9/25/2009

Visualizing Complexity

video
How can our mind grasp data that is complex or that encapsulates an enormous data set? Ask Aaron Koblin, an award winning artist who specializes in data visualization. His work was featured at TED and SIGGRAPH and garnered him an award from the National Science Foundation.

Mr. Koblin skillful depiction of nearly 200,000 concurrent flights is based on FAA data over a 24 hour period. Imagine being in an aviation industry decision making role responsible for the allocation of resources across the US based on flight data. Complementing the mounds of textual reports on this data is Aaron's visualization which brings to life the dynamics of flight volume which constantly change. Look at the burst at 6AM EST when most flights take off from the east coast, and 4 hours later see the similar bursts on the west coast.

Aaron leverages concepts from Gestalt theory of emergence. Gestalst Psychology investigates the way our mind makes sense of visual stimuli in a world of ongoing change and endless variety, but that's a topic for another discussion.


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