December 16th, 2007

A star for your christmas tree

I am just packing my stuff and will be off to Bavaria over the holidays. A last visualization for this year, incidentally looking like christmas accessoires: A radial tree visualization of the MACE classification vocabulary.


-> full picture Built with flare.

And merry christmas all!

December 1st, 2007

The Language of Graphics

I read into Yuri Engelhardt’s dissertation “The Language of Graphics”, and I think it is a fantastic piece of work. As the title suggests, the thesis suggests a linguistically motivated approach to the analysis of graphics: based from a syntactical analysis of space, objects and their relations, Engelhardt classifies and exemplifies different types of syntactic structures in which graphical objects can be arranged in order to convey meaning. → read more

November 26th, 2007


I started a tumblelog, aggregating my bookmarks, twitter blurbs (not that many) and my FFFFOUND pictures.

(If you are not familiar with the notion of tumblelogs, wikipedia has a short article about them)

October 29th, 2007


Finally, a decent Flash framework for Information Visualization is available: Flare is an offspring of the Java-based prefuse toolkit, written in ActionScript 3. Especially notable is the good support for animated transitions, an important topic in interactive visualization. Flare is open source software licensed under the terms of the BSD license, and can be freely used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Thanks to Till for the tip!

September 28th, 2007

Best Masters Thesis

My thesis was awarded a price for the best Masters Thesis at our university. Although the competition was not that large, I am proud nevertheless. I should be pretty much unstoppable now :)

September 28th, 2007

Back from EC-TEL07

Another week, another conference :)


This time, it was the EC-TEL07 (European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning) in Crete. Elisa Dalla Vecchia and I presented the MACE project (slides, video 1, video 2) and besides, met a lot of nice people.

The conference itself was really well organized. The keynotes (Hermann Maurer and Bruce Sterling) were excellent and big picture, covering a wide range of digital lifestyle topics and wild ideas. Digital quacks & charlatans, why Google is not so non-evil after all, telepathy is trivial, flying cars. No kidding. Many of the session talks, on the other hand, were not that exciting at all. I have the feeling many people in this area first build a “framework for…” before actually trying out some ideas on real learners.

More info on the conference blog, wiki and the flickr stream.

Greetings to Martin Memmel from DFKI, who I met to talk about the ALOE project and Christian Glahn, who presented nice work on Smart Indicators for learner feedback, and Joris Klerkx, who is quite into information visualization. I am looking forward to future developments, guys!

And just for the record, here are my favorite insider nerd joke conference memes:

September 20th, 2007

FIND07 workshop

Much too late, but better than never: I attended the lovely FIND07 workshop in Regensburg, presenting my work on the Elastic Lists. In the beginning, I felt a bit weird at the conference, being the only designer in sight, but the workshop itself was pretty inspiring and maybe also fruitful for the future.

So special thanks and greetings to


You can find my slides here. The change blindness video was copied from here.

August 23rd, 2007


I just came across freebase again, and I have to say this thing looks really prospering. Freebase is sort of a metadata / semantic web wiki, structured around topics, types and domains. Essentially, it lets users add descriptions of entities, such as movies, persons, buildings and relate them to each other. The set of properties used, of course, depends on the type of an entity. The project reuses a lot of Wikipedia or other free information, but the interesting thing is the structured approach and, for developers, especially the really powerful API with a very interesting query language approach based on JSON. Mashup time! :)

To get started, browse freebase, e.g. about, say, architecture!

August 3rd, 2007

Happiness is…


On August 1st, a new earthling entered the scene. Sina and I are happy, tired, and –happy.

July 27th, 2007

In memoriam Sebi


We had to say goodbye to a great person.