Sunday, 23 November 2008

Cartographic Shapes

this is a great application for facebookm, called Geo Challenge. helps you learn your countries/geography starting off with just the shape and fading in the ajoining/nearby countries to help you realise the paticularly country. they have a round for flags, and cities (usually guessing myself) placing where they are on the world map.

great game and great tool for learning. it helps me with my pathetic knowledge of world geography/cities, although i'm not that bad at flags.

also look at this noisy britain - ben terret excellant post by strange maps.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Cartographic Knowledge

knowledge cartography
knowledge cartography

Taking into account that I will eventually being able to get my teeth into Information Visualisation: Using Vision to think by card, mackinlay & shneirderman, I thought it would be a great time to post these beauties mapping (structuring) the interrelationships of some of the foremost figures in information graphics, complexity, design, visualization from

These images are screenshots taken from ATLAS, the application that's being developed 'to explore the possibilities of the application of a cartographic metaphor to the realms of knowledge', sort of thinking with maps (cartographic cognition), a form of visual thinking.

'The concept of atlas in this context doesn’t depict as much a list of maps, but rather a system of representations of space, a communication device aimed at representing complex contexts through the use of many partial overlapping narrations: a network of maps, diagrams, texts and peritexts, combined together to describe the space of research in its multifaceted aspects'.

I like this idea of overlapping narrations such as maps (a kind of geographic terrain styled space, as with these examples), diagrams, text (words layered on top of a space), signs (ok the words are signs but I mean iconic/symbolic, those associated with isometric's/otto neurath).

These overlapping narratives fits well with Neuraths isometric's which were a 'picture language as a helping language into which statements may be from all the normal languages of the earth' and was made to highlight commonality rather than differences. There are some already nice mixtures of these narration tools created with World Wireless Map, and telegeography's work Internet Undersea Map (crow, 2006, p. isotype/section)

These narrations serve as a maps (a communication device's) language which they describe really well as these communication devices being 'a mature representation artefact, aware of its own language and its own rhetoric, equipped with it its own tools, languages, techniques and supports. A model that recovers the narrative abilities of pre-scientific maps and presents itself not as a mere mimetic artefact, but as a poetic and political tool'.

It is excellant that use the terms 'mimetic' & 'artefact' as these associate (connote) nicely by grounding it back into art/design with mimetic a term that arnheim would use describing a social biology of images with the level of detail an image would depict the object in reality, giving us levels of signs with iconic, semi-symbollic & symbollic that brings in the linguistic field associated with saussaures & pierce in Visible Signs by David Crow. Artefact really works well as these communication devices serve as 'research through art and design’, ‘where the end product is an artefact – where the thinking is, so to speak, embodied in the artefact’ (Frayling, 1993/4, p.5). Poetic brings in the wonderful calligrams and concrete poetry depicted and experimented really well here Mississippi Type Visual by andy proehl.

'The map as narration is thus the expression of a communicative purpose. Just like a text, the map makes selections on reality, distorts events, classifies and clarifies the world in order to selections better tell a particular aspect of a territory, an event, a space.' they help to simplify (clarifiy) the complexity of a particular territory, space (which could be data/stats, text
in book, geographic landscape i.e. uk, china, france, the world).

'In this context, the term ‘map’ is a synonym of visual narration of space: a cultural artefact created by an author to describe a space according to an objective.' a tool for the production of meaning that satisfies the map designer, the communication device's designer objective.

‘[O]ne important goal for map designers should be to understand the cognitive processes being used to process spatial information’ this is extremely useful and necessary for map designers in creating maps and the spatial arrangement of the knowledge (Wood & Keller, 1996, p 213).

This is known as Spatial Cognition,

‘Spatial Cognition is concerned with the acquisition, organization, utilization, and revision of knowledge about spatial environments’ (Universit├Ąt Bremen, 2007, p 1).

As for the design for these visual maps, communication device examples they have a fabulous soft light blue background with a darker graduation borrowed from relief shading in geographic mapping to depict the the level of focus for the paticular area of field such as Design or Information visualisation. The person's (the iconic isotype/shape of a person) spatial position between the position of these poles/fields gives the viewer/map reader a insight/understanding as the area that that person is likely to be associated with and in turn the particular expertise/slant/view/interests that person might have in their writings when reading.

