Feature Story: Contemporary Instruments For Data Expression And Exploration

Ben Cerveny, president of Bloom, has an ambitious mission. He wants to give us the right tools to explore data instead of just interfacing with it. According Bloom’s profile, they are “creating a new type of visual discovery experience on tablets, media consoles, and modern browsers that will provide you with playful, explorable, visually compelling views on personally relevant information from services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and iTunes.” In a recent interview Cerveny said, “that the wealth of data has outstripped the interfaces’ ability to keep pace”. He points out, that ” ‘our information’ is hugely complex and rich, and the tools we have for interacting with it are still static and limited. Even after Web 2.0, the way it was presented was limited to list views. But that doesn’t give you a sense of the overall landscape and the patterns and rhythms over time.” Cerveny wants to reduce the complexity of big datasets by providing ‘instruments’ that “can display complicated datasets in a highly intuitive way.



One of this instruments is Fizz. You can use Fizz to visualize your Twitter network. How does it work? Big circles are people, small circles are their status updates. If you move your mouse over a small circle and click, a status update layer opens. The color of a small circle indicates how old the status update is. A dark colored circle is an “old” status update for example.

Are you curious now? Have a look at Bloom’s other instruments.


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Seventh Framework Programme


Dr. Wim Peters

Adress: Department of Computer Science Regent Court 211 Portobello Sheffield S1 4DP UK
Phone: +44 114 222 1902
Email: W.Peters@dcs.shef.ac.uk
Website: The University of Sheffield