The Information Architecture Institute
A conference on designing
complex information spaces of all kinds.
New York City, October 4 and 5, 2007

Archive for data

Cheeseburger in Paradise.

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A fun read for you Info Architects:



-Kate Peterson

PS: Isn’t it funny that I can choose uncategorized and various other categories to categorize my post? Can anyone explain the ”meta” category to me? I thought meta was an html tag for search engines??? 


Audio and some slides

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We have audio from every talk, and slides from many of them, free for download. Enjoy!

Day 1

Peter Merholz’ Introduction. Slides (PDF), MP3

Linda Stone. No slides, MP3. Questions and answers MP3.

David Guiney, Designing Across Multiple Media for the National Park Service. Slides to come, MP3
David Guiney, Addressing the Challenges of Designing for the National Park Service. Slides to come, MP3.

Dave Cronin, Art for the public: supporting a visitor-directed museum experience. Slides, MP3.

Jake Barton, Interaction Design in a Physical Space. Slides (PDF), MP3. Jake also showed a few movies during his talk: Building Timelapse movie. Jetblue booth movie. Timescapes sample chapter movie.

Ian White, The Design of Data. Slides (PDF), MP3.

Ali Sant, TRACE: Mapping the Emerging Urban Landscape. Slides to come, Part 1 MP3, Part 2 MP3.

Day 2

Stamen Design, Project Work. Slides with no movies (7.37 MB PPT), Slides with movies (164.78MB ZIP), MP3.
Fernanda Viegas, Democratizing Visualization. Slides (PPT), MP3.
Stamen and Fernanda Question and Answer. MP3.

Dan Hill, The New Media. Slides (PDF), MP3.

Next-Generation Libraries panel:

  • Deborah Jacobs, No slides, MP3
  • Ed Vielmetti, No slides, MP3
  • Paul Gould, Slides (PPT), MP3
  • Question and Answer. MP3

Robert Kalin, O Advantageous Interfaces! Slides (on Rob’s site), MP3.

Bruce Sterling, Closing Keynote. No slides. MP3.

Comments (8)

Visualization: Fernanda Viegas from IBM

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Post HistoryFernanda Viegas began by putting visualization in context: something I was thrilled to hear. She explained that visualization is often seen as an expert to expert interaction: lab coated data-junkies making complex data visualizations for other similarly addicted minds. Her goal, or at least the goals of some of her projects, is to humanize visualization and use it as a tool to help people understand the data in their lives. Rock on.

First up was PostHistory, a tool for e-mail users to see their e-mail usage in a new way. She discovered that, despite her efforts to protect privacy, people were thrilled to share what they saw and learned with each other (seeding her above stated goals for visualization).

Next up was a walkthrough of Martin Wattenberg’s NameVoyager, of Internet fame (I’d seen this a dozen times, but so impressed by its consumer styled appeal that I didn’t associate it with “data visualization”) exploring some of the questions raised by the emerging community around the data (takeaway: you’re doing something right when you get normal people to voluntarily spend their free time playing with data).

She ended the talk showing some of the new work she’s doing at IBM, soon to be up and running at The Visual Communication lab website. Of particular note were new ways to help communities form around data, including ways to thumbnail, reference and bookmark particular views, making it easier to share the particular customized visualizations people find when exploring on their own.

-Scott Berkun


The visualization confab: Stamen design

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Michal and Eric kicked off what should be dubbed “the morning of visualization” with a series of interesting visualizations from their work at Stamen - These guys have a huge advantage, presentation-wise, as all there stuff makes for instant demos. They started with, which was philosophically similiar to the Local projects work, that aimed to bring people together. It was easy to see in works like this how putting things in a visual context, one as colorful and inviting as the one they designed, changes the nature of dialog and radically simplifies complex data. The isolated feel connected, and the connected can see the impact of the work they’re doing.

They followed up with demos of their work on San Francisco cabs called cabspotter, mappr (a flickr based visualization), and digg labs. Cabspotter (pictured above) reminded me of a spartan koyaanisqatsi, converting time into images and making technology seem organic. (Although Not sure how to use this if I’m waiting for a cab, other than to distract me from the wait?)

The last project they showed was from digg labs - a visualization of how news items get noticed, shared and publicized in the openly democratic digg system. While certainly fascinating to watch, I couldn’t help but ask what questions this sort of data would help answer: I suspect these visualizations mean signifigantly more to the community of digg reporters, than outsiders like me. Not that I didn’t want to watch this for hours anyway. I left these demos thinking of them more as models, rather than as applications: what other kinds of data sets can you plug into these visualiations, and what new meanings would you find? I don’t know, but I sure am curious.

Scott Berkun


Ian White - “Design of Data”

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As a commodity, data serves as glue, binding people with experiences, hardware with software and theory with practice. It holds little value on its own, but through a marriage with context, data can be transformed into nonfungible, compelling and actionable information. Through examples of geospatial data and across industry, this talk will address how a context of use informs that which we seek to understand.


Ian White, Urban Mapper

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I first heard about Ian White because of his Panamaps, city maps that contained layered information visible as you tilt the map.

I had the fortune of meeting him a couple months ago, and he totally geeked out about the design of data for mapping systems. He’s clearly frustrated by Standard Operating Procedures for geospatial data, and is passionate about how the design of *data* leads to better designed experiences. He’s even built a business around it.
The Design of Data is what he’ll be talking about at IDEA. Ian is the latest speaker to be added to the program. He and Ali will make a GIS tag-team!