Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Visualization on Saturday 12th March

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  • It's About Time: Visualizing Temporality

    by Joanna Wiebe

    Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. I agree about the banana, but I'm not so sure about the arrow. What is the shape of time? Our online calendars, clocks and other models of time often are designed with the understanding that time is a forward-moving arrow. This sounds logical to the Western, English-speaking scientific mind. However, not everyone conceptualizes time as a relentless hurtling forward. Some cultures understand time as a fractal, a spiral, a mandala, a cycle. And a child, playing with the same toy over and over again, lives in a single seamless moment from dawn to dusk. Visualizing temporality is a fundamental issue in interaction design today. For example, we are looking at a future where our work must be useful for both Eastern and Western audiences, who differ in time-oriented cultural traits such as long-term vs. short-term orientation. We also need to be able to provide tools to differentiate the personal, bodily-felt experience of time from clock time. We may want to expand our customers' perception of time, to invite them to stay in the Deep Present. Our beliefs about time and its passage profoundly affect the design of software and interactive media. It's time for interaction designers to understand deeply how our customers know time, whether as an arrow, a spiral or a squiggle. How people slice and dice nature into concepts is fundamental to designing tools people can use to successfully live on the earth, for a long time.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom C, Austin Convention Center

  • Why Visualizing Government Data Makes Taxpayers Happy

    by Michael Castellon and Jeremiah Akin

    The expectation of transparency is creating demand for government agencies to develop new ways to communicate complex data and trends to the public in easy-to-access and easy-to-understand formats.

    Some agencies are turning to Google Maps and KML data to visualize raw information online and on mobile devices. Delivering data in more easily understandable formats not only boosts trust and confidence between government agencies and their publics, but also streamlines workloads among Data, Web, Editorial, and Customer Service teams.

    The Texas Comptroller is the state’s chief revenue officer, tax collector, and treasurer. The agency uses public-facing maps to communicate data and economic trends across the state, editorial coverage, and to promote initiatives such as its Unclaimed Property initiative, which works to reunite taxpayers with about $2 billion in unclaimed money and property.

    This discussion will focus on how agencies and other organizations can use free or inexpensive tools to deliver data to the public in both traditional online formats and mobile platforms, and how workflows can be arranged so that data visualization can be managed and administered by non-technical staff. We will also discuss how maps can be used internally to enhance strategic efforts.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • Time Traveling: Interfaces for Geotemporal Visualization

    by Irene Ros, Ryan Shaw, Ana Boa-Ventura, Adam Rabinowitz and Nicholas Rabinowitz

    Displaying geography alone is easy: interactive maps are more and more a part of our everyday lives. Displaying time alone is easy: we are all familiar with charts and animations that show the passage of time. It is increasingly common to display time and space together in a single visual interface as well, but this combination has raised a number of new questions. There are few conventions or standards for geotemporal visualization, and we are still discovering which approaches are most effective for which datasets. Focusing particularly on historical data, this panel will explore issues in the modeling and visualization of geotemporal information, presenting existing approaches and discussing new trends.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

  • Social Media Data Visualization: Mapping the World's Conversations

    by Adam Bly, Robin Richards, Benjamin Wiederkehr and Eric Friedman

    As individuals and companies across the world rely more and more heavily on social media, data visualization has become sine qua non in not only displaying analytics and metrics, but also in understanding macro and micro trends by platform, network and individual.

    This panel will explore information design, data visualization, relationship mapping and statistics -- and how they all fit together to create compelling infographics, data visualizations and dynamic dashboards in hot pursuit of the holy grail of information design: make it more digestible and more human. Proposed by well-known data visualization firm JESS3 (see especially: The Conversation Prism and The State of the Internet), the panel will not only share insights into what makes a good infographic or social media data visualization, but also seek to explore the significance of these graphics in relation to the expanding reach and uses of social media as not just tellers of social media stories, but part of larger content-based communications strategies.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

  • All These Worlds Are Yours: Visualizing Space Data

    by Veronica McGregor, Miles O'Brien, Kevin Hussey and Douglas Ellison

    At the intersection of video gaming technology, open government and citizen science are new applications making it easier and more fun for the public to explore space data. Get an inside look at virtual environments incorporating real-time spacecraft data and images. Become an armchair astronaut and travel through the cosmos from your personal computer. Ride along with NASA spacecraft, hazardous asteroids and distant planets, or just experience the vastness and beauty of space. All these worlds are yours... including Europa.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center