For this assignment, we were asked to make a visualization using the New York Times Newswire API. For my visualization, I decided to look at the distribution of images across the articles in different categories.

Newswire Visualization

Articles with images are displayed as a small thumbnail image; articles without an image are displayed as a plain colored block where the color represents the article’s category. I used the physics library fisica in Processing to create the 2D gravity and collision effects. While the ability to pick blocks up and toss them around doesn’t necessarily illuminate the data any further, I think it adds a fun element to the visualization that makes you want to spend more time with it, without cluttering it or making analysis of the data difficult.

Video Documentation and Earlier Iterations.

Video of me playing with the visualization and a screenshot of an earlier prototype/iteration can be viewed below. If you closely you can see the cursor that is “grabbing” the blocks and throwing them around.

The First Iteration.

In this first iteration, I hadn’t sorted the data into columns yet. I liked the effect of the larger images but decided to scale them down so that viewing the whole composition would give you some information about the number of total articles, not just the ones with images.


Category : Data Visualization / Spring 2011