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What if… data could talk?

Story: TCDC

Through archives and records of our actions, the evidence of our existence is embedded in the data. On the other hand, the data also influences how we see the world and resulting into our actions. A tweet by Lev Manovich, a media theorist, stated that, “19th century was defined by the novel, 20th century culture by the cinema, the culture of the 21st century will be defined by the interface.” This notion may become true to the extent. So could the interface such as data visualisation improve our understanding of the reality of the world?
Could it be used as a tool for knowledge cultivation?


“Visualizing Amsterdam SMS Messages” by Aaron Koblin which visualises the action of sending SMS.

www.sandbox.aaronkoblin.com/projects/amsterdam/title.jpg

Looking at the case of DataViva by MIT Media Lab’s Macro Connection. DataViva is a project that the team creates a tool to visualise the collection of Brazillian government’s information, ranging from economical information to national salaries, and open to the public. DataViva introduces massive amount of unknown government information in a more transparent method, revealing the data in a usable way for the people like comparing salaries in Rio and Minas in order to see the difference of standard living. It allows the public to be able to make some sense out of the data and also democratises the knowledge and make it more accessible to the crowd.


The interactive interface of DataViva by Macro Connection, MIT Media lab, displaying the information of the Brazilian Government

www.b.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/inline-large/inline/2013/12/3022701-inline-750-iron.jpg

Looking at the case of DataViva by MIT Media Lab’s Macro Connection. DataViva is a project that the team creates a tool to visualise the collection of Brazillian government’s information, ranging from economical information to national salaries, and open to the public. DataViva introduces massive amount of unknown government information in a more transparent method, revealing the data in a usable way for the people like comparing salaries in Rio and Minas in order to see the difference of standard living. It allows the public to be able to make some sense out of the data and also democratises the knowledge and make it more accessible to the crowd.


The interface of Trendalyzer which shows the trace of the data over time of each country.

www.c1.staticflickr.com/1/57/187115059_7812e76961_z.jpg?zz=1


Interface could also create a ripple of awareness that unveil the devastating facts to the world. A Swedish foundation, Gapminder, is a byproduct from Professor Hans Rosling’s controversial finding on how much ignorant his students were during his lecture at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Gapminder was established especially to tackle the stereotypical perception of the world and trying to overcome over-generalisation among the public. In the famous TED talk by Professor Hans Rosling, he gave us insights about the “preconceiving ideas” and presented us facts in simple yet communicative and effective way. Trendalyzer, an interactive visualization software, was developed as communicative tool to battle against “counterintuitive” facts, which may counteract with the logic of the existing knowledge. Trendalyzer represents the information as a tool to cultivate the enormous pool of data about the health and living of mankind. It emerges as a communicative tool for displaying the real, hard facts about the world’s health and being by making the invisible pattern of statistical data and trail to be visible. Trendalyzer does not only collect and present data but it also invites people to interact with it and take actions.


The interface of Trendalyzer which shows the trace of the data over time of each country.

www.c1.staticflickr.com/1/57/187115059_7812e76961_z.jpg?zz=1


Interface and data visualisation could be seen as the tools for value creation. It doesn’t necessary mean in terms of money but in terms of human capital and knowledge. It is the key to the door for knowledge democratization by easing out the knowledge hierarchy and empowers people to understand more about the world. Detangling intricate data and sense making are the process of creating value and adding life to those data. Let’s imagine what would happen if the mass could understand and be able to make use of the knowledge available in the world. The knowledge cultivation and accessibility is indeed the key for the better future.

Source:
Ted Talk: Visualize ourselves… from crowd-sourced data by Aaron Koblin (www.ted.com)
Ted Talk: The best stats you’ve ever seen by Hans Rosling
www.macroconnections.media.mit.edu
www.gapminder.org
www.thinkwithgoogle.com

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  • Published Date: 2014-08-14
  • Resource: www.cu-tcdc.com