Monday, February 16, 2009

Infosthetics Paper-Based Visualization Competition

Me and Sébastien Pierre from datalicious built this paper visualization for the Infosthetics Paper-Based Visualization Competition. We didn't win but it was still cool to do the project. Datalicious is a software company that specializes in creating visualization tools to unlock the value of large data sets. Here is our description for our entry:

"The Canadian Federal Departments Travel Expenses visualization represents each department's expenditures as a vertical bar. The deviation from the guidelines is represented as a green or red tip. Each department is laid on a grid in order of ascending size and ascending deviation from guidelines.

This visualization uses paper as a support for aggregating different layers of information into one single visualization. Each edge of the square represents a different aspect of
the dataset. By changing his perspective, the viewer can actually change his perspective on the data.

We believe that interactivity is essential to understanding data. The use of paper allowed us to "invert" interactivity. While we have to simulate interactivity in computer programs, the use of paper allows a natural interaction, as one can touch, turn around, study and eventually appropriate the data. Ironically, the inert paper becomes more interactive than a complex computer visualization.

You can visit the contest here