the bigger names and the interaction with the lines all show up to you at the same time. So people can form a kind of intuition of what the picture want to deliver. It is easy to find that New York, Paris and San Francisco are the three places with the most lines interacting with the rest places. And the line between New York and Sydney, New York and Paris are much more thick than the others so that people know the general shape of the information before they find the exact data, (there is even no exact data.).



This one is of the same type, but more clear in the difference of the colors and lines. It shows the connections of companies in Hadoop world. Again very much information would be acquired from the first sight of the visualization. Those big names, thick lines and color all represented different information offers you the whole thing about this topic. Although with explosive amount of data, it requires you to find more about the topic as you dig into this picture to form you own idea.

Assignment 1-JZ



“Jellyfish visualized an encyclopedia of the arts”

I pick this Jellyfish visualization as my favorite one under the category “music”. This visualization catch my eyes immediately because it arouses my curiosity about what the differences among the jellyfishes’ colors and sizes. The abstract indicates that the six kinds of colors jellyfishes represent six main categories of arts; and each category has several subcategories. This is a dynamic visualization that makes me wants to play with it. As I move the mouse over a dot around the jellyfish, the artists who worked on such category will appear. I thinks it is the glitter of dynamic visualizations that they show some attractivenesses and part of information to audience and motivate them to dig deeper. I also found that when I rolled over a certain jellyfish, the other jellyfishes which are the same color will slowly move closer to this one; and other different categories’ jellyfishes will move away. This point makes the visualization really clear and attracting. This visualization can make a person who did not have enough knowledge of arts before recognize the divers categories about arts and some representative artists.

2.Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music


“This print is a reproduction of Reebee Garofalo’s Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music chart”

This is a static visualization shows abundant data about more  than 700 artists and 30 styles of music. It looks like a mountain, and it also works like a mountain which uses the felling of climbing a mountain to indicate the history of pop/rock music. This visualization makes the history of pop/ rock music more appealing and engaging. The overlapping and parallel lines, along with names of artists and detailed information, presents a complex knowledge net for readers.