Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Email Data Visualisation

I'm a geek. I freely admit it. I'm also really into Social Media in all its forms - Blogging, Social Networking, Micro-blogging etc. etc. I also have a professional interest in the convergance of data, and how the meaning of data is rapidly becoming more accessible to AI systems (admittedly simple AI systems such as webbots and spiders).

So when I saw this, I loved it!
Christopher Baker analysed over 60,000 emails sent and received since 1998 to understand the "social network" created by his correspondance. Further to this, he decided the best way to represent the dats was visually:

"Like many people, I have archived all of my email with the hope of someday revisiting my past. I am interested in revealing the innumerable relationships between me, my schoolmates, work-mates, friends and family. This could not readily be accomplished by reading each of my 60,000 emails one-by-one. Instead, I created My Map, a relational map and alternative self portrait. My Map is a piece of custom designed software capable of rendering the relationships between myself and individuals in my address book by examining the TO:, FROM:, and CC: fields of every email in my email archive. The intensity of the relationship is determined by the intensity of the line. My Map allows me to explore different relational groupings and periods of time, revealing the temporal ebbs and flows in various relationships. In this way, My Map is a veritable self-portrait, a reflection of my associations and a way to locate myself."

- Christopher Baker

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