Archive for the ‘Visualizing the Five Senses’ Category

Touch Fingerprint

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

An in-class exercise in trying to convey the sense of touch on-screen. Given a matrix of white points on a black field, we had to rework the project with our own “fingerprint” in about 30 minutes. (more…)

Visualizing (proxemic) space

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

In conducting research for the CycleSense bicycle traffic proximity system I gathered data about the amount of space behind a bicycle rider traveling through typical New York City traffic at various times and locations. The initial visualization of this data was to graph the distances over time to look for specific events that the system would need to detect in order to be useful. I cross-referenced the space data with video taken on the same rides



Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

In reaction to seeing my research on the cycling proximity project Jane sent me some really interesting information about Edward Hall and his work on Proxemics. I’m still reading up on the concept, but in brief it pertains to the study of space that individuals maintain in various social interactions and specifically how several cultures maintain different norms.

Here is an update to the proximity visualization application incorporating the 4 Proxemic distance classifications of Intimate, Personal, Social and Public. I’m hoping to show that while riding a bicycle in traffic riders experience frequent intrusions by vehicles into the Personal space. The haptic feedback device that is being devised for the CycleSense project will transpose the events in Social and Personal space to the Intimate space to provide an immediate awareness of these intrusions that generally go unseen as they occur behind the rider.

The next HUGE challenge is to refine the rangefinder sensor package, which I’ve never been able to get completely reliable.


Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

combining the various sense visualizations into a collage. each layer is taken from a separate project. the overall guiding comment in this arrangement is that sound envelops and vision centers my awareness

looking forward to the final project for visualizing senses, i’m thinking of working with touch and space. several projects that i’ve investigated for other classes have involved interaction with proximity and awareness. what specifically drives the tactile sense? does the chill of a breeze or the warmth of nearby body stimulate similar senses as physical contact? at jane’s suggestion i’d like to read up on the field of proxemics as introduced by edward hall – the categorization of physical proximity and interactions deemed appropriate for each category. all this space around us…

Wine tasting

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Working with a large database of wines for the next Visualizing the Five Senses project. The database contains much information on approximately 5000 wines. After much thought on the sense of taste and after reading up on wine varieties, I decided to focus on the six categories of wine (Red, White, Sparkling-Red, Sparkling-White, Fortified-Red and Fortified-White), and several oft-repeated taste characteristics noted in the wine descriptions.

This is very much a work in progress. (more…)


Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Trying to migrate my knowledge of Processing into Java and the Eclipse development environment. This is Ben Fry’s zipcode lookup applet as described in “Visualizing Data”. There are some oddities in my implementation of it, perhaps due to my inexperience with vanilla Java and a shoddy porting of his code.

Oh well, I’ll tinker with it later.

Applet and code


Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

So, flight404’s (robert hodgin) work as been very inspiring and influential to my own. There are many people whom I feel are pushing the envelope of meaningful and beautiful visualization and he is one of them.

The Ripples project is one the the first that really convinced me to dive into using Processing. This depicts sound as a series of ripples emanating from the center of the display. Several example videos on the flight404 site show it being used as a VJ visualization. There have been many following projects, but this one really got me thinking about generative animation and the power of Classes. It’s relatively simple, too…so reading the code helps to inform new ideas.

Visualizing Smell

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The research presented by Leslie Vosshall et al regarding larval olfactory response (ie. smell) provides several challenges in visualizing an invisible sense. There does seem to be evidence that the larvae are drawn to the higher areas of concentration, but how to illustrate that pull?

The illustrations in the research’s published work depict greater concentrations of odor mapped to (more…)

Visualizing infographic

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Here’s a really interesting infographic. I can’t recall the source, but if someone points me to it I’ll credit them appropriately. I really appreciate how probability is immediately comparable via the relative sizes of the ellipses.

Update: Apparently it was published in the National Geographic in August 2006 based on data from the National Safety Council ( Thanks for the comment!

Visualizing: Sense of (small) scale

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Making initial experiments with scale. Used the USB microscope to take images at the two magnifications available (20x and 400x). I was really intrigued with the surface of the computer…both because it was readily available and because the metal is actually quite pitted rather than smooth. There is also a lot of “stuff” in and around the keyboard…I suppose that it’s not just a myth that computer keyboards are some of the dirtiest places around.

So, this sketch just aligns images of the speaker (more…)