The use of a clean, un-clustered (white) space lets the user easily focus in on a name they might have a familiarity with for me card, shnierderman, mackinlay, tufte (postiontied between info vis and design, quite rightly), remo burkhard (from vizthink conference recently) who I didn't realize was also inclined towards knowledge, and martin j eppler with his joint creation of Periodic Table of Visualisation Methods.

Atlas is a great tool from knowledge cartography.

Well with this fabulous overview I look forward to some great insights/answers to my research from,

Information Visualisation: Using Vision to Think

Sunday, 9 November 2008

World Wireless Map

With the innovation and development of internet 3g enabled mobile phones technology with the fantastic Iphone from apple, it is important that other technology's are there to support it.

When reasearching about internet speeds I learnt more about wireless internet speeds. In the uk I had heard of 3G but I never realised that this represented wireless internet.

Well when i realised that there had been 2G sm (global systems for mobile communication) with a data transfer of 14.4 kbps (kilo bits per sec), worse that dial-up 56 k bps modem, not kilo bytes per sec, read this page for better understanding of data transfer & file size, I soon learnt more.

3G has a data transfer rate of 2 mbps (mega bits per sec), now as I found it a trall trying to find the transfer rates for 2G & 3G I read that not everywhere, especially in america, has 3G wireless access/coverage. Making your Iphone 3G enabled connection pretty slow.

This made me curious as to the possibility of a world map that shows where and what wireless internet connection speeds are available, as there different networks such as 2.5G PRS (32 kbps), HSCSD (57.6 kbps), EDGE (384 kbps) and... there is.

The GSM Association and are proud to announce the availability of the updated GSM World Coverage map for 2008. This publication is available in printed form at all GSM Association events and can also be downloaded in PDF using the links below. Unfortunately we are unable to post copies of the map. This maps is updated from time-to-time and new versions can be identified by a change in the colour used for coverage.

Europe has quite a good coverage of 3G connection speeds for your Iphone (depicted in yellow).

Other maps:
Find out whether your area has 3G coverage before you invest in an Iphone.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Circular Visuals

by Pedro Monteiro

Great visual by pedro, extremely current and very useful to see just at a glance the sheer increase over time just by their size. the red stands out very well with a minimal black and white structure similar to Once More Around the Sun, with little bits of information giving reasons as to the increase. ceheck out his others here: eco footprints (isometric similar technique to 3D
CV Map
), elections (robert kosara/eager eyes contest, very nice technique/idea), 700billion
& more.

wine flavour wheel by carl tashian
flavour wheel by carl tashian

What is the relationship between wine varieties and flavor components? This visualization attempts to show the strength of these relationships. I culled descriptive flavor words from over 5,000 published wine tasting notes written between 1995-2000 in a major Australian wine magazine. Written by Carl Tashian for Visualizing the Five Senses, a class at

Really great interactive visual, minimal. more here:

great post from info aesthetics by andrew v moere

girltalk by gregg gillis
by gregg gillis

girl talk is the DJ name for gregg gillis and is great visual using colour to distinguish the different songs and layers of tracks that he mixes up along a neat circular timeline covering his slot. think there are sites that let you cut up tracks, will me check... and there is the BBC music cubes, lets you build up your favourite tracks but not splice i think.

anyhow great visual with the artists faces jumping off for a bit of ease of

think i saw it posted by randy k/coolinfographics.blogspot (sorry would post
hyperlink but need to dash to shop)

Also check out these (some previously posted)

love will tear us apart type by peter crnokrak / A_B_peace & terror by peter crnokrak posted here: Joy, Love, War, Peace

Languages Visual

the great sky scraper visual: Bank Space Sky Onion Visualisations

Map of Carnaby Street, Adobe CS3 Icons Visual Map, Watch the Evolution Design, Dynamic
Time Visualisation
& Once More Around the Sun by bradford paley.