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Visualisation, Page 2

Leon Wieseltier writing about DH is like Maureen Dowd writing about hash brownies

What’s most striking about Leon Wieseltier’s essay in the New York Times Book review is how it confirms almost every cliché about the humanities as technophobic, insular, and reactionary. Not to mention some stereotypes about grouchy old men. Now I should confess at the outset to being a longtime Wieseltier cynic. His misreadings of popular culture always seemed mildly ridiculous. But what’s striking about the NYT piece is his vast ignorance of the subject.

Leon Wieseltier writing about DH is like Maureen Dowd writing about hash brownies

What’s most striking about Leon Wieseltier’s essay in the New York Times Book review is how it confirms almost every cliché about the humanities as technophobic, insular, and reactionary. Not to mention some stereotypes about grouchy old men. Now I should confess at the outset to being a longtime Wieseltier cynic. His misreadings of popular culture always seemed mildly ridiculous. But what’s striking about the NYT piece is his vast ignorance of the subject.

Baseball, Football, Moneyball

In fall 2014 I taught a freshman seminar on data visualization entitled “Charts, Maps, and Graphs.” Over the course of the semester I worked with the students to create vizs that passed Tukey’s “intra-ocular trauma” test: the results should hit you between the eyes. Over the coming months I’ll be blogging based on their final projects. Today’s post is based on the work of Jeffrey You, who used US professional sports data, comparing baseball and football.

Baseball, Football, Moneyball

In fall 2014 I taught a freshman seminar on data visualization entitled “Charts, Maps, and Graphs.” Over the course of the semester I worked with the students to create vizs that passed Tukey’s “intra-ocular trauma” test: the results should hit you between the eyes. Over the coming months I’ll be blogging based on their final projects. Today’s post is based on the work of Jeffrey You, who used US professional sports data, comparing baseball and football.

The Dawn Wall, New York Times Interactive

xRez recently had opportunity to contribute to the NY Times on a webGL interactive visualization of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s free climbing ascent of the “Dawn Wall”. The Dawn Wall on Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan is considered the most difficult rock climb in the world. The new NY Times interactive can be explored in full screen.

VR Development

  Virtual Reality or VR is undergoing a massive surge in interest and industry development currently, in large part due to development of cost-effective hardware due to the advance of cellphone technology and displays. With research originating at USC’s MXR Lab, then commercially expanding through Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, and Google Cardboard, the times look promising indeed for VR to finally take hold culturally.

Iceland 2014 Shoot

  We were fortunate to spend time shooting with our old friend Olafur Haraldsson in his home turf in Iceland during the summer of 2014. We traveled to Iceland on assignment to provide digital terrain capture for an upcoming film for singer Bjork‘s upcoming MOMA retrospective in 2015, look for an production post here once the project is live. Bjork and crew were charming, and we captured remarkable content and performances for the production.

TIME 2014/ Pull of the Moon: Ai Weiwei, Bert Benally, & xRez Studio

  TIME 2014/ Pull of the Moon is an experimental immersive film based on the 2014 collaboration of renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Navajo artist Bert Benally’s ephemeral land art performance in rural New Mexico in June 2014. The film digitally recreates the remote performance site of Coyote Canyon by utilizing cutting edge CGI techniques of aerial drone mapping, photogrammetry, and gigapixel panoramic techniques.

The Monumental Collective

As many of you will know if you read the blog regularly, since the Digital Dwelling fieldwork I’ve continued to work on a number of collaborative projects and endeavors with Aaron Watson, Kieran Baxter and John Was. So I’m excited to share that in addition to my own projects I am now also working with Monumental, a creative heritage interpretation practice founded by Aaron Watson which also forms a front for our collaborative work.

Green Screens, Hillforts and Drawing with a Pencil

Since I finished my PhD and started to work freelance full-time back in the summer I’ve worked on quite a mix of jobs though for obvious reasons I’m not always able to share the production process or final outputs online right away, if at all. However, I’m still a keen blogger and this month as it happens there are a few projects on my books that I can offer a sneak peak into.

Gender bias . . . across the galaxy

In TV and movies men talk more than women, and women talk mostly about men. Hence the Bechdel test. But I thought I’d do a dataviz for this phenomenon using Ben Schmidt’s implementation of Bookworm. His data scraper uses the Open Subtitles database of closed captioned subtitles for hundreds of TV shows. While it can’t measure who’s talking it can measure who’s being talked about. Not surprisingly, the pronoun “he” is substantially more common than “she” for all TV shows.

Fearbola, Ebola and the Web

My nasty “cold” has been diagnosed as Influenza A, so it’s bed rest for 48 hours. And, of course, blogging about why Ebola gets all the news but not good ‘ol killers like influenza. I got CDC figures for deaths and then ran Google searches for the related terms, totaling the number of hits. I was surprised at first. The number of hits seemed to roughly correspond to the death rate. Ebola was way off, massively over reported, but the general trend seemed right. However . . . .

Visualizing Ebola

The Guardian recently posted a dataviz comparing Ebola to other infectious diseases. It’s from a forthcoming book entitled Knowledge is Beautiful and it is indeed beautiful. Unfortunately, it’s a really bad viz. Below is my alternative viz (using the Guardian’s data), along with a critique. The basic issue is evolution. Because viruses reproduce quickly so they’re a great example of Darwin at work. Basically a win for a virus is to reproduce a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot.

Call for papers: CAA 2015 session “Formal approaches to visibility analysis in ancient architectural spaces and cultural landscapes”

The next CAA International conference will take place in Siena, between March 30th and April 3rd 2015. As always, the CAA conference is expected to be an informative, stimulating, and entertaining not-to-be- missed event for all those interested in computer applications in archaeology.  The program features many great sessions focusing on a variety of different technologies. Among others a session on formal approaches to visibility analysis will be organised by Giacomo Landeschi and me.

Coprolites, Midges and Gale-Force Winds – Digging the Dream!

Now, don’t let the title of this blog post fool you because my return to the Links of Noltland for three weeks of digging last month were an absolute blast! I’d meant to write a post about the dig much sooner than this but unfortunately a combination of hardly having been in Glasgow since my return and a colossal hard drive failure from my laptop meant there’s been a lot to catch up on this past week or two.

Back to Westray…Then Back Again

Just returning from another fantastic week of fieldwork with the visualisation team (aka the usual suspects Aaron and Kieran). We were back up on Westray continuing to compile a visual and audio record of the Links of Noltland site and ongoing excavations (our work is kindly grant supported by Historic Scotland). Warp speed ahead on route to Westray… Kieran took the reigns this year with one of the in-progress project outcomes which is in more line with his PhD research.

Data illustration vs. data visualization?

Just discovered a great blog post on “data illustration” versus “data visualization” at Information for Humans. AIS argues that data illustration is “for advancing theories” and “for journalism or story-telling.” By contrast data visualization “generate[s] discovery and greater perspective.” I love this distinction, although I’m not sure I like the specific language. Tukey famously argued that data visualization was for developing new theories.