Here’s a preview of what I have been working on lately:
A 3D data visualization, done in processing that takes info off the facebook API and uses it to bring some things to light about my list of friends, and what is going on in my facebook existence. In short what you see above is each one of my friends being placed in an orb with a mass proportional to the number of mutual friends we have, and connected to each mutual friend by a purple line representing a simulated pseudo spring/dampener system. Each friend is also connected to a fixed point (representing me) via a much weaker blue spring. Once everything is connected and the orbs are released from their might-as-well-be random positions, some kinda interesting behavior emerges.
After the initial chaos settles, clusters organically form and begin to move independently. Its impossible to tell from the video, but each one of these clusters can actually be traced to the different circles of friends I’ve made in the past . The largest cluster is obviously UCSB, and some of the smaller ones I’ve linked to the high schools I went to, friends I made studying in Japan, people I’ve reconnected with from middle school, and even highschool summer programs. Kinda neat.
There is also another screen (no video yet) that, in a similar manner does a live display of everything occurring in the current user’s (ok only me so far) news feed. So if two friends write one another, they both appear, the spring slingshots from the sender and they oscillate vigorously for a few minutes until the dampening slows ’em down. Visually, I still think it needs something though…
I also plan to do a few, more statistical/informational, screens in 2d that give info about my friends as a group; things are looking busy until winter break but I hope for the time to implement this soon. Ultimately what I want from this project is something I can dedicate a computer (or a Chinese ipad) to and stick on my wall to be pretty and optimally tell me a bit about my social interwebs. Once I get it done I’ll try to make it easy to run between multiple users and post up the source.