Over the past week I have been exploring a wide variety of data sources and potential visualization approaches for my first project in the Expressions Frameworks class. After much consideration there are five ideas on my short list. These ideas differ in content and concept and I hope to be able to explore more than just one of these. Here they are in random order.
Data Visualization Example by Tiffany Farrant, used under Creative Commons License
Idea 1: Investigation of the correlation between environmental degradation, agricultural development and increases in energy consumption. I envision this project as an interactive screen-based visualization that would aim to highlight the toll our agricultural practices and rampant energy consumption have had on the health of our planet. The data for this piece would be taken primarily from the world bank website. Three following three datasets would make up the foundation for this piece: Environment Data, Agriculture & Rural Development, Energy & Mining.
A potential extension idea for this piece would be to project the potential impact that clean energy technologies and new modes of agricultural production could have on helping us maintain the health of our environment. To create these two additional lenses I would need to identify sources for data regarding the potential impact of alternative energy sources such as solar, biofuels, wind, and biomass, and energy conservation and efficiency technologies and practices; from an agricultural perspective I consider investigating integrated models, urban and vertical farms, as well as natural systems farming.
Idea 2: Exploration of my moods and emotions over a period of several weeks and comparison of my personal experience with that of other New Yorkers. To bring this project to life I would develop a biometric tracking device that would track my excitement level and location throughout the day and would consider wearing a device that tracks my sleep patterns at night. The daytime tracking module would automatically log my heart rate, galvanic skin response, and GPS location. For sleep monitoring I would consider using a device such as the Zeo.
To augment the data captured automatically via these devices I would need to create a system that enables me to log activities and my mood. One of my peers, Shahar, had a great idea for meeting this requirement – creating an iPhone app that solicits input from me at randomized times. This would help limit my personal bias to provide updates only when I am feeling strong emotions.
One related idea that interests me is the possibility to track my states of mind during my yoga practices. Then to compare them to my state of mind while in other activities such that are stressful, mundane, exciting, etc.
Idea 3: Explore the value of Community Supported Agriculture in NYC. To achieve this I would need to compile data from existing sources augmented by independent research. Just Food is an organization that has a lot of basic data regarding CSAs, including lists of CSAs along with their location, foods offered, producer relationships, dates when they were founded and basic list of services provided.
Additional information would need to be collected from independent research and/or calculated from available information. For example, it would be interesting to understand what are the pick-up locations used by these communities, the variety of vegetables that are provided to each community, the number of core group members involved in running these communities, the amount of workshift hours delivered by members, etc.
Idea 4: On-site physical and sound expressions of energy consumption at NYU buildings. I recently found out that NYU has a data center that can provide students with access to various types of information about the NYU campus, including energy and resource usage. For this project I envision an intervention-type installation in several NYU buildings. The piece would actively interact with people who pass by it and would work best in residential locations – though it could also work in other locations.
Ideally, I would like access to live data so that the pieces could reflect near real-time energy consumption and provide the opportunity for direct feedback between the building inhabitants and the visualization. However, it could also be re-envisioned to work with data that is updated on a daily basis. I also see the possibility to extend this intervention to include game elements that would the piece itself to act as a medium for people in different buildings to interact with one another.
Idea 5: Exploration of the world of graffiti based on online content such as videos, pictures and text. The data for this project would be harvested from various online sources such as video and picture sites, as well as blogs and twitter feeds. The idea would be to create a map that links places, artists, and pieces to one another based on numerous potential sources of connections – e.g. places, work, styles, fans, etc.