Visualizing Collaboration

Ofer showed me a interactive visualization of the collaboration around a Wikipedia article. The visualization shows the edits (deletions/insertions) over time in different ways. It allows one to study distributed collaborations (or lack thereof) around things like a Wikipedia article. The ideas can be applied to visualizing any collaboration for which you have data (as often happens when the collaboration happens through digital tools that record activity.)

His hypothesis is that theories about how site-specific teams collaboration don’t apply to distributed teams. Office teams have been studied, but there isn’t a lot of research on how voluntary and distributed teams work.

Sample on Randomness

Mark Sample has posted his gem of a MLA paper on An Account of Randomness in Literary Computing. I wish I could write papers quite so clear and evocative. He combines interesting historical examples to a question that crosses all sorts of disciplines – that of randomness. He shows how the importance of randomness connects to poetic experiments in computing.

I would recommend reading the article immediately, but I discovered, as with many good works, I ended up spending a lot of time following up the links and reading stuff on sites like the MIT 150 Exhibition which has a section on Analog/Digital MIT with online exhibits on subjects like the MIT Project Athena and the TX-0. Instead I will warn – beware of reading interesting things!

The Old Bailey Datawarehousing Interface

The latest version of our Old Bailey Datawarehousing Interface is up. This was the Digging Into Data project that got TAPoR, Zotero and Old Bailey working together. One of the things we built was an advanced visualization environment for the Old Bailey. This was programmed by John Simpson following ideas from Joerg Sanders. Milena Radzikowska did the interface design work and I wrote emails.

One feature we have added is the broaDHcast widget that allows projects like Criminal Intent to share announcements. This was inspired partly by the issues of keeping distributed projects like TAPoR, Zotero and Old Bailey informed.

Perlin: Interactive Map of Pride and Prejudice

As I mentioned in my post on the GRAND conference, Ken Perlin showed a number of interesting Java apps that illustrated visual ideas. One was a Interactive Map of Pride and Prejudice. This interactive map is a rich prospect of the whole text which you can move around to see particular parts. You can search for words (or strings) and see where they appear in the text. You can select some text and it searches. The interface is simple and intuitive. You can see how Perlin talks about it in his blog. I also recommend you look at his other experiments.

Modkit – Software

Garry send me a link to a very cool project which has developed a visual programming language for the Arduino called Modkit. Watch the screencast to get the idea.

I’ve seen a number of visual programming environments and this one reminds me of the old programming environment for Lego Mindstorms. What is new is that it runs off the web the way Design By Numbers does.

Whether it actually makes programming the Arduino easier or, as is often the case with visual programming, turns out to be slower and still as complicated, remains to be seen. It has a nice code view so you can switch to writing code if you get irritated with clicking around for stuff.

Could we build a visual programming language like this for text analysis?