M259 Visualizing Information (4 units)

George Legrady
Joshua Dickinson

Lecture/lab: Tues-Thurs 12:00-1:50 Estudio/Arts old gym 479-1211

Course Description

Data visualization consists of the visual representation of abstract data. In this course Students explore conceptual, cultural and other issues specific to data visualization. Through presentations, Texts, and discussions, the class introduces concepts and methods of a) data mining, b) data analysis and aggregation, and c) information design and visualization. In addition to giving an overview of data visualization, the course includes a practical component in which students are introduced to modules for datamining to explore a data set of over 60 million entries culled from the transactions at a major American library. Each library transaction contains scalar, numeric, time-based, semantic and other forms of metadata which allow for a multiplicity and complex modes of data correlation and representation.

This data is representative of titles of books, DVDs, CDs and other media checked out by the general public since 2005 and has been collected with the intent to study changes in the circulation as libraries are transforming themselves due to the increasing influence of the Internet as a as information source.

Koolhaas' Seattle Library

OMA/LMN Concept Book | PrinceRamus on TED | SPL Architecture

SPL Art Project

Data Analysis Resources


Course Resources
The SPL data consists of checked-out items (books, cds, movies, etc.) retrieved by the hour through the art project "Making Visible the Invisible" | Hourly Histogram

Dewey Classification | SPL MetaData | SPL ItemTypes | SPL Search Interface | Dewey/LOC

Code and visualization examples use MySQL (index) and Processing (index)

Student Forum| Last Year's Course | New School Course | New School Forum


[wk 1].......Lecture 01.10

Course Overview

Lab 01.12
Basic MySQL [Joshua][Sepand][George] | Sequel Pro | HeidiSQL | w3School Tutorial

[wk 2].......Lecture 01.17


Lab 01.19

Data Mining Overview | R&DLab [infoEsthetics] [Nieman] [Hansen_ucla] |

e-book trend | NYT: Digital Design [Million Dollar blocks] [vvoice] |

Advanced Data Mining and Filtering

MAT Seminar 01.24
Harold Cohen: Collaborations with my Algorithmic Self

[wk 3].......Lecture 01.24

Previous student projects


Lab 01.26
SQL Datamining Projects

Karl Yerkes | Christo de Clerck [SQL_Question] [data] | Matthew Willse [SQL question] [data] | Andrew Bowe

Harold Cohen | Words | 500 Billion Words [NGram]

SQL into Processing

MAT Seminar 01.31
Roger Malina, editor Leonardo

[wk 4].......Lecture 01.31

Lab 02.02
Design Basics | PPT_Lecture

Data Mining Presentation


MAT Seminar 02.07
Simon Penny: Digital Materiality and Embodied Interaction

[wk 5].......Lecture 02.07


Lab 02.09

2D Space | Basic Interactivity

"Eyes Have it", Shneiderman

2D Space | Basic Interactivity

MAT Seminar 02.14
Ben Schneiderman: Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery

[wk 6].......Lecture 02.14


Lab 02.16

2D Concept Project Presentation | Shneiderman Class Visit

"Concept as Software" Edward Shanken

2D Project Presentation

MAT Seminar 02.21
Edward Shanken: Alternative Nows and Thens to Be: Photography, New Media, and Art Historical Revision

[wk 7].......Lecture 02.21

Lab 02.23

Google Correlate [Christo Instructions] | AppleRSS | NYTimesRSS |

Correlating Other Data Sources


[wk 8].......Lecture 02.28


Lab 03.01

Correlation or FPTree presentation | Color Chart | 3D Reza

"After the Storm"

Processing in 3D | Peasycam

MAT Seminar 03.06
Ken Goldberg: Myth & Media

[wk 9].......Lecture 03.06

Lab 03.08

3D Spatial & Interactive

Final Project Proposal

[wk 10]..................03.13


Lab & Individual Meetings (Dead Week)

Lab & Individual Meetings (Dead Week)

[wk 11]......Lecture 03.27
Final Presentations

Technical TextBooks

Graphics of Large Datasets, Unwin, Theus, Hofmann (Statistics & Computing)[UCSB online]
Visualizing Data, [Examples] Ben Fry (Online text by the co-author of Processing)
MySQL Ben Forta

Information Visualization

Mapping & Design
Graphic Design
Literary Analysis
Online References
Additional Processing Refs
Atlas of Science | The Visual Display of Quantitative Information | Envisioning Information, Edward Tufte
Mapping Graphic Navigational Systems, Fawcett-Tang
DataFlow: Visualizing Information in Graphic Design, Gestalten
Graphs, Maps, Trees, Franco Moretti
Visual Complexity | Infoesthetics | 259 Links Resource
Shiffman | Greenberg [code] | Terzidis [code]

Grading Completion of 3 projects 20% each
Final Project 30%
Attendance, Participation and Literature Review 10%

The course is designed to accommodate both beginning and advanced students. All students will be expected to perform at the level of their expertise but programming experience is desirable.