Human beings aren’t very good at interpreting numbers. That’s the view of Jer Thorph speaking at Thinking Digital in Gateshead yesterday.
Thorph describes himself as a software artist, writer, and educator. He’s also a contributing editor for Wired UK.
His session described how data could be represented in a visual format. That’s the premise behind his Just Landed project.
The application scans Twitter for mentions of “I just landed” or “I just arrived” and using MetaCarta adds Longitude and Latitude data.
The Just Landed application uses these data point to plot the flights taken by Twitter users over the course of several hours.
By contextualising data in this way Thorp explained that it’s easy to understand the story behind data – in this case the flights that Twitter users are taking.
We Feel Fine takes a similar approach to plot instances of “I feel…” from social networks.
Thorph said that these same techniques could be used to predict the spread of a disease.