May 29th, 2015

eyeo community visualizations


The eyeo festival and the community around it has a very special place in my heart. When Dave Schroeder announced the team was editing a book to celebrate the fifth anniversary, my immediate thought was to use this opportunity to follow up on an old idea, which I had been kicking around for a while (also with a few friends) — mapping the community around this arts-tech-creative-code-datavis thing.

What are the different niches in the community? Who is bridging the clusters? How do places, institutions, shape these communities, how do people influence each other over time? End of the day, I’d really like to have this big map of how the last 20 years went down in the field.

So, I took the chance and asked each eyeo contributor (speaker, panelist, lecturer…) from the past five years to name their most important connections in three categories:


resulting in the eyeo scenegraph network visualization:


This map is much less about the big topology and importance of individual nodes, but much more about all the individual connections and anecdotes. You really need to take some time to study all the links and references.

Most interesting to me — the list of people who were mentioned by at least two others, but never spoke themselves at the festival (or, at least, din’t answer the survey): Nicole Aptekar, Mike Migurski, Laszlo Barabasi, Maria Popova, Steve Reich, John Cage, Aurelia Moser, Alexander Galloway, Daito Manabe (spoke in 2013), Jesper Kouthoofd, Michael Naimark, Sep Kamvar, John Maeda.

The workflow for this one was quite complex – a python script to collect the data (took days, as the new twitter API allows only very limited access), layout calculations in gephi, svg export for manual tweaks in Illustrator.

But, it left me (and Golan Levin, who dropped by at my house one day :D) a bit unsatisfied: where are all the other people… Just focussing on the people on stage seemed inadequate for eyeo, where the visitors are sometimes more interesting than the speakers :D

Luckily, the eyeo team collected twitter handles from attendees! So I went on and created the eyeo crowdcloud:


A network map, showing 852 twitter accounts related to the eyeo festival. The network layout was calculated using gephi and brings more strongly connected accounts closer together. The size of the account labels corresponds to the number of followers in this network. Each line drawn is a followership relation. It is colored according to the followers color which is assigned based on the angular position on the map. As a result, accounts with followers from many different regions of the map look more colorful.

This one is much more dense and interesting from a “landscape” point of view — the different sub communities are represented quite well on different areas in the map, with colorful connectors in the center :)

Obvious “see also”: The resonet visualization I did for resonate.

And, here’s the best part — the visuals actually made it to the book — as cover and chapter visuals!


I am super grateful to Dave Schroeder and the team for this huge honor, and enabling me to give back to a festival that has been so important for me!

Now, my only drop of bitterness is that I’ll miss the festival next week… but there’s only so-and-so much travel I (and the family) can enjoy. I’ll be following on twitter! ;)

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July 31st, 2012


A true mamooth project has finally launched: emoto.

Together with a huge team around Drew Hemment and Studio NAND, and a partnership with MIT Senseable City Lab, we aim at visualising the online reponse to the Olympic Games for the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad in the Northwest.

Basically, the idea is to track Twitter messages for content (which topics, disciplines, athletes etc they refer) to and emotional tone (are they cheering, swearing, being indifferent) and make that info available real-time on, as a supplement or even alternative to traditional ways of consuming the Games coverage.

Our goal is to reveal both the big picture as well as the little anecdotes that make up the big, big stream of messages.

After the games, we will turn the collected tweets into an actual physical object, to archive these ephemeral little “things flying by” forever.

And during the games, we are posting insights and in-depth analyses (here is a first post on the Opening Ceremony), so there is also a little data journalistic angle to the whole package.

I have to say, this is probably one of the most ambitious projects I have worked on this far, and despite some small rocks encountered along the way, I am really happy how it turned out.. I hope you like it, too!

July 25th, 2011


A new diversion of mine: mapping twitter accounts related to information visualization with gephi:

 click for zoomable version

This map shows 1645 twitter accounts related to the topic of information visualization. The accounts were determined as follows: For a subjective selection of “seed accounts”[1], the twitter API was queried for followers and friends. In order to be included into the map, a user account needed to have at least 5 links (i.e. follow or being followed) to one of these accounts. The size of the network nodes indicates the number of followers within this network.

[1] The seed accounts were; @moritz_stefaner, @datavis, @infosthetics, @wiederkehr, @FILWD,
@janwillemtulp, @visualisingdata, @jcukier, @mccandelish, @flowingdata, @mslima, @blprnt,
@pitchinteractiv, @bestiario140, @eagereyes, @feltron, @stamen, @thewhyaxis

April 16th, 2010

revisit: real time twitter visualization

Just a quick post to let you know that I put a new project online: revisit – a real–time visualization of the last few hundred tweets around a topic. In contrast to the usual twitter walls, it try to capture some of the temporal dynamics as well as the conversational aspects of twitter. Scroll down for customization options!
Hope you like it – it will be at display at the see conference tomorrow, but for those of you who are not there, here is the live version so you can see what you are missing :)

May 6th, 2007

Hourly shots + delicious + twitter = fun


I am having fun here with a little custom made Flash app that reads
• hourly shots from my built-in webcam
• my twitter posts
• and my delicious bookmarks

and puts it all together. Bit messy at the moment, but I am working on it.

Bigger picture here.