Experimenting With Physical Graphs

I ended up at NYC Resistor on Sunday, and decided to experiment with physical visualization of some data. I grabbed the clicks per second on keyphrases including my name (“hilary mason”) over the last six months, aggregated them by day, and made this graph:

attention on hilary mason

This is easy enough to construct for any phrase using the clickrate data that we’re calculating at bitly. I exported it from matplotlib in svg, added a label, and used the laser-cutter to create this out of plywood:

laser-cut time series

laser-cut time series

…which will shortly be adorning my desk at work. This is very simple, but there’s a lot of fun to be had with the physical manifestation of patterns we see in large amount of ephemeral data.


  • http://twitter.com/Shawzer David R. Shaw

    Very cool application!  The past six months you say?  I’m on there.  :)

  • fletzie

    WOW…I am impressed…Will be looking at that app too shortly! Thanks. What a great visualization of data!

  • http://twitter.com/gilgul Gilad Lotan

    err…. “Hilarv Mason” != “Hilary Mason” 

    • http://www.hilarymason.com Hilary Mason

      I lost the tail of the Y in the rasterization… I’m not sure how! We’ll call this the alpha version. :)