What I Don’t Know but Need to Know

To develop for task 2 I need to do the following:

Research Data: I need to gather data now I know where to find it. Then with this data I need to compile it, process it, to gain better or more stories. The more data I find and process, the more accurate my data visual will be. I have previously mentioned in an earlier post, how I will go about collecting the data using both Primary and Secondary research.
Skills: Being introduced to new tools and systems has made me more aware, that I need to definitely explore 3D max and Cinema 4D as their going to be vital to my work. The tools within the programme have the potential to create interesting visuals, so I will need to familiarise myself with these tools.


Cinema 4D

Here i experimented with a programme that i’m not too familiar with, however know of its potential to create amazing 3d objects and animations. Here is me experimenting by manipulating shapes, using a range of tools.

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With this programme I am allowed to control how I manipulate objects by typing in how much I want the object to change. This could be a good feature if I find some figures on amount of drinks bought, and compare that data with how drunk people get. The more the shape twists could resemble how disorientated the person is.


Potential Data I Could Find/ Collect

Here I’ve considered what data I could collect under the different data collecting methods. With all the data collected I could then combine them to create interesting narratives.

Secondary Data:
Internet sources or book
  • Amount of alcohol consumed with different age brackets
  • Amount of alcohol consumed between the 2 sex’s
  • Number of deaths
  • Number of casualties
  • Number of A&E attendances
  • Number of assaults
  • Number of rape incidents
  • Amount of Vandalism
  • Cost to society
  • Cost to NHS
  • Regional drinking
  • Rate of change
Primary Data:
Potential interview question
  • How much do you drink?
  • Why do you drink?
  • Ever been arrested or accused of crime under the influence?
  • Does drink make you happy?
  • Do you think your reliant on Alcohol?
  • What emotions do you experience?
Potential survey question
  • How many units per week?
  • Do you binge drink?
  • How often do you binge drink?
  • What main emotion do you feel when drinking
  • How long does it take you to recover from the side effects
  • Do you ever worry about your health considering how much you may drink
  • Ever committed a crime under the influence
Potential observations
  • How people act when their drunk
  • Record acts of violence
  • Record any cases of fighting
  • Paralytic
  • How many drinks are bought
  • Emotions of people
Many of these potential data collections I can use may not create a great story visual by themselves. However when combined can create significant narrative, which will in turn give a new perspective of the data to the audience.


Types of Infographics

Animated Infographics

The data contained within this short animated infographic is exceptional. If the data were to be written down raw, on a piece of paper it could take a whole day to read. However with clever use of a rotating year clock, moving lines and shapes to change the vehicle appearance, moving engine and changing icons of the engine and steering wheel, sums up this information in just over a minute long. With animated infographics, it has the potential to store a lot of data which i may consider if my data is quite large.

3D infographics

When seeing this a year back this was great motivation for me, never mind the other millions of people who has seen these models before. These models were made to show what certain weights of fat looked like. The models shocked me when i realised how big of an area 5lbs of fat was. Think for many people they may have said ‘oh i’ve only lost 5lbs’. Now they would be jumping for glee.

Infographic app

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This app visualises your music library as a galaxy. It is a 3D universe created by information about recording artist the owner loves. It does this by allocating stars as artists, orbiting planets are albums and each planet has moon system representing each track. Rather than my iPad just telling me what music I like, I rather see it for myself which this app successfully does with constellation of stars. This app has the ability to take on data, and constantly build a visual to inform the owner of what music they want to listen to.



Finding Data

Finding data for my chosen theme initially doesn’t panic me, as the topic of alcohol is a very widely discussed and tested subject. Already I have explored 3 inforgraphics that are alcohol themed and already found some interesting stories.

To find information on Alcohol I can use both previous data and also first hand. There are many sites like CDC that have a long list of data sets containing relevant information that could be useful to me. Also, knowing someone who works for the NHS has access to particular information, can not only gain stats but also stories of alcohol related incidences. I think books even though unless up to date won’t have the current information I need, may still play a part in containing some background, that could potentialy create a great story. Collecting data first hand, I could use systems like surveys, observation, interviews all with their own benefits. I could also try and find sales of drink, to see how much as a whole the country purchase alcohol.

