April 27, 2010

parrot tracking final

Filed under: Animals,My Favorites,Telling Stories with Data/Sensors/Humans — Tags: , — *aly* @ 10:01 pm

For my final in Telling Stories with Humans, Sensors, and Data we were tasked with creating a project proposal including proposed data tracking device, made-up data and infographics (so, yes, we were supposed to actually make something, track it, then create an infographic, except that there was no more time left in the semester–scheduling not being nick’s particular strong suit). So, since this was a bit of a let-down, my co-conspirator (Emily) and I decided to do something fabulous and creative anyway.

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Sherlock Holmes in the Case of the Mysterious Mystery

Filed under: Giant Stories/ Tiny Screens — Tags: , , — *aly* @ 8:39 pm

For my Giant Stories/Tiny Screens final, I decided to revisit the mashup. My previous mashup combined a 1940s public service announcement with Night of the Living Dead–which worked very well because the juxtaposition of two opposing themes (giving money to the United Hospital Fund vs. zombies) is quite funny. So, for this project I decided to do something a little different– take a whole lot of the same thing, splice it together to see if it makes sense (or becomes funny when the formulaic elements are obvious). I took six episodes of the 1954 television version of Sherlock Homes and mashed them all together into one bewildering episode.

Sherlock Holmes in the Case of the Mysterious Mystery from Aly Wolff-Mills on Vimeo.

April 2, 2010

FM Radio Stations’ Service in the Contiguous United States

This assignment started with a map/processing sketch created by Nick and his fellow NYT R&D lab chum, Mike. It starts with an image of a map and then plots latitude and longitude points over top. Our assignment was to do something with this and a different data set.

So, the title of my version says it all… Except, of course, it doesn’t touch on the saga of how I got to this final version. I started out with a giant dataset from the FCC that includes the latitude and longitude for all the FM radio towers in the US and then includes 360 pairs of coordinates for the service contours for each station. (Basically, the coordinates draw a circle around each broadcast point.) This file was about 300mb+ in size. So, I decided the best thing to do would be to write a processing sketch to parse the data and just pull out the info I needed. I limited the contour to just the station lat/long and the lat/long of the N contour. (since the map of the US I am using is so small, it really made no sense to go for the contour–where a circle would work as well.) So, I did that and got a nice tidy smaller data set and created a map. And while I was working on the sketch, I just used the first 1000 lines of data– which made a really lovely map. Then, of course, when I tried to use the full dataset, it was a mess. 30,000 lines of data does not look pretty all at once.
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