fo;sc;da;ch

[23-28.7] Adventures in Data Visualisation, SUPSI


#1

Following up on our spring Open lecture, I’m pleased to announce that we are partnering with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) on a five day creative skills workshop with a focus on open data and data visualization.

Update: A recap of the workshop has been posted below.


Year in review and what's next for School of Data CH
#3

Adventures in data visualization is a summer workshop dedicated to explorations into the field of data visualization by means of computational technologies and design approaches. By accessing and manipulating open datasets, the participants design and develop projects that make raw data perceivable through digital or physical means, transforming them in interactive experiences or in narrative flows, that create open data in turn. The projects can be built upon the use of storytelling, experimental or artistic approaches, information design techniques: the adventures in data visualization can be many in the time frame of five days hands-on workshop.

The 2016 edition of the workshop Adventures in data visualization aims to explore the field of Open Data. We will introduce a wealth of new information resources for creative investigation and exploration, such as open government data portals and cloud-based data aggregation tools. Participants will be introduced to the topic, obtain legal and technical grounding in open data, and access and manipulate on-line datasets to create their software or hardware projects. Read more about it at maind.supsi.ch/workshops/datavisualization-2016

Have a look here to get a glimpse of what last year’s participants achieved during their week on campus, and reserve a spot for yourself!

__ Sign up __


#4

Announcement: THREE PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

Three partial scholarships are offered to junior researchers and Ph.D students interested in attending the summer workshop Adventures in data visualization 2016. In order to apply, please add the promo code RESEARCH in the registration form. The scholarships consist in a reductions into the tuition fee worth 300 CHF.


#5

Really looking forward to diving into the data and the waters of the Lago di Lugano! Registrations are closing in twelve days - sign up by July 20 if you would still like to join us!


#6

We have obtained our class-count goal and are busy finalizing the program. I have suggested a Data Expedition as a way of introducing participants into the datasets, portals, tools. If you have signed up, look out for an invitation to an online collaboration space - and if not, you can follow our progress by signing up to this thread.


#7

Excited to be starting our Adventure this weekend! We’ve got some great plans lined up and fantastic data to dive into. Here’s the overview of the week. See you in sunny Tessin :sunrise:


#8

We (a group of about 20) are just kicking things off here amidst the nature of the stunning SUPSI campus in full summer bloom.

Serena is showing last year’s impressive results, bits and pieces of which line the walls and fill the Fab Lab next door. Fabio Franchino (of TODO.to.it) is introducing a brief history of visual communication, and the state of VIZ.WTF :smile: today. I’m introducing the class to concepts of open data, open source, and how data can be used from apps to activism - here are my slides.

Afterwards we had a School of Data style Data Expedition with four groups brainstorming project ideas and exploring data sets. Here are our character sheet stats:

And here is the chart in the same style (orange: 2-3, blue 0-1) as our last Data Expedition at #glamhack:

We broke off in the evening for pizzas and a dive into the warm waters of the lake at dusk. A wonderful beginning to a very promising workshop - I am very much enjoying the experience so far! Stay tuned…


#9

Day 2 of the workshop began with a riveting visit of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, where a specialist in data visualisation who works primarily with researchers on illustrating and animating the output of simulations, using tools like ParaView and the Python programming language. He talked us through the history and function of the facility, then played a bunch of animations inspiring us in the possibilities of 3D data rendering - such as this award-winning project:

We learned about the work that goes on in understanding, interpreting and rendering data at the highest levels of academic and weather science, then toured the data center itself. The Center is a paradise for IT geeks like myself. Being in a room with thousands of computers, humming away while crunching incredible amounts of data to advance human knowledge is not an experience I’ll forget. It was nice to see familiar ‘faces’ among the ultra-specialised CRAY and IBM supercomputing hardware: Cisco switches, Dell workstations, piles of NVIDIA graphics cards…and Linux at the heart of it all. Lucky that Serena pulled us out before we completely lost sense of time :blush:

Visit the CSCS website to learn more about their flagship Piz Daint & Piz Dora assemblies or the huge water cooling infrastructure in place, pumping water from the lake. Check their Annual Report to find out about the money spent and groundbreaking research accomplished. Thanks again for the eye-opening tour!

Our class spent the rest of the day in the guidance of Fabio Franchino, learning about how to visualise CSV data in JavaScript with D3.js, and everyone was very attentive and diligent in their practice. Towards the end of the day we got back to discussing the projects (and all the ways to visualise our ideas), and finally went for a casual picnic at the lake.


#10

One of the teams asked to help find open data related to water visualisation. They then switched themes, but I thought I would post the findings and briefly discuss the issues here for future reference.


#11

Today there are few interruptions or distractions, except for regular breaks. Everyone seems to know what they want to accomplish, and are working in earnest on their projects. The participants did ask us, however, to do a brief break before lunch and go over some fundamentals that we maybe rushed a little at the start. With Fabio’s able guidance, we looked again at the way D3 works with the Document Object Model and browser events. I did a brief history of databases - from relational to NoSQL and APIs, see my notes on A Tiny History of Databases


#12

A recap of the workshop follows, including a sneak peek at a possible future in VR dataviz. Thanks again to everyone at SUPSI for their support and the chance to do this fantastic workshop together. Looking forward to what our participants are going to come up with next!


