I had the distinct pleasure and honor of taking the Information Visualization class this semester at the University of Michigan’s School of Information (where I’m completing a Masters of Info, specializing in HCI). For the class each project team created a visualization to help aid user comprehension of a large data set. The very talented students in the class showcased their impressive final projects last week…and here they are (in the order they were presented), projects so extraordinary they’ll make you cry for mercy.
Where The Money Goes
This political visualization, according to its website, “makes it easier to visualize the contributions that political action committees (PACs) make to your members of Congress, and to each other. With this application you can explore contributions made from PACs-to-Congress and PAC-to-PAC at the same time. You can also view contributions received by a Congress member and the Congress member’s PAC together, making it clear exactly how much they received. It allows you to find interesting insights, such as how the Freedom Fund PAC receives donations from hundreds of diverse PACs and also donates to only Republican candidates.”
Team: Noah Liebman, Mike Harmala, Mark Goetz, Debra Lauterbach
To visualize crime in the city of Tacoma, WA the Tacoma Crime team used a map-based interface and represented crime levels in different police districts using color saturation. Users can drag a time slider to see the crime levels change, and they can click in districts for more information. The team has presented its working prototype to the city planning office, who will show it at the 2009 Tacoma ‘Safe and Clean’ summit. This was actually my project, and I have to say our team was so great to work with, it’s criminal.
Team: Jeremy Canfield, Taeho Ko, Sang Koh, and Katie McCurdy
ARMuseum stands for augmented reality museum – this iphone application allows visitors to place a virtual sticky note on museum exhibit items. Visitors can make comments, ask and answer questions using these notes. This app also tracks users’ paths through the museum. Watch their rotating dinosaur head demo!
Team: Leanna Gingras, Andrea McVittie, and Amy Kuo
The tabvis team created an innovative new way for users to visualize their tab hierarchy and history; tabs are radially displayed in the bottom left side of the browser, and ‘child’ tabs radiate out from ‘parent’ tabs. The team has turned their idea into a firefox extension which they plan to release once it’s ready for public consumption.
Team: Jakob Hilden, Liz Blankenship, and Kerry Kao
VIEWconomy project website
VIEWconomy offers a means of visualizing plant shutdowns in Michigan, and it helps users understand how automotive plant closures affect communities. The visualization prototype allows users to obtain information by hovering and clicking into map areas like states and counties. Unemployment rates are represented using a yellow to red color scale (red being high unemployment), and counties can be exploded and regrouped into bubbles that represent counties with various levels of closures.
Team: Mohammad Hadhrawi and Urmula Kashyap
GreenBox project website
By utilizing interactive multi-touch screen to visualize information about global warming, team GreenBox aims to encourage group experience and acknowledgment in a public setting, specifically in the airports. Check out Eunice and Yesook’s great mock-ups!
Team: Eunice Shin and Yesook Im
GiantBomb (CVGA Project)
GiantBomb Project Website
This team’s goal is to “goal is to provide a visual path of engagement within the physical space of the Computer Video Game Archive. If successful, patrons should be motivated to explore and learn about the evolution of concepts employed in video games over time and across genres.” The team created many interesting visualization modes, including a fan and spiral view, and they also incorporated lots of interesting sorting options (like by game genre, history, gaming platform, etc).
Team: Anna Jonsson, Ke Sun, Matt Rubinstein, Michael Nagara
CCEL Project Website
Team CCEL (Jim) created an interesting visualization of the collection of the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL). Biblical books are represented across the bottom timeline, and texts are represented as higher or lower in the visualization according to the number of scripture references. He also created an author timeline to visualize author lifespans mapped to the biblical timeline, and also to dynamically view writings by author. Check out his neat prototype!
Creator: Jim Laing
Movie Signature – a.k.a. ‘Buckets of Rain’
Mouly created a tranquil ‘field of grass’ visualization to represent a user’s Netflix movie ratings. Stalks represent movies, the length of the stalk (or ‘stem’) represents the user’s rating (tallest=highest rating), and if you mouse over them they sway slightly. If the user rated a movie lower than the average rating, the stalk leans to the left; if the user rated it better than average, the stalk leans to the right. Check out the prototype – mouse over the stalks and they sway in the breeze.
Creator: Mouly Kumaraswamy
Li and Jasper worked with local Ann Arbor company Pure Visibility to create a visualization to help create SEO ‘visibility’ in various search engines. In their visualization, different sized bubbles represent keywords – click them to get a breakdown of keyword options. The goal is to find a keyword with low competition and high traffic. Safe keywords to a sidebar list as ‘aggressive’ or ‘safe’. Check out the hi-fi prototype.
Team: Li Li and Jasper Liu