Information Design Watch
January 8, 2004, 10:12 am
Attempts to visualize social dynamics on the Internet start with fundamental questions. What kinds of data do social affiliations and interactions generate? And how can that data be visualized?
“The most evident schemes draw the social networks as graphs, i.e. nodes representing the actors and lines or arrows that represent the link between them. One of the most well known is the typical organization chart of a company.”
The samples in this article move beyond the organization chart, but with sometimes ambiguous results. Such ambiguity demonstrates the complexity of the problem; it also indicates the difference between illustrating an idea (using a circle to show affiliation, for example) and actually conveying its meaning.
January 8, 2004, 9:43 am
Transportation for London provides a simple Flash movie on its Web site that shows three versions of the London Tube map: the classic 1933 Harry Beck map (shown below), the current map, and the current map as it would look if it matched actual geography.
At http://tube.tfl.gov.uk/content/tubemap/default.asp, click on “The Real Underground (Flash Movie)”.
The map’s schematic treatment of geography and scale is one of its most compelling aspects. The relative placement of stations along the lines, and the lines to the river (the only surface feature shown) provide users of the Tube all the orientation they need.
A more detailed geographically-aligned version of the map can be found at http://www.kordy.dircon.co.uk/misc/lul.gif. A history of London Tube Maps can be found at http://clives.members.easyspace.com/tube/tube.html (site loads very slowly).
January 8, 2004, 9:41 am
In its understated way, Micropaleontology Press, feature of a recent NPR story (http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1572223), points out another advantage of electronic media:
“In 2003, the Foraminifera Catalogue reached 106 looseleaf volumes containing more than 87,000 pages … Since all the printed volumes must be unbound and rebound each year for the alphabetic insertion of 500 to 600 additional pages, the internet edition has quickly become popular.”
See the very bottom of http://micropress.org/history.html
January 8, 2004, 9:40 am
The dissatisfaction of academic librarians with current purchasing options is affecting electronic journal aggregators such as HighWire Press. Teaming with a group of scholarly society publishers, HighWire Press recently announced an alternative to bundled subscription packages:
“Initiated by a group of scholarly society publishers participating in HighWire, the new pricing/subscription model offers an alternative to the ‘Big Deal’ packages and allows librarians to create their own packages using tiered pricing tied to library type.”