My Bookmarks For July 16th – July 23rd

Jul 23
Posted on July 23, 2009 11:00 in Links

Data Visualisation @ News Innovation London

Jul 17
Posted on July 17, 2009 10:26 in Events

I gave a little talk at News Innovation here in London 2 weeks back, at which I quickly ran through a long list of data visualisations to show how it can help people understand things easier. I promised to put the list on my blog and forgot till now.

Here they are. Most of them come from Dan W’s Tumblr which has a lot more, but some of them were my own finds.

My Bookmarks For July 13th – July 15th

Jul 15
Posted on July 15, 2009 10:00 in Links

Music Hack Day 2009

Jul 12
Posted on July 12, 2009 22:43 in Events, Technology

So we were at the first London Music Hack Day this weekend, held at the beautiful Guardian offices where we held BarcampLondon6 a few months back. I’ve been to a few hack days before, mostly organised by Yahoo and the BBC, and sice the last one I promised myself to always at least prepare some hack and present it. The first few times that I went to Hack Days I didn’t, and it never felt right. My track record so far on these last two hacks is pretty good, with the last one getting an article on the Guardian blog, and this weekend’s one actually winning a price. But before that let’s look at some of the other hacks.

Some of the cool hacks

There was an amazing amount of hacks put together over the weekend, leading to a presentation session of well over 2 hours. A full list can be found on the Music Hack Day wiki but I handpicked a few that I really liked.

Percussion machine by @alistair

Alistair and Mr Duck set off to make something pretty crazy and play with Arduino boards and servos. They created a percussion machine that made most of us laugh.

Music Bore

I’d like to describe Music Bore as the death to Radio DJ. Powered by IRC and Mac OS X’s text to speech API they created a DJ like experience.

Lonely Harps

The dating website Lonely Harps helps you find potential partners based on matching Last.FM profiles.

Last.FM events on iPhone

Handy little iPhone app that gives you a map with all the upcoming Last.FM events in your area. Very handy if you’re stuck ina  foreign city looking for a party.

My hack

My hack was really simple. I had the idea to map song lyrics onto locations around the world per decade, but discovered most lyrics actually don’t have that many place names in them. Instead I decided to go along the same route and explore other ways of visualisation musical culture shifts.

I decided to go for analysing the lyrics of the top 10 songs per decade an give them multiple visualisations. I only ended up doing a Wordle visualisation in the end, but I think it’s pretty cool. Go ahead and have a look at http://zeitgeist.cristianobetta.com/ and have a look at the different decades.

The hard part of this little app wasn’t actually the visualisation, but actually getting a top 10 list of UK songs per era. There is simply no API for it so I had to opt to make my own API (JSON) for the EveryHit site. For now it’s just JSON and only the cumulative decades (not the single years), but if anyone’s interesting I might write the rest too and maybe add a SPARQL layer too.

My Bookmarks For June 25th – July 11th

Jul 11
Posted on July 11, 2009 1:05 in Links