Following up on our spring open lecture, we partnered with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) on a five day creative skills workshop with a focus on open data and data visualization.

The 2016 edition of the workshop Adventures in data visualization aims to explore the field of Open Data. We will introduce a wealth of new information resources for creative investigation and exploration, such as open government data portals and cloud-based data aggregation tools. Participants will be introduced to the topic, obtain legal and technical grounding in open data, and access and manipulate on-line datasets to create their software or hardware projects.

We were a group of ~20, kicking off the workshop amidst the stunning SUPSI campus in full summer bloom. The workshop’s organiser, Serena Cangiano, began by showing some of last year’s impressive results, bits and pieces of which lined the walls of the Fab Lab next door. Fabio Franchino (of TODO.to.it) began by introducing a brief history of visual communication, and the state of VIZ.WTF today.

Data Expedition

Our suggestion was to run a School of Data-style Data Expedition as a way of introducing participants into the datasets, portals, tools, and general attitude of open data research. I (Oleg) first introduced the class to concepts of open data, open source, and how data can be used from apps to activism - here are my slides.

Afterwards we ran the Data Expedition with four groups brainstorming project ideas and exploring data sets. Here are our aggregated Character Sheet stats in the same style (orange - high, 2-3, blue - low, 0-1) as our last #GLAMhack Data Expedition:

During the Expedition, Fabio and I tried to encourage people to think creatively, to shed their fear of venturing into the unknown by invoking some of the spirit of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games we enjoyed in younger days.

One of the teams asked to help find open data related to water visualisation. They later switched themes, but I posted the findings and briefly discussed the issues on our forum for future reference.

After sharing our “dragons” and “treasures”, most of which were documented in a set of Etherpads, we broke off in the evenings for pizzas and dives into the warm waters of the Lago di Lugano at dusk. A terrific start to the four intensive workshop days that followed.

Super-computing

Day 2 of the workshop began with a riveting visit of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, where a specialist in data visualisation who works primarily with researchers on illustrating and animating the output of simulations, using tools like ParaView and the Python programming language. He talked us through the history and function of the facility, and was inspiring us in the possibilities of 3D data rendering with award-winning projects.

We learned about the work that goes on in understanding, interpreting and rendering data at the highest levels of academic and weather science, then toured the data center itself. Visit the CSCS website to learn more about their flagship Piz Daint & Piz Dora assemblies or the huge water cooling infrastructure in place, pumping water from the lake. Check their Annual Report to find out about the money spent and groundbreaking research accomplished.

Our class spent the rest of the day in the guidance of Fabio Franchino, learning about how to visualise CSV data in JavaScript with D3.js, everyone was very attentive and diligent in their practice of information visualization and animation. Towards the end of the day we got back to discussing the projects (and all the ways to visualise our ideas).


Photo by Serena Cangiano CC BY NC-SA 2.0

The next two days there were few interruptions or distractions, except for guest speakers from the OASI group of the Canton of Ticino and from sketchin, an interactive design company. Everyone seemed to know and keenly desire what they wanted to accomplish, and worked in earnest on their projects until late in the night.

At one point the participants asked us to do a brief break before lunch and go over some fundamentals that we maybe rushed a little at the start. With Fabio’s able guidance, we looked again at the way D3 works with the Document Object Model and browser events. I did a brief history of databases - from relational to NoSQL and APIs, see my notes on A Tiny History of Databases.


Year in review and what's next for School of Data CH
#13

VR

During breaks and early morning hours, I worked on a mini-project with Serena as a way of inviting discussion and ideas about the next workshop. We wanted to use the data shared with us by OASI to create some 3D visualizations using WebVR, the new open standard for cross-platform Virtual Reality. The result is a series of four rooms…

An entry-way for navigation using Mozilla’s WebVR

A demo of D3 charts in 3D space, based on d3-threejs

An example of using Swisstopo maps and animating traffic density in space

A remix of physical (OASI) data representation and Intonarumori

You can try the prototype experience and check out the code on GitHub. This is something that will definitely be the subject of development and possibly future workshops.


Year in review and what's next for School of Data CH
#14

Results

Four terrific projects came to light on the last day in front of the Master’s students from SUPSI’s Interactive Design faculty and esteemed guests. The exhibition of the semester projects was brilliant. Several of the design ideas by clearly exceptionally talented students really turned on lightbulbs.

Each of our workshop groups only had a few minutes to present, however 4 workstations were set up to give everyone a chance to play with the demos. The projects may make their way online soon - in the meantime, some photo impressions can be found on Flickr.

Then it was time for a quick group selfie… and the party was on! And by party, I mean real party, with multiple DJ’s and a demoshow using Bünzli Reboot Party playlists.


Photo by Serena Cangiano CC BY NC-SA 2.0

Thanks again to everyone at SUPSI for their support and the chance to do this fantastic workshop together. Looking forward to what our participants are going to come up with next! Follow the Master in Interaction Design SUPSI if you’d like to take part in their next program, and feel free to share your thoughts on this forum.