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Amphibian organilectric
2008-05-23 11:16:21 - by Nicolas Malevé

On theweblog of Yolande Harris, you will find the details of her project Satellite Sounders, which «maps» satellites positions into audio.

Here is a note she wrote to explain her ideas on mapping

by "mapping" i refer to decisions of how to transform data into sound

this is a relatively simple example:
GPS data is limited in its ranges and frequency of change
the sound is limited by the computing power of the small device

i need identify the prominent characteristics of movement and change in the data and map this to suitable changes in audio. but to do this I need to have an idea of the density of the soundfield I will make, how perceivable changes in data will be, how the characteristics of movement will be traceable in the final sound.

the data has specific numerical ranges and limits. the sound is only limited by human hearing range and distortion of the audio signal. so choices have to be made at the specific level of numerical transformations into audio processes and the final audible result will be particular to those choices.

the sonification of data implies an obligation to choose sounds, and engage in the sonic as composition and as a field of emotive potential to the listener, basically pure sound overlayed or underlayed with patterns of meaning that may or may not be apparent in the audible experience.

Information design patterns
2008-05-16 14:13:00 - by Nicolas Malevé

PNG - 35.5 kb
Sankey diagram


A website that parallels a thesis titled The Form of Facts and Figures from Christian Behrer at the University of Postdam. It contains "a collection of 55 design patterns that describe the functional aspect of graphic components for the display , behaviour and user interaction of complex infographics ".

For each of these patterns, there is a description, a layout example and a real world example.
It is a bit unfortunate that this interesting and carefully designed information is embedded in a flash application, but reading from the homepage of the website, this will maybe change in a near future.