Making Visible the Invisible: The City as a Data Exchange Center

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Symposium:


Presentation Title:

  • Making Visible the Invisible: The City as a Data Exchange Center

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Abstract:

  • George Legrady will discuss the conceptual and technical realization of a data visualization project Making Visible the Invisible, commissioned by the Seattle Public Lilbrary.

    The installation consists of animated visualizations on 6 plasma screens located on a glass wall horizontally behind the librarians’ main information desk in the Mixing Chamber. The screens feature visualization generated by custom designed statistical and algorithmic software that map the flow of data received from the library’s Information Technology center. The project focuses on data flow and the library as a data exchange center where the circulation of books can be made visible and expressed statistically.

    Abstract

    Making Visible the Invisible is a permanent commissioned artwork for the Rem Koolhaas designed Seattle Public Library. The project consists in the visualization of the hourly circulation of books leaving and returned to the library for the next ten years. The visualizations are featured on 6 large LCD panels located on a glass wall horizontally behind the librarians’ main information desk in the Mixing Chamber, a large open 19,500 sq ft space dedicated to information retrieval and public accessible computer research.

    Real-time animations are generated in the open source GameX platform and custom database software using data received from the library’s Information Technology center. The 4 visualizations include “Vital Statistics” which provides circulation statistical data, “Floating Titles” condenses the hourly checked-out items into a linear stream of titles floating by, “Dewey Dot Matrix Rain” separates Dewey classified items from others into falling or flashing actions, and “Keyword Map Attack” color codes and spatially maps keywords associated with the circulating items.