I looked at the work of Periscopic, who describe themselves as a socially-conscious data visualization firm that helps people promote awareness and transparency of information.
On Periscopic’s website, Wes Bernegger explains the process behind the making of a “Feather” Visualization. They used Microsoft Emotion API, which takes images of faces as input and returns a set of emotions for each image- which is interesting because we’re able to rely on machines to examine human faces and pick up what emotions seem present according to facial expressions, which can be so diverse and may need much interpretation to understand. With that technology, Periscopic examined the past inaugural addresses of the presidents, which pulled out emotive data- from 8 emotions. They then plugged their data into Processing to create a visual representation of what they found, which turned into a feather form.
Interestingly enough, Donald Trump’s feather was much more negative and droopy than the feathers of the other presidents’ addresses.
I appreciate that this group attempted addressing emotive data, and that they appropriately used an emotive shape to express it. It’s an easy way to have people interpret their findings at a glance.


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