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Folkert Gorter
Los Angeles, California
Immortal since Jan 16, 2007
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exploring the infinity of abstract possibility
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    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

    The Total Library
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    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Example 01
    A numerical value is assigned to every letter of the alphabet. Adding the values of all letters, one gets a number that represents the overall word. Using this system, an entire poem is arranged on a circular path. The diameter of the circle is based on the length of the poem.





    Data visualizations are methods for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate specific messages—representational or absctract. These visualizations provide us with a way to understand a specific part of reality better, or at least see it in a different way.

    Essentially, you could see all of visible reality as a data visualization, which is the point of this post. If you come across an example of a nature-made or man-made data visualization like the ones below, please use the image uploader in the comments to share your visuals.



    Example 02
    Saliva-soaked soil particles as hard as concrete are accumulated by the collective activities of termites. Some of these mound-building technologies are being copied by humans for use in their own architecture, as in the case of the Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.

    Termite cathedral mounds in the Northern Territory of Australia




    Example 03
    The Earth is presented as a colored sphere where the landmasses are divided in a collection of tubes the height of which is determined by an algorithm using a data source feeding it information about the birthrate (or any other data) specific to that region to determine its size.




    Example 04
    Large urban agglomerations of human settlement: economical, political and cultural activity are made visual by way of a city's tall buildings and structures. The skyline is a direct visualization of the type of human occupation.

    Skyline of Hong Kong




    Example 05
    Like a skyline is a visualization of human activity, this type of data visualization, just like the termite mounds represents specific activity in time and (virtual) space.

    Social network analysis





    Other examples of human-made data visualizations include:



    "Global supply chain simulation" at eye-sys.com. Via VisualComplexity


    Visualization of personal music listening history by Lee Byron




    And some of nature's largest visualizations have striking similarities:

    Frozen crystals suspended in the atmosphere (clouds) are visibly arranged so that the entire cloud mass visualizes the atmospheric activity in a specific region, in this case a hurricane:



    A massive, gravitationally bound system of of gas, dust and dark matter is a visualization of the countless forces at work within galaxies.







    Tue, Oct 2, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: nature, Data visualization
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