Breaking Down the Budget

Anybody see the Daily Pennsylvanian today? There was a big infographic on the front page about the operating budget for the Undergraduate Assembly. Although I was initially excited about the graphic, I was immediately reminded of an article about a similar graphic that I read yesterday on Flowing Data. Nathan, the author of this article, asked Flowing Data readers to find flaws in this infographic. One of the comments on the Flowing Data entry read:

“Well I would say they drew the circles with radius relative to the presented [quantity], which translates visually [into] something relative [to the] square of the quantity… remember – we see the circle area which is = PI * radius ^ 2. They should have used radius = constant * sqrt(quantity)…”

Perhaps this is nit-picky, but I am left looking at the DP infographic and wondering – are the circles actually in proportion to one another in some way? Were the circles’ areas calculated? Or, were the radii simply calculated (a task much easier to perform using Adobe Illustrator)? So, are we really getting a sense of on what the UA’s money is being spent, or is there some visual bias being imparted to the DP readership?

Daily Pennsylvanian, "Breaking Down the Budget" by Vivian Zhang

iPhone : Dissection

I was pondering the more “open” ideas of mapping we were talking about in class today – maps as relationships between ideas/places/objects/space – and was reminded of the various technological dissections I’ve seen on the internet. They are maps of the internal workings of the devices – and they typically use the projection techniques we discussed in class this morning. First: a poetic and da Vinci-esque “steampunk” aesthetic drawing of a dissection of the Apple iPhone, by artist Kevin Tong:


(via Geekadelphia)

I was originally interested in technology dissection after the MacBook Air came out, and SlashDot posted a dissection of the notebook. I can’t find this video at present, but here’s an a peek into the number of screws involved.

screw-loose

The Linear NEC

In Mapping Experience, Marc Treib uses the London Underground map to show how maps are diagrammatic – “clear, articulate, and legible–all the things that London as a city is not.” After reading this section of the article, I instantly remembered the wikipedia representation of Amtrak’s North East Corridor route, designed by wikipedia users. It is certainly all the things that the North East Corridor is not. There is also no notion of scale – nor is there the “east” directionality, but rather only the “north.” Although Treib describes the two dimensionality of maps as a limitation, I think this extreme example of a one dimensional map demonstrates perfectly how the limitation can be a benefit. The train passenger certainly feels this linearity while riding, especially during the portion of the trip that travels directly beside I-95 N.

Amtrak's North East Corridor, Designed by Wikipedia Users
Amtrak's North East Corridor, Designed by Wikipedia Users

Baby Name Brainstorm

This site is an interactive way to come up with new names, that allows you to search an extensive database and then compare, finding names that contain the same sequences of letters or sounds. The filtered data is displayed in the standard brainstorming “web” style.

(How many ways are there to spell my name?)
(How many ways are there to spell my name?)
(Search criteria displayed for randomly-generated name)
(Search criteria displayed for randomly-generated name)

Baby Name Brainstorm

(via Infosthetics)

Demetri Martin = Info Design Comedian

Demetri Martin is a Law School drop-out with a penchant for humor derived from statistics and images.  See the below video for a taste of his (sometimes vulgar, consider yourself warned) bizarre humor.

If you like what you see, I suggest you also watch his BBC-produced comedy/biography series entitled “If I.” In this hour-long piece, available in six parts on youtube.com, Martin discusses his compulsions, including generating a scoring-system for himself in which he decides how good of a person he is over the course of a week. Examples: I eat a piece of fruit: +1! I do something nice for my significant other: +1! He collects the type of personal data that we are collecting in FNAR 337. He also has a new show entitled “Important Things With Demetri Martin” which is slated to begin in February on Comedy Central.

Demetri Martin – Large Pad