Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Daily Diigo Bookmarks: What has Jordan been reading on the web today? 07/22/2009

  • Whoa! Wearing prism glasses that shift vision to the left "shrinks" time, while wearing prism glasses that shift vision to the right "expands" time. I'm intrigued by the linguistic implications of this, since so many of our time/space/numeric perceptions are based on our language.

    tags: mind hacks, perception, time, space, vision, neuroscience, linguistics, prism glasses

  • (Ed. note: Gah! I wrote this already, then Diigo deleted it! Or I did by accident...)My pre-stated theme for the summer was "data visualization" -- although it kind of got pushed aside by the completely unrelated theme "fictiontion writing" -- so instead of commenting on the methodology behind NRDC's new "smarter cities" ranking, I'm going to comment on how they presented their data.Things I loved: the division of cities by size and the ease of moving between those groups; the division of the data by category/scoring criteria; the control the user has over the list (i.e., clicking on a category like "green spaces" and re-ranking the table); the use of size-graded circles to indicate scoring; the mouse-over titles combined with simple icons to display each category; the orange and teal color scheme (of course!)Things that I think could be improved: instead of just naming a category when you mouse over it, it would have been nice to have an easy link or pop up description of what that category means (instead of a hidden link at the bottom of the table); the sizes of the circles are discrete (small, medium or large) not actually reflective of the numberical score, and that's not indicated very clearly; the "city profiles" should list the scores in each category; although city profiles have maps, there is no map on the front page -- this would have been nice for looking at metro areas (i.e., Portland is in the large city category, Beaverton is in the small city category -- you have no way of knowing that those two cities are both ranked high and geographically adjacent unless you do some clicking)Also, this has nothing to do with data visualization, but isn't the preference for the term "smarter cities" over "smart cities" reminiscent of the recent shift in sex-ed-speak from "safe sex" to "safer sex"? Just saying ...

    tags: NRDC, urban planning, smart growth, smarter cities, rankings, data visualization

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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