Team Falling Fish

posted Feb 14, 2011, 2:15 PM by D. Jason Wilkins   [ updated Feb 20, 2011, 2:12 PM by Jen Mankoff ]
Jason Wilkins, Emily So, Dan Lipson: For our data visualization, we chose to analyze a few sources of overfishing data. We started out by loading these data sources into Many Eyes, and using their visualization choices to explore the possibilities our data might hold. After creating a bunch of "prototypes," we printed out a couple of our favorites and showed them to some friends/colleagues. While most found the data interesting, it was agreed that our presentation could be more powerful and do a better job of telling the story of over-fishing: we wanted to make people see the issue in a new light and think twice about it after viewing our visualization.  We decided to move toward an animation, as several of the team members had experience animating with Flash.  We created our "Falling Fish" visualization, where fish fall from their respective, labeled oceans as the earth spins. Each fish represented 40 tonnes of a particular oceans catch. The fish pile up below the earth, struggling to breathe and eventually rotting and disappearing - our goal here was to remind people that species do go extinct - the fish we pull from the oceans never "go back" into them.  We shared this animation with several people in the CFA computer lab and MPD studio, with mixed results. Most really liked the idea and the idea of using Flash to tell a story, but thought we could have been a little clearer in the way we correlated the falling fish to our data set.  We heard things like "Wow that is so many fish" along with things like "That looks sort of cartoony - is that the best way to represent data?"
Overall we feel like we learned a lot, and that we really took a big step towards finding a unique and visually interesting way to present data. Our end goal was to capture our audience and make them want to know more about overfishing, and to that extent we were somewhat successful. A little more time to work out the animation kinks (colors, layers, etc) might allow us to really increase the power and influence of the visualization.

   

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Jen Mankoff,
Feb 14, 2011, 2:34 PM
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Jen Mankoff,
Feb 14, 2011, 2:34 PM
ą
Jen Mankoff,
Feb 14, 2011, 2:34 PM
ą
Jen Mankoff,
Feb 14, 2011, 2:34 PM
ą
Jen Mankoff,
Feb 14, 2011, 2:34 PM
ą
Jen Mankoff,
Feb 14, 2011, 2:34 PM
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