Colorpress / Data Portraits of Text

Colorpress is an online (link to be posted soon) and printed collection of grammatical portraits of various books, short stories, poems and other textual works.

These generative data portraits can be described as a pixelated representation of all the words in a book, color coded by various grammar rules. We also code occurrences of various characters and special phrases in each book.

We started out with the aim of creating a portraiture of an entire book to see what would it look like if each word was replaced by a pixel. The kinds of images that resulted looked like fingerprints of the original texts.

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first printed Colorpress book. This book was created using the Canvas API and RiTa.js.

Request a portrait in print here.

Download (PDF, 2.26MB)


Clara and Sagar

+ high-res version

Visualizing Follower Growth at Twitter

I worked with the Visual Insights team of Data Science and Analytics over at Twitter this year as a data visualization scientist. My work here largely involved analyzing and narrating large and interesting data sets (or colloquially ‘big data’) in an understandable manner to general audience visually.

I worked on two projects there –

World Cup Team followers

This was a project was shipped on the Twitter Interactive website. I made this because I was working at Twitter during the 2014 World Cup. This project involved doing research on what forms of visualization strategies work for large datasets which ended up being the choices that needed to be made. e.g. binning vs overlaying; saturation vs multiplicity etc. Follow the link to see the project –

VIT (Verified accounts) followers

This was a similar project to the one above but focused primarily on Verified users and their follower growth. I made an internal tool to help other teams work with this data both for online as well as print media.

Some of the images are obfuscated and taken out of context for privacy concerns.

Oakwood Beach Returns to the Wild

http://www.oakwoodbeachreturnstothewild.com/

At its peak, Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, spanned over 1,150 miles – roughly the driving distance between New York and Miami. As it began nearing the coastline, pouring down rain and rattling windows, schools closed, public transit shut down, and flood-zone residents evacuated their homes. The full force of the storm hit New York City on October 29, 2012, with winds gusting to 80 miles per hour.

Oakwood Beach, a low-lying hamlet on the south shore of Staten Island, was no match for the superstorm. By the time the winds and waters receded, leaving mud-filled homes in their wake, three residents were dead. Dozens more would be homeless for months.

During the year that followed, some residents chose to return and rebuild. But now, two years since the storm, the state is in the midst of implementing a buy-out program designed to convince all residents to leave their homes. Officials have closed on 276 buy-out sales in Oakwood Beach and two nearby towns, at a cost of $112 million; another 200 applications are pending.

In Oakwood Beach, once an oceanfront sanctuary for working class families, just a handful of stubborn holdouts remain. They live among empty lots and boarded windows; 47 neighborhood houses have already been demolished.

We visited Oakwood Beach around Sandy’s anniversary to talk to the remaining residents. They are surrounded: by nature, as animals and wetlands reclaim the land, and by government, as officials prepare for a world in which Oakwood Beach no longer exists. For now, the town sits in limbo.

Footage shot with DJI Phantom 2 and a GoPro Hero4 with a gimbal attachment.

Camouflage – a dystopic self portrait created from point cloud data

Surreal, Science, Fiction, Dystopia, Monotonicity, Multiplicity, Trigonometry, Machines, Authority, Trap, Illusion and Camouflage were all the words I had in mind before making this portrait. This is an abstract self-portrait about the same.

How it works?

Given any scene the background color is a cosine function of the pixel data of my photo feed in the x-direction while it follows the tangent curve in the y-direction. The blinking and other effects therefore follow when the tangent function approaches infinity(NaN). There is no post-processing involved in the video except cutting and arranging scenes in Premiere Pro.

Written in C++ using OpenFrameworks and Kinect. Sounds from freesound.org.

Space Exploration on NYTimes graphic. + high-res version

Abstract ‘Space Exploration’ visualization created with data from NYTimes.

I love space exploration and our universe. So I created this quick graphic which is an abstract portrait of all the articles in The New York Times about ‘space explorations’. I also love typography so the occurrence lines are translated over the glyphs of Helvetica.

Background Image: The Milky Way; courtesy: NASA.

Vehicle Collision over time vs Instantaneous Traffic speeds.

This was just a small visualization I was experimenting with to show two contrasting data-sets on the same screen. The blue lines show the traffic speeds information (at the instant of 9/21/14 9:07pm) captured by various traffic speed detectors installed by the New York City DOT. In contrast, the red dots show the vehicle collisions that have happened in NYC over the last two years (2012-2014).

Data Sources:

1. data.cityofnewyork.us/Transportation/Real-Time-Traffic-Speed-Data/xsat-x5sa
2. data.cityofnewyork.us/NYC-BigApps/NYPD-Motor-Vehicle-Collisions/h9gi-nx95

Walkthrough for fabricating a 2 input NAND gate using two BC547 NPN transistors.

Components

1 470 Ohm resistor.
2 1k resistors. (Alternatively 3 1k resistors).
2 BC547 transistors.

Simple schematic wired up in Eagle CAD.

NAND gate using BC547 NPN transistors

Here Pins 1 and 2 of the I/O header pins are Inputs and Pin 3 is the Output. I have used the Sparkfun Eagle libraries for my various components. Pin 4 is GND and 5 is Vcc.

Board Assembly

NAND gate board layout

NAND gate board layout

Post ratsnest and grounding.

Post ratsnest and grounding.

Etching

Sagar's EOS_20140917_19_03_52_Pro

Final Assembled Circuit

Sagar's EOS_20140917_22_47_29_Pro

Sagar's EOS_20140917_22_48_08_Pro

Sagar's EOS_20140917_22_52_30_Pro