Earlier this morning, I returned from a four-day spin through Tokyo, my second visit there, to speak at Web Directions East. This trip was wholly unexpected, as I was pinch-hitting for Jeff Veen who had to cancel at the last minute and suggested me as a replacement. Fortunately it was possible to book a last-minute flight, take over a hotel reservation, and write an hour-long keynote talk in just a few days. It was an surprise honor to even be asked, and the experience was smooth sailing all the way, including the miniature hotel room.
I'm not going to post exact talk notes, but I outlined a general overview of data visualization and then focused on a range of Stamen's projects from the past four years and how they illustrate some deeper trends. Elements of this should be familiar to anyone who's heard me, Eric, Shawn or Tom speak before:
- Mark Newman's 2004 election cartograms. I learned from Karl that they'd been freshly updated to reflect last week's results.
- Examples of flow-management including 538 and John Allspaw's Flickr capacity-planning ideas.
- Our 2004 MoveOn Virtual Town Hall application, for the first time in what seemed like years. It would be amazing to revisit this project again somehow, possibly in a non-political context.
- Digg Labs, in the context of "liveness", from our Live/Vast/Deep iron triangle of visualization.
- Trulia Hindsight and Snapshot, as examples of "vastness".
- The hot, fresh, new SFMOMA ArtScope as an example of "deepness". This also served as a nice digression about map tiles, something I've been thinking and talking about a bunch.
- Oakland Crimespotting to round out some ideas about stable linking and data on the web. I also heavily name-checked Tom Coates's Native To A Web Of Data and Matt Biddulph's Designing Data For Reuse here.
A few people asked after the source of a particular background photo from my slides - it was an image of the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum's city model, possibly gaffled from blog.360dgrs.nl.
In addition to meeting the other speakers and organizers, John, Oli, Andy, Jeremy, Eric, Dan, and Doug, I also had a chance to take an excellent nighttime Tokyo bicycle and beer ride with Craig and Verena that made me wish SF and Oakland maintained the pavements a bit more effectively. I now desperately want to add a third bike to my collection, a mama charion granny bike.
Mike, good to catch up if only briefly. http://www.flickr.com/photos/karitsu/3013137103/
Wow, that Virtual Town Hall is awesome. Stamen should be advising change.gov right now.
Mike, thanks so much for stepping up to the plate (did I get the metaphor right ;-) at such short notice, and for such a wonderful closing keynote! john
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