Koyaanisqatsi for data, information, knowledge and wisdom

A few years ago I discovered a book by Edward Tufte about making complex statistical information understandable which is definitely in my top ten books of all time. As the amount of data in the world increases at an exponential rate, it becomes less and less useful unless you can make easy sense of it.

This ranks up there. I came across this video by Manuel Lima who works as a Senior User Experience Designer at Nokia’s NextGen Software & Services in London. This is both beautiful and thought provoking.

8 minutes long but if you are not hooked within 20 seconds, do something else. Let me know what you think.

Manuel Lima | Visual Complexity from digup.tv on Vimeo.

Once you watched it, want to bet that Manuel Lima will be presenting at TED within two years? Thanks Manuel, you totally made my day.

9 responses to “Koyaanisqatsi for data, information, knowledge and wisdom”

  1. karen c. says:

    Very cool, Mr. Littlewood – layery in presentation and emotional effect.

  2. Ruby says:

    Fantastic… found these a while back – older but beautiful and organic. Some even animated http://www.caida.org/tools/visualization/walrus/gallery1/ and after seeing these, then look at snapshots from the 09 Venice Biennale and you can see it seeping into modern art:




  3. bill collins says:

    Thank you, order out of chaos, mention Koyaanisqatsi and Edward Tufte in the same article. how can I see this full screen.

  4. Bill,

    Thanks for the note. I think you just need to click on the four arrows to the lieft of the ‘Vimeo’ logo in the botom right.

  5. This was from way back. One of the first sites I found from University of Maryland. http://bit.ly/Viz4all

    And of course, you should look at Manuel’s VisualComplexity site directly – http://bit.ly/VizCool

  6. David Gentle says:

    There are some great visualisation examples here (the blogosphere screen saver is recommended if you want to introduce more randomness into your life…)


  7. Ed Brenegar says:

    Manuel was here in Asheville in April. His presentation Network Visualization at an age of infinite interconnectedness can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/manulima/vc-ixda-interaction09. If you have the oppportunity to hear him, I highly recommend it.

  8. Melvin F. DeVorchik says:

    Yes maybe at TED in two years………..how about speaker at TEDxCambridge this year……breaking new ground,why should he wait for their invotation…..Marissa Mayer did not come close to this at the CUTEC conferance in Cambridge this week.

    Thank you for the introduction………

  9. John Clamp says:

    Well worth viewing the data visualisation video which I have watched twice, once on your blog, and then full screen from the link (much better), and also thanks for opening up the world of TED (I have had a very sheltered life!).

    Two things struck my about data visualisation, actually the first I have been thinking about for years.

    Firstly, great to have interactive fancy graphics, but still being limited to 2D. Data representation using 3D equipment would literally add another dimension. An interest of mine is the use of optics (either display specs or contact lenses) to provide a user with a real time simulated 3D view – ever wondered why Virtual Reality never took off? – There are problems with adaptation to this type of technology. However, a 3D Google must be in the offing.

    Secondly, and more down to earth, the 50 examples from http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/06/50-great-examples-of-data-visualization/, have no useful commercial examples. For example, one of our biggest business issues is data mining and analysis. We sell contact lenses to 4,000+ practices in the UK and around 60 countries to which we sell around 20 different types of contact lenses. We have data relating to finances and numbers of the sales, returns, details of the patients, times / dates etc…. So we end up at each board meeting with a whole load of Excel spreadsheets cut this way and that. Although automated, not interactive nor interesting.

    I was surprised that there was not an out of the box data visualization system, which could easily be linked into an SQL or Oracle database, which would allow quick visualization of current data, and differential data (i.e. areas of growth and reduction). There must be one somewhere.