Person on stage presenting at EYEO 2014

Last week, I attended the EYEO festival for the first time. EYEO is unique in that it brings together experts from a wide variety of fields (e.g. computer science, engineering, data design, cartography, etc.) to showcase their work. There were a number of great presentations, and below are some of my favorites.

Sarah Williams: DigitalMatatus, Visualizing Informality

Sarah Williams is currently an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and the Director of the Civic Data Design Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys School of Architecture and Planning. The Civic Data Design Lab employs data visualization and mapping techniques to expose and communicate urban patterns and policy issues to broader audiences. In her presentation, Sarah talked about how her team worked with Kenyan Universities and Nairobis growing technology sector to collect data on Nairobis transit system which is mostly made up of None. As a Nairobi native, it was pretty awesome to hear how Sarah and her team used this information to develop mobile routing applications and design a new transit map for Nairobi that changed how both the residents and government navigate the system.


Nicholas Felton: Too Big to Fail

Nicholas Felton is famous for his personal annual reports that incorporate different dataviz techniques to reflect his work. The image below is from the Feltron 2012 Annual Report.


In his presentation, Felton described how he attempted to capture a year of his communication exchanges in 2013 including conversations, phone calls, physical mail, email, texts and chat messages. He also talked about the methodology, privacy issues and design challenges of working with this dataset. You can keep up with his work on his blog.


Tahir Hemphill: The Rap Research Lab

Tahir Hemphill is a multimedia artist working in the areas of interdisciplinary collaboration, thought and research. He manages the media arts education program for the Rap Research Lab-a place for teaching art, design, data analysis and data visualization to students from the Bronx using his project based curriculum which visualizes Hip Hop as a cultural indicator. During his presentation, Hemphill talked about his work in the semantic analysis of rap lyrics and how he used a robot to create visualizations by mapping the locations rappers mentioned in their music.


Micah Elizabeth Scott: Blinky lights for STEAM

Micah Elizabeth Scott talked about her experience working with both hardware and software. She has been doing unconventional things with technology for as long as she can remember and has built satellites, robots, virtual machines, graphics drivers, CPU emulators, networking stacks, USB controllers, reverse engineering tools, and pretty much everything in-between. In her presentation, Micah talked about her work in using LEDs to bridge the gap between technology and art, and the potential this new medium has as an open-ended educational tool. This year, her and her team at scanlime took a cloud to burning man on a forklift.


Jessica Hagy: Tiny Data

Jessica Hagy is an artist and writer best known for her Webby award-winning blog, Indexed. A fixture in the creative online space, her style of visual storytelling allows readers to draw their own conclusions and to actively participate in each narrative. She mixes data (both quantitative and qualitative) with humor, insight, and simple visuals to make even the most complex concepts immediately accessible and relevant. During her presentation, Jessica shared some of the humorous stories behind her visualizations.

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Taj Carson: Everyone deserves beautiful data

Taj gave a great ignite presentation on why everyone deserves beautiful data. She gave us some insight on how data visualization can be made accessible to people or organizations who dont have a lot of resources. We will post a link to her presentation when its available.


Northern spark festival

Northern Spark is an all-night arts festival that happens on the second Saturday in June each summer. Tens of thousands of people gather along the Minneapolis riverfront and throughout the city to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces and under bridges. I had a great time exploring the Minneapolis art scene, below are some of the installations.


The Clock is a major cinematic work by New Yorkbased artist Christian Marclay. The Clock samples thousands of excerpts from the history of film that indicate the passage of timefrom clock towers to wristwatches to buzzing alarm clocksthat the artist has edited together to unfold on the screen in real time as a 24-hour montage.

Bens Window, Artist: Ben Vautier



Below is a list of cool resources compiled from our time at EYEO:

Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children and adults can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world.

Duolingo is a free language-learning and crowdsourced text translation platform. The service is designed so that, as users progress through the lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.

Mapbox is an open source mapping platform for developers and designers.

Lynda is an online learning company that helps anyone learn software, design, and business skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. With a lynda.com subscription, members receive unlimited access to a vast library of high quality, current, and engaging video tutorials.

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