Research and Development for ‘WORK’

To begin with, I didn’t really have a great idea for the topic of Work. I was interested in documenting the work day, and the times that people work at, but I didn’t really have a concrete idea to go forward with. So I did some research into data visualisation. Here is a link to some great data vis examples:

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/

These are my favourites from that page:

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/billion-dollar-o-gram-2013/

This one visualises various sources of money in the world, and compares them against others.

1276_relationtips-3

This one shows the most commonly used phrases in relationship help guides.

I like these images because they make the data look interesting. The data becomes a work of art, and is something interesting to look at rather than a set of numbers and figures.

Another interesting use of data is this music video from Radiohead, for their song House of Cards. The video was created by using lasers to collect 3D data, and combine it to create a 3D visualisation of vocalist Thom Yorke and various street scenes:

I then came across this artist

http://www.aaronkoblin.com/work/flightpatterns/, who did work specifically to do with global flight patterns, and created some beautiful looking images from data that people take for granted everyday. These visualisations show the world in a different light, and allow for close inspection of just how busy the world is. He also created this video, which uses the element of time, and shows how different parts of the US ‘wakes up’ at different times:

I decided that this was something I wanted to try and capture in my own way. I began searching for ways to collect data on flights and came across this site:

http://www.flightradar24.com/52.41,-1.5/7

This is one of many flight tracking software available on the internet (or as an app), which allows real-time flight tracking across the globe. This information was useful, but it also gave a list of the times that flights were departing and arriving at certain airports across the globe. I decided to use this information to create my own data visualisation, concentrating on the times that people travel to work, typically 6-9 in the morning. I began creating my own data visualisation template in photoshop, by adding the worlds largest airports onto a map of the world, with my idea being that I could create animated .gifs to symbolise the air traffic. I initially created this image:

flight

However I found this image to be clunky and amateur, and I had difficulty finding a way to make my idea unique from that of other flight data-vis that I had seen, such as these created by the BBC:

This one of the national telephone network:

And this one of shipping across the english channel:

So i began searching for other ways of creating interesting data-visualisations using software found on the internet. I came across a website called RAW, which specialised in simple-to-create data visualistions. I used their data interpretation software to create data visualisations that I could control and label, all by inputting a simple excel spreadsheet I created using the data collected from FlightRader. I input flight data from 6am to 9am from various airports in the world, some large and some small, to create an interesting comparison.

My images can be found in this post here: https://stevehirdphotography.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/work-final-images/

Overall I am very happy with my completed images. I believe I have done well in gathering research, information and data to create a unique set of images that complement each other. To improve it, I would maybe add more labels to each image, although i do like how the images are pieces of artwork in their own right, as I believe labels would draw the artistic nature of the images away.

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