Tag Archive for 'mainstreaminfo'

ITP Spring Show 2009

The ITP Spring Show is taking place this Sunday and Monday and it’s going to be a good one. I will be presenting my Rats ‘n’ Bedbugs visualization.

ITP Spring Show 2009
May 10th, 2pm to 6pm
May 11th, 5pm to 9pm
@ 721 Broadway, 4th Floor

Rats ‘n’ Bedbugs

Rats ‘n’ Bedbugs is an on-screen interactive visualization of the rat and bedbug populations in New York City.

The interface consists of a map showing the concentration of rats and bedbugs at different focus levels: the entire city, the five boroughs, and the community districts.The focus changes by zooming in and out of the map, through simple mouse clicks on or off the area of interest. This zoom is accompanied by scattering or flocking of pests as the numbers get adjusted, creating a smooth yet disturbing interaction.

The idea for this project came to me after moving to the city and seeing rats all over the place, and reading that there are approximately 5 rats per person in New York City. This made me very uneasy and I felt that making a project about it would help desensitize me.

The bedbugs aspect of it came from my girlfriend, who is as freaked out about bedbugs as I am about rats.

There is plenty of data on this subject, most notably the NYC Health Rat Information Portal and the New York vs. Bed Bugs website. Since the numbers are in the millions, the amount of pests shown will be scaled according to the number of people living in the area of focus. For example, if 1 000 000 people live in Manhattan and 5 000 000 rats live in Manhattan, this could be represented as 100 human sprites vs. 500 rat sprites.

Hipster Shit

One more step done for Rats ‘n’ Bedbugs: http://hipstershit.com/
The final application will be up very soon…

Swarming Rats

Here we go… Click to make them change burrows.

Rats vs. Bedbugs

My idea for the Mainstreaming Information project is to create a visualization of the amount of rats and bedbugs throughout New York City. This idea came to me when I read that there are 6 rats per person in the city, and that sort of freaked me out. After a bit of research, I found out that there is plenty of data on this subject, most notably the NYC Health Rat Information Portal and the New York vs. Bed Bugs website.

The project would start with a simple animation of an uneasy person with 6 rats on his left and a bunch of bedbugs squirming on his right. The user would then click on one of the two sides, which will take her to the in-depth visualization.

pests-intro 

The visualization will consist of a map showing the concentration of rats or bedbugs at different focuses in New York City. These are:

  • The five boroughs
  • The many neighbourhoods in a borough
  • The subway stations in a neighbourhood
  • A single person at this subway station

The focus will change by zooming in and out, through simply clicking on or off the area of interest. This zoom will be accompanied by scattering or flocking of pests as the numbers get adjusted.

The rat or bedbug concentration will be represented as a bunch of animated critters moving around the territory they belong to. Since these numbers are in the millions, the amount of pests shown will be scaled according to the number of people living in the area of focus. For example, if 1 000 000 people live in Manhattan and 5 000 000 rats live in Manhattan, this could be represented as 100 human sprites vs. 500 rat sprites. Each rat sprite will be randomly generated by combining features from a library of ears, eyes, bodies, tails, etc… The rats and the bedbugs will each have their own unique behaviour, representative of their real counterparts.

pests-mnhtn

Hoods.fm Proposal

Your Last.fm connections as an evolving city.

Using the neighbours, friends, and groups data from your profile, Hoods.fm gradually builds a city, placing you at the center and other users around, clustering the ones with similar tastes together, and placing the ones with very compatible taste closer to you. The visualization evolves over time, so you can see the rise, development, and fall of your city from when you first joined Last.fm until the present day.

The style of each user’s house represents their listening habits: rock as suburban bungalows, hip hop as brownstones, country as farmhouses, etc. The more music listened to, the higher the building. Since most people mix up what they listen to, the resulting houses will be a patchwork of styles Рa superbly bizarre architecture. 

If you click on any dwelling, an extra layer of information appears to give details on that specific user and what their connection to you is. The ground under all related users highlights, so you can see how your neighbours are connected to each other. An extra click will take you to that user’s profile page on Last.fm, where you will be able to get all the available details.

View the poster

Jaw-dropping Statistics

Here are some pretty impressive statistics I found. It should be noted that I did not cross-check these for accuracy.

  • In the US, it is estimated that as much as 30% of food gets wasted. (source)
  • On average, Americans owe about $8,000 per household on credit cards. The average household with at least one credit card has 6.0 bank credit cards, 8.3 retail credit cards, and 2.4 debit cards for a total of 16.7 cards. There were roughly 5 billion credit card offers mailed last year to about 200 million individuals in the U.S. This means the average person receives about 25 per year. The average household receives more than one per week. (source)
  • French fries are the most eaten vegetable in America. (source)
  • In the U.S., we eat more than 1,000,000 animals an hour. (source)
  • At Wal-Mart, Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day. This works out to $20,928 of profit every minute! (source)
  • Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined. (source)