Data Flow, 2009
Dynamically generated data visualization
Commission by Gensler Design for Corporate Executive Board Executive Offices, Arlington, Virginia

"Data Flow" consists of three visualizations mapping members' interactions with CEB. The three visualizatons are situated on the Feature Wall from the 22nd to 24th floor of the Corporate Executive Board Corporation, Arlington, Virginia. The three visualizations of "Data Flow" each consist of three horizontally linked screens to feature animations in 4080 x 768 pixel resolution. The flow of information consists of the following: CEB IT produces appropriately formatted data which is retrieved every ten minutes by the Data Flow project server and stored in a local database, where it is kept for 24 hours. The project server also retrieves longitude and latitude for location data and discards any data that does not correlate with the requirements of the visualizations. The server stored data is then forwarded to three visualization computers that each process the received data according to their individual animation requirements.


I: Program To Content [click for animation]

This animation in the form of a colorcoded subdivided gridmap proportionately maps how various ContentType choices and downloads are used by members from different ProgramNames.

This visualization proportionately maps content choices and downloads selected by ProgramName members. The data used in this visualization includes CreateDate, Practices, ProgramNames, ContentType.

Sequence of Actions: The animation consists of three phases each which visualize the relationships between ProgramName and ContentType over the last hour. First, the animation selects the most recent 1000 events. Of these most recent events, the animation visualizes the top 15 most active ProgramNames. The first phase begins by subdividing the screen into columns proportional to the activity rate of ContentType (e.g., products/tools). The second phase introduces each ProgramName and maps its relationship to the ContentTypes. The third phase shows an overview of the relationships between all ProgramNames to ContentTypes. ContentTypes are visualized as colored cells whose thickness is proportional to their activity level.

II: GeoMap [click for animation]

This animation features a geographic global map divided into a matrix of cells. Members’ interactions with CEB are visualized by an increase in cell sizes representing each active member’s location. Every three minutes, the distorted map collapses back to its original form.

This visualization of a Global Map shows active members’ locations. Data used includes CreateDate with location and time stamp of members’ activities.

Sequence of Actions: Initial visualization is a normalized geographic global map. The animation receives the 500 most recent events, and sequentially expands cells that represent active members’ locations. Activated cells individually expand and brighten over a five second duration in response to members’ interactions with CEB. Every 1⁄4 second, the software maps the next activated cell. After approximately three minutes of activity, the map’s cells collapse back to their initial normal state.

III: Bigrams

This animation features the most common keywords culled from members web queries. These keywords are presented with their most popular associated words to form a bigram. Links show members’ association to various MetaSectors colored greyblue, and the ProgramNames to which members belong.

This visualization makes visible members’ search interests as they span across Sector and ProgramName membership. The animation features the most common keywords culled from members’ web queries. MetaSectors and ProgramNames linked to each bigram make visible that search interests span across both categories.

Sequence of Actions: The animation begins by grabbing the most recent 20000 events and analyzes them for the most popular 12 keywords (stems). Each stem is linked with its with four most commonly associated words (bigrams). Bigrams are then placed on screen, moving from right to left. Bigrams appear on screen and travel diagonally upwards or downwards, exiting at their opposite corner. Each bigram is linked to its various MetaSectors, appearing above it in gray, and linked to its ProgramNames, appearing below. Bigrams accelerate as they move across the screen, text boxes shrinking as they move from right to left. A vertical line moves across the screen separating stem groups.

Click here to view concept development and early prototypes

Project collaboration with Angus Forbes, engineering concept and development. Additional contributions by Jeungah Kim, design prototping; Derek Smith, Bigram modeling; Gregg Shear, programming support.