r _Web.log

tag: cartography

Connectivity of scientific authorship networks

Mark Newman is a physicist and mathematician whose research is focused on the structure of complex networks, from epidemiology to social relationships. The below diagram is taken from his 2000 paper on scientific coauthorship networks, and is a wonderful illustration of the small-world model (as famously typified in Erdös and Bacon numbers).

Scientific coauthorship network

As well as his prolific research output, Newman is also co-author of The Atlas of the Real World, which distorts the standard Mercator projection to illustrate localized weightings of various statistics. It's not the most aesthetically enduring of techniques, but is effective in its aims. The HIV prevalence map, with its flattened upper hemisphere, is particularly haunting.

Hackpact 2009/09/#3: Interactive London sound map


Remember Luke Jerram's wonderful Play Me, I'm Yours, in which 29 pianos were distributed around the streets of London for public usage? Using this as their basis, James Bulley and pianist Keir Vine went on a tour of each of the sites, playing and recording each of the pianos in order to create a city-wide composition. The challenge -- and appeal -- is that most of the pianos sit in sonic environments quite atypical for a recording setup; the atmospheres of Smithfields Market, Camberwell Greeen etc thus define the piece as much as the musical composition itself.

I proposed to James that it might be nice to open up the recordings for public remix and recomposition, with an interactive soundmap akin to that of the Fragmented Orchestra (currently dormant). The idea is that the points are geographically distributed in a 2D space mapping their real location in the city, which the user can then mix in real-time by moving the cursor around the virtual space. Due to the orientation of the distribution of pianos around the City of London, a non-geographical map seems like a logical approach, and what better than Harry Beck's original tube map?

I've spent some time today developing a sketch for this idea, which should hopefully be completed and published very soon.