Survey- Good for gathering brief responses/ Can be administrated in written form/ Can include close-ended and open-ended questions

Observation- Can discover certain behaviours/ no risk of of people giving false info

Interviews- Deep insight into data/ in-depth attitudes towards topic/ can probe and explore questions

Bubbles, Lines, and string

Reading bubbles lines and string has given me a great insight into how important data is and how data should be interpreted as a ‘matter of concern rather than a matter of fact’. When we can produce data visuals with context, that can provide multiple perspective needed for understanding, we can move on and progress. ‘Data provides the means society advances, science progresses and legalisation changes’, so without providing a visual without context and meaning, their is simply no room for progression.

Collecting Data and Creating a Visual- Workshop

In this workshop we were put into groups of 5, and was set the task of going and collecting data in our allocated theme of ‘travel’. We first had to find an angle on travel that we could then go and find data for.  As a group we decided to do the number of deaths due to different types of transport.

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Here is the data we found on google. We decided to the number of deaths by different modes of transport in the UK.
Once we had our data we were then allocated £5 to go and buy material to represent our data. The thought process of thinking of items that would be relative and best describe the data was difficult. We also had to map our journey of buying the items, and take photographs along the way.
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We decided due to the tight budget that we would go to the 99p store. Here we bought red fizzyade, and cheap plastic party glasses. We did this as we thought the red could resemble the amount of blood spilled from deaths, and could compare between each mode of transport easily.
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Here is a map of our journey we took to buying the items we needed.
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Here was our final visual. Glasses filled with accurate ratios of the data of red fizzyade, simply labelled and placed in hight order. Placed in hight order allowed for the story of the data to be told easier to the audience. The data was quite shocking as it showed that cars had an overwhelming impact into deaths by transport.
I think this exercise got us thinking how we need to start thinking for development in task 2. It had me realising that there is potential for numerous tools and systems that can be used, but also potential for object to misrepresent data. Careful, precise planning will need to be taken as the audience need to get the point of the visual straight away.

3D Max- Workshop

Here is a programme that allows you to create objects in 3D space. The programme allows you to see the object you making in 4 windows (Top, Side, front and 3D space). It has a number of tools within the programme that allow you to manipulate an object to create an infinite amount of outcomes.

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Here what was originally a normal 2D graph, was manipulated within 3D max to create A 3D visual.

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Here we further experimented more with the possibilities of what we can create 3D.

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Here we started to experiment removing space from an object.

Coming into contact with 3D programmes was not a strange to me, as I have used the programme Cinema 4D. However what was new to me was the potential of printing out files as a 3D object, which excites me greatly.

Coding- Workshop

In this workshop we were exposed to a process called Coding. Coding is programming language that gives a computer a set of instructions to follow. Coding is very precise and if any hick ups, potentially break the whole system down.

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Code when worked well is a very powerful tool. Giving a certain set of instructions that are relevant to my collected data, could potentially create some interesting motion visuals.

Arduino- Workshop

In this lesson we were exposed to something new called Arduino. Unbeknown to me, Arduino is an open source hardware board, that allows you to make circuits that create an interactive electronic object.
We were put into groups and given an Arduino set, in which we had to chose a circuit that would potentially collect some interactive data. As a group we decided that we would crate a light sensor, then go onto to measure the light in different part of the uni.

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Once we had collected the data, we then took a tour around the uni with the Arduino in-front of us. This sensed different levels of light around the uni, which was then recorded on the Arduino. Once we had fished collecting the light data, we then linked the Arduino to the Mac via double ended USB. Here we could transfer and process this information on a programme called ‘Processing’.

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This is the data processed into a simple graph. Having this data in this form allows us to extract meaning, and also allows us to develop this recording further. Seeing data as a visual gives a better sense of understanding, rather than seeing a load numbers on screen.