Maps of Time: Data As Narrative

A session at SXSW Interactive 2012

Monday 12th March, 2012

9:30am to 10:30am (CST)

What's the relationship between visualized data and the story we want to tell? Living in the eternal now, surrounded by our tweets, facebook posts and other copious amounts of social and highly personalized information, we forget the importance of history and historical reasoning and influence in our work. Which events were the most important in my last year or decade of tweets? How would I know? What would a map of time look like, fashioned out of the data? How would one map one's own life? In this panel, a mix of academics, news media professionals and narrative tool developers talk about how to turn data into maps of time. Together we will go on a journey to understand and visualize time, history and context, to reason about what it means to gather and express collective history.

About the speakers

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Drew Harry

PhD Candidate, MIT Media Lab

Drew Harry is a fourth year PhD student in the Speech + Mobility Group at the MIT Media Lab focused on designing backchannel communication tools. He has designed and studied a range of tools to support small class discussion, business meetings, remote presentations, conference panels, and large-scale spectating for both co-located and distributed audiences. Past projects have explored identity issues in online games, sharing presence and location on mobile devices, collaboration, and visualization technologies. He received his MS in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT in 2008, and a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College as a member of the inaugural class of 2006.

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@knightmozilla fellow at @guardian. Journo-coder wannabe. Drug of choice is #Python. Looking for #JavaScript fixes. Interested in all things #datajournalism

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Nicola Hughes

Knight-Mozilla Fellow, Scraperwiki

A journalist by training, Nicola left her position as a Digital Producer at CNN International to learn to programme with the Knight funded data scraping startup, ScraperWiki. She is now a Knight- Mozilla fellow at The Guardian. Her interests include data journalism and data wrangling. Her coding languages of choice are Python, R and JavaScript.

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Alex Graul

Interactive Developer, Guardian News and Media

Alex is an interactive developer for guardian.co.uk, specialising in developing interactive media and data visualisation content and tools for news media. Previously he worked developing trade and market analysis software and data visualisations for the financial industry. He received his BA in Information Design from LCC in 2008.

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Jenn Thom

Research Scientist, Visual Communication Lab At Ibm Research

Jenn is a Research Scientist in the Visual Communication Lab at IBM Research. Her research interests include computer-supported collaborative work, intercultural communication and collaboration and social networking. She received a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2009, where her dissertation work focused on how users express territorial behaviors in online collaborative spaces.

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Burt Herman

Co-Founder, Storify

Burt Herman is co-founder of Storify, a platform for creating stories from social media, and founder of Hacks/Hackers, a worldwide organization bringing together journalists and technologists. Herman previously worked as a journalist for a dozen years for The Associated Press. At the AP, he served as Korea bureau chief, founded a bureau covering the five countries of former Soviet Central Asia and reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other assignments worldwide. Herman was a 2008-9 Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, where he also received a bachelor’s degree with honors in political science and master’s degree in Russian and Eastern European studies.

Next session in Ballroom A

11am Shut Up & Draw: A Non-Artist Way to Think Visually by Jessica Hagy, Dan Roam and Sunni Brown


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48 attendees

  • Francesco D'Orazio
  • Alex Graul
  • Amy Hwang
  • Andy Pressman
  • Anne Mai Bertelsen
  • Aparna Mukherjee
  • Burt Herman
  • Matthias Weber
  • Scott Nixon 🦄
  • dalprice
  • Nicola Hughes
  • Dean Cruse
  • Harmesh Chauhan
  • erwin blom
  • Laurian Gridinoc
  • hugh garry
  • Janice Suter
  • jennthom
  • jeremydaly
  • Johanna Evans
  • Jasper Koning
  • Andrew Leimdorfer
  • Chrys Wu
  • Morgan Burton
  • Moritz Stefaner
  • ɹǝɯoɹʞ (dılɟ) dılıɥd
  • Mutewatch
  • Nicola Hughes
  • Nicholas Oliver
  • Patricia Marinho
  • Paul Lamere
  • Jeff Putthoff, SJ
  • Markus Wegscheider
  • Renda Morton
  • Rohan Jayasekera
  • Sands Fish
  • Sarita Bhatt
  • Yesenia Sotelo
  • Mike Nutt
  • Tasneem Raja
  • Aurelio Tinio
  • Antoine Perdaens
  • Tyler Murray
  • Natasha Sayce-Zelem
  • Xavier Damman
  • Justin P
  • yoli worth
  • Zack Seuberling

27 trackers

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  • Frank Hebbert
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  • Phoebe Connelly
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  • Sam Bao
  • Sandra Marshall
  • Steven Gianakouros
  • Alex Watson
  • Tom Insam 🎩
  • Tom Warmbrodt
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Time 9:30am10:30am CST

Date Mon 12th March 2012


Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

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