Enhancing Data Visualization Modes Through a Physical Representation
In this work we investigate how a physical representation of a large amount of data could increase not only their value but also their understanding by the final users. Indeed, the use of visual metaphors related to a three-dimensional environment, specific of a physical representation, makes the access to the related information easier and “natural” if compared to those used in an only-digital environment. In this context, digital fabrication tools can be useful for fast prototyping and testing of different tools.
DASIC - Link Campus University
Progettazione supporto, Data visualisation, UX
The mobile native application (for iOS and Android), that is the official app of the Maker Faire Rome 2015, allows the visitors to send their GPS position during their visit and then to choose and share their mood . The app collects these data.
The web-based application allows to visualize the moodboard of the event visitors, splitted in the five different exhibition areas. The light blue spheres represent these different areas. The related shown percentage represents the visitors tracked in that specific area. For each light blue sphere, the different moods are represented by six different spheres having the colour of the related mood. The size of the single sphere for each “area sphere” represents the numerosity of visitors that have expressed that single mood.
The moodboard data can be also visualized on an interactive totem that allows to access to many statistics concerning the same data, including the heatmap showing the concentration of people
The core of the “Makerometer” solution is the physical installation, realized with the Arduino board and servomotors. The installation is composed by five rows, representing the five areas of the exhibition, and for each row there are seven physical spheres, representing the six moods plus the percentage of people present in that area (the “area population” sphere). These spheres move up and down, according to the percentage of mood expressed by visitors. That percentage is calculated for the “area population” sphere on the total visitors of the event, and for each sphere mood of each area it is calculated on the total of the visitors of the single area. The higher the percentage, the more the single sphere is at the bottom. So, the user can fastly note in real time the most populated area and for each area the prevalent mood. This kind of visualization offers a more immediate information, although not detailed, while the web application offers a more detailed information, but it requires more attention to understand the data. Moreover, the movements and the colours create a kind of “wow” effect combining the functional and artistic quality of information visualization.