Trial and Error: Dataviz

For my second experiment I went for something a bit more simple (for me at least) and comprehensible.

This sketch is an expression of the idea that if you can see a picture as data (which I like to do), you can see data as a picture  as well. There is a really large branch of designers that handles with this kind of stuff. It is called data visualization and a quick search leads you to thousands of pretty images on websites like these.

Mine is a bit more humble. I took my last 1000 tweets and converted each tweet into a vertical line by converting each character into a pixel. Each shade of gray corresponds to a different character.

Most data visualizations are made to show a certain pattern in the data, to make the data readable. I just made one wondering what my tweets would look like in this format. I did notice some nice patterns though. For example, in the image blow, you can see some horizontal lines at the bottom. This means character are repeating in several tweets. These are conversations with people. Because in a twitter conversation, every sentence starts with the same set of characters.

There is an area somewhere, between data visualization and photography, where both blend into each other. I think my slitscan experiment is in there somewhere because it tricks the eye into trying to interpret data as if it were figurative. This experiment right here is a bit more straightforward. I am curious to see where my next one will fit in.