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Cartography Data Visualization Fun Maps Science of Maps Maps

Streams & Traces: Exhibiting a new kind of cartography

How do you bring the science of data visualization out of the research lab and into the public domain? Turn it into ‘art’ and put it on display in Berlin, 6 – 11 November, as the University of Applied Sciences at Potsdam (FHP) has by “mapping the ephemeral city.”

HERE believes that every map is an answer and to further help visualize cities, has been working in cooperation with FHP. Dr. Marian Dörk, research professor at FHP’s Institute for Urban Futures says, “The support from HERE is like a gift of discovery. It means we can freely explore visualization and maps, and expand our knowledge of what a map could be.”

The Streams & Traces exhibition will showcase several projects realized by the lab — a series of visualizations offering new perspectives “on the collective, personal, cultural, emotional and physical aspects of urban mobility.”

Dr. Dörk explains, “These are not your regular navigation maps or city plans, but representations based on contemporary data sets and sources.” The projects bring cities to life in unique, visually attractive ways though powerful analytics and in cutting edge graphics.

View the visualizations

In the words of the exhibition’s mission, “By tapping into literature, archives, and social media, it becomes possible to relate fictional narrative and public sentiment to the spatiality of cities and uncover other patterns of mobility. Places may accumulate meaning because of their role in the threads of fictional narrative, historical visions of the city, or current activities in social media.”

The meanings become palpable in the interactive projects on display including:

  • city flows: A Comparative Visualization of Urban Bike Mobility (powered by HERE data) – View three high-resolution screens to see the flows and pulse of bike sharing systems in New York City, Berlin and London to understand the similarities and differences.
  • Novel City Maps: The City as a Projection of Stories - In this literary visualization, see how places mentioned throughout a story become a graphic narrative.

novel

  • Shifted Maps: Revealing Networks in Personal Movement Data – Map yourself and where you go; what do the patterns mean?
  • Past Visions of the Future City: Exploration of drawings penned by Frederick William IV of Prussia - This visualization shows thematic and historical connections within the drawings of this king who left a collection of architectural and urban planning visions for Berlin and Potsdam.
  • Isoscope Two: Mapping the Dynamics of Mobility (Powered by HERE data): See how far you could travel from any given spot, depending on how much time you have.
  • Urban Emotions: Visualization of Urban Moods Based on Tweets – Have a look at the temperament in 76 of Germany’s largest cities.
  • Berta · Der kleene Musikkompass: A Music Scavenger Hunt Through Berlin – find the music of the place you are in at the time your are in it, but only while you are there…the new found level of access to music has reduced the perceived value of it, but this project brings it back.

Prototypes of select exhibits will be released in parallel, and while some business and practical use cases for these types of data visualizations are clear, many are untold. The exhibition is an important step towards what’s next and a hint of what will soon be in the hands of the user.

“We believe that visualizations can empower citizens to make sense of the invisible layers in their environment and participate in imagining the city of tomorrow.”

Exhibit information

Dr. Dörk says the designers, developers and artists will all be on hand at the show to discuss their work.

Opening: Thursday, 5th Nov, 7 -11 pm

Exhibition: 6th Nov - 11th Nov, 4 - 9 pm

Venue: Galerie erstererster, Pappelallee 69, Berlin

 

Validating visualization

The FHP team’s work has already been noted and acclaimed within the research community as well. One such project (apart from those on exhibit) “Probing Projections” — was presented by Dr. Dörk and his team at the 2015 IEEE Visualization Conference (VIS), the largest of its kind.

probing2

"The goal of Probing Projections is to increase trust in the visualization," he says. “The enthusiasm for data visualization and infographics can lower our critical capacity but we still have to question its truth and value.” Probing Projections will empower the user to quality test the data, its placement in the visual and more.

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