MAT 259 - 2009W

Josh Dickinson | "Cultural Drift"


Using circulation data from the Seattle Public Library, I created an interactive representation of the 11 most frequently referenced countries and the words most often associated with each from January - December 2010. I did this by collecting the first three subject headings for every item circulated with a title referencing a country in either noun or adjective form (for example, "china" or "chinese"). This created a large text file which I simply parsed in terms of word frequency.

The result reveals interesting patterns: "war" was the word most often associated with Germany, "cooking" and "food" were important categories for every country except England and Ireland (proving the fact that no one likes British food), "women" was one of the most words most associated with France, etc.

I think it's an entertaining way to look at cultural stereotypes and the way we classify what's important/unique in different regions of the world.

Technically speaking, data manipulation and filtering was done through MySQL in conjunction with some fancy BASH scripts, and all of the visualization was done in Processing.

This project was realized using Processing.

source code


Facebook Connections Visualized

Google Suggest Venn Diagram Generator

Initial Sketch

Source code: culturalDriftMaster

Built with Processing