Assignment 1

“Strife and Power in the Middle East”



This is by far my favorite visualization I have encountered so far. The conflict present in the Middle East is so complex due to the numerous countries involved along with the contrasting principles that several countries abide by. This visualization seeks to simplify the conflict as much as possible. Though there is a lot of important information that must be presented to accurately and authentically visually illustrate the conflict, the visualization does a fabulous job in making it as aesthetically pleasing and simple as possible. Though it is a static visualization, it could easily be transformed into a dynamic one. The creator of the visualization could implement the option of clicking on a country involved in the conflict or on an arrow explaining the negative connection between two countries. After the viewer clicks the country or arrow they could receive an in depth explanation of why it is important to discuss the connection when trying to understand the conflict and view the differing ideologies countries have. This visualization definitely encourages the viewer to understand the material from a variety of perspectives and illustrates how complex the Middle East conflict is.



“I have a headache”


Help-Remedies-Infographic-Full            Help-Remedies-Infographic-Detail-1


Unlike prescription medicine, the power of choice in purchasing over the counter medication often leads many people to spend much longer than expected at the pharmacy. Ignorant to the differences between medication, I often find myself looking for the brand I am most familiar with or the cheapest option. With a vast array of options available, this visualization seeks to aid the consumer in purchasing medicine that best suits their type of headache or desires. Aside from following the lines that lead you to your specific purchase, this is a static visualization as there is little interaction within the visualization. The division of products does not allow the consumer to compare the different types of medication nor contribute to new ways of understanding why the exact recommend medication is best suited for their headache. While I do appreciate the gesture to accelerate my shopping, the visualization is too overcrowded; one has to zoom in due to the abundance of information. The endless lines makes the consumer feel overwhelmed and it feels like the options never really end.

Complexity Without Perplexity: The Functional Visualization



Musicovery combines two online music suggestion platforms (MusicPlasma and Pandora) into a visual music discovery system and internet radio. It does so by taking the music information and connection system created by Pandora and combining it with MusicPlasma’s novel interface for music discovery. What you get is a new system in which users can choose different musical categories as well as moods spatially on a map of all songs that fall into your current category. The user selects a central node to work off of, and Musicovery selects songs that fall within the proximity of your chosen node based off song popularity and mood.

I chose this visualization because I honestly found it really useful, even aside from the assignment itself. I’ve been listening to the service for the past hour and have already found new enjoyable music that I’ve never heard before.

It also serves as a great example of a dynamic visualization of data, allowing the user to select completely different data sets to predict from. This allows for the user to discover new music in proximity to songs that they like in order to broaden their musical horizons. As well, viewing favorite songs from a perspective of mood and genre all in relation to each other presents a unique new perspective on the data itself.



World of Music

World of Music was created by mining data from the Yahoo Music service and using it to create and map a network of connections between various artists found on the service. Artists that are more popular or have shared listeners are mapped according to space in relation to each other and color of popularity.

I found this visualization very interesting because of its immediate beauty but ultimate failure at doing that much with it. It is essentially a static visualization, only allowing the user to view the network as a whole and the ability to zoom in on certain parts of the network to see more detailed information. So, while it does make for a nice display and gives an interesting look at artist relationships, it doesn’t allow the user to do much than admire how pretty it looks.