Features > Cross-Industries
‘Data Art’, Telling the Story of Our Simple Daily Lives! (Part 1)

In actuality, all this data that exists does not mean all that much. It is all just lists of numbers and figures. However, when you look at this data as a record of our lives, the story changes. When the relationship between all this data is structuralized and visualized, it changes into information that represents the actions and perceptions of people. Today let’s take a look at the ‘data visualization’ that gives us this insight.

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’Data Art’ Drawn with Data from the World

The Story in the Data, Where Numbers Have Meaning!

Data visualization is the process of expressing data in a way that is easier to understand than data analysis results. The relationships among data are shown in diagrams to make the data more precise and effective. Sometimes data shown in one diagram can be more abundant than many articles with lots of data. In this way, visualization is an important tool in understanding data.

An increase of data in geometric progression requires analysis for drawing useful information out of data. It is also important to express the results of analysis so that is can be understood. So, data visualization is even more important to increase the amount of data.

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In today’s society that is overflowing with information, companies are trying to find different ways to express the results calculated by data scientists. So, a trend has started that companies are hiring data artists to handle this overflow of data.

The Frame for Understanding Data, Data Visualization!

Ideas related to data visualization are concepts such as ‘information visualization’, ‘scientific visualization’ and ‘information graphics’. These ideas are described below.

  • Idea Related to Data Visualization 

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We will now take a closer look at these concepts related to data visualization and see what implications they have beyond just numbers.

  • The Passage of Time at a Glance
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Visualization of GPS Information (Source: Aaron Parecki’s Website) (Left),
24 Hours of Flight Data(Source: Aaron Koblin’s YouTube)(Right)

Parecki is the tracking of one’s life in one city over at least 3 years. Using the time information related to the data, it is possible to easily determine when someone leaves for work each day. This data allows us to see the relationships among otherwise insignificant bits of information.

The image at the top right is the visualization of data that shows information such as the flight paths of planes over the continental US, population densities the beginning and end of a day. Taking into consideration that there are over 200,000 planes in flight each day, this represents the data visualization of flight patterns. This can also be called a work of art of modern flight.

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See Something or Say Something(Source: Eric Fischer’s Flickr)(Left),

In the image to the left, the blue dots represent the locations of Twitter messages sent, the red dots represent the location of pictures taken on Flickr and the white dots represent the location where both applications were used. Using this data, we can easily see where people are using Twitter and taking pictures.

The picture to the right is a visualization of the entire historical event in geographic recorded in Wikipedia. From this picture we can get a general understanding all events from 499 B.C. to the current day.

  • Visualization of Complex Data
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The Middle East (Source: informationisbeautiful)

This image is a visualization showing the different points of concern of the major powers in the Middle East.  The data makes the information easier to understand as it shows how relationships were formed between the different nations and groups.

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The Billion Dollar-o-Gram 2013(Source: informationisbeautiful)

This image is a data visualization that makes it possible to understand the comparison of amounts of money that would otherwise be difficult to estimate. Each color represents a type of expense such as donations, dispute settlements and earning. With this data we can understand the patterns and relationships among amounts of money that are spent carelessly.

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Marcos Weskamp’s Newsmap (Source: Newsmap)

The image above is Marcos Weskamp’s Newsmap. This visualization shows the number of articles and popularity of news by the changing size of the headlines. Each news topic is assigned a different color and the information can be understood at a simple glance.

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Nicholas Felton’s Personal Annual Report (Source: Feltron)

This data is a visualization of information on personal life expressed in a nice design. The visualization is filled with personal information and a report is produced. This is not only data on personal location but also records other data such as who you spend time with, what movies you see and what books you read.

We have now taken a look at various examples of how bits of information can be brought together and expressed in different ways. This type of information is fundamental in company’s profits in the era of big data. In part 2 of this series we will take a look at the current state of the data visualization market in Korea and globally.

Written by Jongho Choi, University Reporter for LG CNS

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  • Raj Nath

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwDZhlnr9ho

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