Immersive Video for All

surround-360-insideYou wouldn’t happen to be in the market for a video camera that films in 360-degrees and produces video that can be viewed in VR headsets and on any number of other screens you might have handy? You are? Well, good news. At the F8 conference for Facebook developers, the company announced the Surround360. Wired Magazine describes it:

Built from off-the-shelf hardware worth roughly $30,000, this black circular camera—with its 17 evenly spaced lenses—looks kinda like the flying droid that descends onto the ice planet at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back (though it lacks those insect-like dangly legs). Drawing images from all 17 of those lenses, it produces 360-degree spherical video

$30,000 a bit out of reach? No worries. The company is giving away both the hardware designs and the software. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks at the Surround360 as a tool for community building noting, “the best way to advance the technology is to work on it as a community.”

Facebook plans to share the plans for the technology this summer on GitHub.

Read more at Wired Magazine

 

Making Public Data Accessible

We’re living in an age of open data. Every day, new swaths of information are made available to us in any number of ways from crime statistics to marriage rates. And while it’s important that this information is available, what does it really mean for the public? If the available data then requires a trained eye to decipher and then tell the stories behind the numbers, is that data really public? It’s available, yes, but available and accessible are wildly different things.

Enter DataUSA.

DataUSA, a project housed at the M.I.T. Media Lab, is providing the public with comprehensive state data and accompanying visualizations on an open-source platform:

Cesar A. Hidalgo, an assistant professor of media arts and sciences at the M.I.T. Media Lab who led the development of Data USA, said the website was devised to “transform data into stories.”

Continuing reading at New York Times

 

Introduction to IBM Watson

On April 13-14, we are pleased to welcome IBM Watson Group Academic Engagement Specialist Armen Pischdotchian for a a two-day demonstration/workshop on the IBM Watson cognitive technologies. Using natural language processing and machine learning to provide insights into large amounts of data, the Watson technologies are finding a home in a number of diverse fields, from medicine to retail. This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the Watson technologies and show you can bring them into your own work. The event is free, although space is limited.

Workshop registration

Dear Data Gets Animated

Our lives are made up of a series of moments. Some big, some small, but it is the moments that can change us, the moments that can excite us. With that idea in mind, designers Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec created the year-long data visualization project, Dear Data. Visualizing the small moments from the number of distractions to the amount of swearing in a week, the two found ways to connect these moments into a larger understanding about themselves, their surrounds, and their relationships. In this animation from Big Bang Data, the designers discuss their project.

Continue reading “Dear Data Gets Animated”

MS Data Visualization Lecture, featuring Lev Manovich

Teacher, author, and media critic Lev Manovich comes to The New School on Wednesday, March 30 as part of the Data Visualization Masters program’s lecture series. Dr. Manovich will be discussing his Software Studies Initiative and the projects launched from it. He will also present his most recent project, an analysis of images shared on Twitter between 2011 and 2014.

More information can be found on The New School’s event page.

Data Journalism Strategies

Journalism has always relied on data, perhaps in different ways than we are currently seeing, but data has always served the strengthen the practice. As new technology emerges to make data journalism both more accessible and stronger, the question then becomes how do newsrooms bring those methods into their reporting? A new paper released by The American Press Institute outlines strategies for news organizations to incorporate  data-driven journalism techniques into their work.  —AJ Continue reading “Data Journalism Strategies”

A Method to the Madness of Project Management: Visualization Driven Rapid Prototyping

The Visualization Driven Rapid Prototyping (VDRP) method is a project management process that enhances collaboration, engineering, and design through the rapid development of exploratory visual models. Continue reading “A Method to the Madness of Project Management: Visualization Driven Rapid Prototyping”