News visualizations

A couple of really nice, back to back posts on visualizing the news from Visualcomplexity.com.

The first is a visualization by Dave Bowker of a week of news from the Guardian newspaper. Dave attempts to connect the dots between sets of articles.

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The second is a little harder to get into, since the content is in German, which I don’t speak or read, but this is a whole set of news visualizations presented as a newspaper by Stefan Brautigam.

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The Greenbelt

Many cities in the UK are surrounded by acres of protected land that form Greenbelts. They are what makes my house feel almost like it’s in the countryside, although it’s actually only 15 miles as the crow flies from the bustle of Trafalgar Square.

Greenbelts are the result of policies created in the 1930s to help combat urban sprawl. I believe in them strongly. They make rural experiences so much more accessible to urban dwellers. They help protect countryside that might otherwise go under tarmac, and that in a lot of ways is quintessentially English.

This is the first map I’ve seen that shows how green and belt-like the Greenbelts are.

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LONDON /moleskinecity.com » The End of the Green Belt?

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Microsoft: Touchscreens Old and Busted; Force Sensitivity Is New Hotness

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Great bit of coverage on Gizmodo for some force-sensing work coming out of our team in Cambridge.

Microsoft: Touchscreens Old and Busted; Force Sensitivity Is New Hotness
“Researchers have come up with a prototype of their force-sensing tech that’ll let you apply different kinds of force to a device, like twisting or bending, to do stuff like flip through document pages or swing through applications.”

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Wiley & Terrell

My sister-in-law’s husband Josh has a new website up for his law firm, Wiley & Terrell, based in Springfield, Missouri. He’s the Terrell half. They cover personal injury and auto accidents. Definitely check it out if you have the need. He’s a very honest guy.

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Practicing with faces

For a while I got into the habit of doing really quick portrait sketches in my diary, just before I went to bed. I’d rip out photos of faces from magazines, tuck them into the back of my Moleskine, then pull one out, rather randomly, at night when I was tucked up in bed to quickly sketch. It was a great way to practice sketching, and it taught me a lot about the structure of people’s faces.

I love this idea of using a yearbook for a similar task. The downside for me would be that all the head shots were from a similar angle, so you get less of a sense of the structure of the face. But it’s still a great idea, particularly for getting the sense of the differences between peoples facial characteristics, and for creating caricatures, as RobotJohnny has done.

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