LIFT09: LifeStream Data Visualization

I hope the team behind LifeStream uploads their official visualizations video very soon. LifeStream takes a design approach to visualizing large quantities of information. LifeStreamer Jan-Christoph Zoels explores how “design information visualizations make what is hidden, unhidden.” When visualized in certain ways, data moves from information to knowledge and knowledge, and knowledge to wisdom.

“The representation stage is the single most important stage in a visualization project,” add Jan-Christoph. Why? “Because decisions made at this stage can necessitate a rethinking of decisions made at earlier stages.” Lifestreaming is not finished once the data is visualized in an engaging and clear way. The next important step is to “add methods to interact with the visualization, to manipulate and control the visible features.” (Incidentally, this is also critical for crisis mapping).

The team previewed their very neat visualization video at LIFT09 and below is a copy filmed by Mark Krinsky during the presentation.

In sum, Lifestream is about shaping new paradigms in user interface design; “paradigms that will allow us to see and handle more information than traditional interfaces by combining different aspects or perspectives.” The team at Lifestream concluded their superb presentation by sharing their thoughts on what makes the best visualizations so appealing. In their own words, visualizations need to be “Natural, Engaging, Flowing, Climactic, Seamless, Accessible, Forgiving, Multi-Model/Sensorial and Enjoyable.

Patrick Philippe Meier

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