Project: Helena


My first data visualisation project. This is actually my graduation project for my computer science degree. I refused to hand in another savy business problem solving solution so Instead I chose to graduate on the thesis: abstract form datavisualisation from arbitrary data sources can bring insights to the problem domain that could be unexpected, fresh or new.

I used to illustrate this with the following two cases. In my, young man's perception of the political structures in the United states there were only two political parties, the Republican and the Democratic. But when I fed US based political parties campaign data into my machine to visualise that data in an abstract form it turned out that you could see multiple clusters of data based on shape and color and after examining the data it turned out that there are multiple political parties in the United States.

It turns out that non-specific analysis of data can bring you new information. That same argument could be used for analysing for instance of DNA information. Usually you will comb through this data searching for relations and features. If you approach this data however from a different angle, try to create abstract estethic visualisations it could help finding relations and features that are important but were not defined in the initial analysis and could therefore be overlooked.

After my initial implementation I rebuild the same program a couple of times, each time with new insights like color manipulation, shape definitions and opening it up to various types of arbitrary data souces, xml, json, twitter feeds etc.

At it's peak she was taking trending topic data from twitter and after processing and visualising she posted the result back into the trending topic feed, creating a feedback loop and at the same time annoying many twitter users with maybe one of the early twitter bots.

Today Helena lives on on this website where you can start her up via the url: