May 29, 2011

Just Cause death video

still from Just Cause 2 death movie

Here's a brief bit of data visualization goodness for you all. Jim Blackhurst works for the company that makes the video game Just Cause 2 and his job gives him access to tons of (anonymized) data about the game. He took the three-dimensional coordinates marking where in the game more than nine million players died, and (with some help from the Processing programming language) used the data to create a haunting video showing the locations of all the carnage. Here's the video on You Tube. And if you want all of the geeky details on how the video was made, Blackhurst explains the whole process.

Thanks to Infovore for the tip.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2011

Creating TRON:LEGACY's computer displays

Image from TRON: Legacy

If you're making a move that takes place entirely inside of a computer, the computer displays better kick all kinds of ass. For TRON: Legacy digital designer Joshua Nimoy got the call to come up with everything from hacker computer screens to world maps to 3-D virtual hearts.

Nimoy's written a great blog post detailing some of the techniques he used. Among other things he recorded himself using emacs, and built software tools that would let the movie's visual artists generate custom shaped fireworks.

DISCLOSURE: I work at the Walt Disney Company, the company that made TRON:Legacy (but I work in the division that does internet stuff and games, not the part that does movies or videos).

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2011

Infographic of infographics

excerpt of Ivan Cash's infographic of infographics

OK, I'll admit it. I'm liberal enough, environmentally-conscious enough, upper middle class enough, white enough, and style-conscious enough to be a fan of Good Magazine and their accompanying website. And because of that, their trademark infographics have become a part of my visual vanacular over the past couple of years.

Turns out I'm not the only one. Good's distinct infoporn has caught the attention of graphic designer Ivan Cash. Cash looked at nearly 50 of Good's infographics, compiled their features, and created a meta-chart of his findings. It's an infographic of infographics. See it here.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2010

Population of the dead

excerpt of the population of the dead chart

A little bit of infoporn to end the weekend. The folks at I Love Charts have a great infographic showing various ways to compare the current living population vs. the total population of every person now deceased. Among the points the chart demos is the fact that the total population of dead people in the earth's history is waaay higher the current living population. That's interesting for a whole lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we the living are going to be in a LOT of trouble during the global zombie war.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2009

The spread of steroids in baseball

excerpt of graph of steroid users in baseball

OK, I admit it, this one pushes all of my, data analysis, visualization, and illegal drug use...but nevertheless you too may be interested in's analysis of the spread of steroids in Major League Baseball.

Using information from the 2007 Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball, graphed all of the players mentioned to see the inter-relationships among steroid users, dealers, and team-mates.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)