Artist: Sarah Williams
Link to the Artist’s Website: http://civicdatadesignlab.mit.edu/
Link to the Brief Bio of the Artist: http://eyeofestival.com/2014/speaker/sarah-williams/
Sarah Williams is currently an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and the Director of the Civic Data Design Lab at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. Her work at Civic Data Design Lab focuses mainly on digitally visualizing urban patterns and data for the purpose of making them more accessible to the general public.
I was amazed at the scope and the variety of data that her team and she have created in the past. The scale of her maps range from few blocks in the city to the entire country and include general topics like population, transportation and urban growth as well as some less familiar topics such as natural disaster and the route of the New York Fashion Designers. However multifaceted the topics and ranges of her maps may be, they all have a single purpose: to deliver the information in the most efficient and helpful way. She creates these informational maps to solve the growing urban problems such as traffic, congestion, pollution and other social problems and to inform the audience of how their city looks like in both quantitative and qualitative terms.
In her presentation she mentioned that there are 6 elements of data visualization. This was a good way to organize different aspects of data visualization and to offer a clear steps to how you may visualize the data on your own. I was impressed by the fact that she included the “being open with data” as one of the elements because it seems to imply how open and friendly the society has become, that information and data is something to be shared and not to be kept secret from others.