Visualising “flocking”

I’m always on the lookout for good visualisation tools and techniques. Which is why I really liked this by Christian Cenizal. There’s something very Yogi-Berra-like “Nobody goes there any more, it’s too crowded” about it, the way the worms come together and then break up just as the party gets going. As one of the comments asserts, isn’t that one way of representing bubble behaviour?


I want one of those: or, where cooking meets visualisation

Went with the family to MOMA today, something we try and do every time we’re in New York. It was very crowded, so we decided we’d come back another day; but we found time to visit the shop. Yes, we’re like that.

I came back delighted. Because I’d been looking for a Kyocera Perfect Peeler for a while, and I’d finally found one. Now I can look forward to hours of enjoyable vegetable peeling !?! Yes, I’m like that.

That reminds me, does anyone know how and where to get one of these? Quoting from the site, it’s

“a cutting board with an integrated scale within a defined area on its surface, using ‘electronic ink’ display technology”.

Now that’s what I call a mash-up. And yes, I definitely want one of those. So if there’s anyone out there who knows how I can get one, please let me know.

By the way, I got to the site by an odd-ish route. I was doing my usual Smart Mobs read (not via Facebook, I can’t do that unless Howard Rheingold makes me his friend….); I came across a fascinating article (by Judy Breck of Goldenswamp and 109 Ideas fame), on data visualisation of train schedules, which you can find here.

And that article in turn led me to the original Information Aesthetics site, which I just had to wander around, which was where I found the original story on the cutting board.

Talking about visualisation, I went with the family to see Ratatouille this afternoon. Great fun, especially since I believe in Gusteau’s Maxim: Anyone Can Cook. The attempts to animate and visualise tastes and smells were a real treat, as was Peter O’Toole’s majestic voice for food critic Anton Ego.

You ain’t seen nothing yet

Visualisation tools are going to become more and more important over time, as we struggle with problems like “information overload”, problems that have been with us so long they’ve become cliches.

Statistics are made to lie. The lies stick because Innumeracy is rife. Despite everything that John Allen Paulos has done. And Powerpoint, usually bad Powerpoint, rules over all. What makes the innumeracy unbearable is the fact that poor visualisation techniques are then used to propagate the lies.

A sorry state of affairs? Well, that’s why I found this representation of visualisation methods uplifting.

Don’t just look at the table. Run your cursor over it. Move it from element to element. See what can be done. We need ontologies and topologies like this one to help us work out what to do. Thanks to Cory for the find.

As if I need an excuse to mention the BTO track.