Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Emergent Density Maps

Large spaces like libraries tend to have absurd amounts of very diffuse lighting. Most of this light is unnecessary. What would be nice is to attach to every light a micro controller that senses movement and light levels. In the most basic case, it would only turn the light on if there was movement and the light already available was below a certain threshold.

More advanced versions could learn about how much movement there was during different times of day, and how long people hung around in that space.

This seems like a fairly basic idea, so it has probably already been tested and rejected because it's too distracting or for some other reason.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Singing Arc Demonstration

The "Singing Tesla Coil", a notable example of a non-standard technique for auralizing a signal.

Towards a Model of Information Aesthetics in Information Visualization

Andrew Vande Moore's 2007 paper, Towards a Model of Information Aesthetics in Information Visualization, comes to some related (and to some degree, similar) conclusions about dimensions we might use to frame transcoding — in this case, visualization. One of his two primary dimensions is "direct vs. interpretive":

The focus on direct mapping is generally driven by standards learnt from visual cognition research, including Gestalt rules and perception psychology, and guidelines which determine which representations are most ideal depending on data type. [...] On the other hand, mappings which involve subjective decisions and stylistic influences are highly interpretive.

Resembling my "objective vs. subjective". The other is "intrinsic vs. extrinsic":

Visualization techniques with intrinsic data focus aim to facilitate insight into data by employing cognitively effective visual mapping. [...] In contrast, those with extrinsic data focus facilitate the communication of meaning that is related to or underlies the dataset. These extrinsically-focused techniques are aimed towards visualization which are able to be appreciated and interpreted, and to invoke personal reflection.

I've made a similar distinction in the past as "introduction vs. induction" or "prose vs. poetry". I never brought this up with respect to transcoding because I feel like it is a much more general attribute of communication.