link to CSIRO’s computational informatics page

well worth a visit and a browse.

several projects using data-mining to gather intel on a range of natural and man-made phenomena:

lead there by an article on one of their latest projects using emotion semantic categories (very rough to a linguist) to map reactions on twitter from tweets around the world. (see

patterns of interaction recorded

this guy, deb roy, is working in visualising interaction, and trying to create machines that will interact in a “human-like” way. well, good luck with that, but the graphic visualisation of language and group dynamic interactions has me thinking maybe i should give up… although there’s always room for the micro as well as the macro patterning….

Where the NET is going…

Every once in awhile I like to just sift through the grist that is being processed on the great wide interweb and take a gander at trends and events that feel like they are going to be important building blocks in the near future.

To this I add a first level of links that allow further exploration of what this technology is about and what it is linked to:

So we have a new way to manipulate data that allows a different insight to emerge from massive amounts of information.

The television series CSI and its geographical offshoots have always pushed technological advances with their fancy computer graphics, image enhancing and hand or voice controlled computer displays. Now we see the next steps. One truism that has prevailed from the early days of computer use is that the greater the capacity of the system the larger and more sophisticated projects than can then be undertaken. There’s a problem in the programming industry with its much larger programs and applications where the coder/developer can no longer hold the whole picture in their mind. These two tools alone have implications for that entire paradigm.

The charge into Cyberspace has been blunted by technology that is not up to the word and idea visions of William Gibson et al nor the movie maker’s spin ala the Matrix.

Technological advancements are accelerating and convergence is a growing force. My smartphone is the end result of this convergence. The former incarnation required a large physical box connected to a wire based network, a camera, a video camera, a library, a typewriter, an entire postal system, a boombox, a tape recorder, a bookstore, a video store plus many, many more separate systems and infrastructures.

A lazy Sunday that has brought some new insights to my daily ruminations. To sum up I wish to drag you a bit sideways into my mind space and I offer as a final tidbit this piece:

Web Art Toy: Dreamlines

Dreamlines, a web art generator by Leonardo Solaas.

Leonardo Solaas is a programmer. His focus point is on using Java as a platform, the web browser as an interface, and, data processing routines as, in effect, painter’s brushes. However my weak attempt at description defers to the artist’s own words,

“The thing is, now I spend most of my day in front of my loyal laptop, working as freelance developer & interface designer for the most interesting clients I manage to find, and going about my own experiments and ideas when I can get to that.

This site intends to be a hub for several kinds of traces left behind by my so-called ‘artistic’ practice, plus related pursuits. I’m not sure what all this ‘new media art’ thing is all about, but for me is a convenient playground where I can mash up all sorts of interests with relative freedom.”

This excerpt, from his short first person bio is tagged accordingly:

autnomous agents-blog-castellano-data visualization-design-digital image-drupal-experiment-flash-generative-hand -made-internet-me on myself-multiplicity-particle system-physical-processing-social-teaching-text-theory-workshop>

(Inspires me to think about what tags I’d apply to me.) Anyway…these tags cover a lot of ground.

Being fascinated with how computing power and user interaction can be used to create stuff, I fell right into Leonardo’s Dreamlines.

Like it is with other generators, the role I play is that of an Initiator. And, as it also is with the best of those generators, the Initiator also has to be a ‘chef of time;’ (inasmuch as I’ve learned to be patient and wait for resonant results.) What initiator/time chef waits for are rewarding moments in the stream of serendipitous visual mixing. The process is for me akin to music-making, yet the process isn’t anywhere as demanding.

I’ve noted over at Explorations blog,
Mechanical Kitsch, or New Frontier? further brief reflections about several of the issues raised by the ‘generator medium.’

Here’s several captures from mixes I initiated.

Title: Semiotics

Title: Found It

Then, it occurred to me I could try an experiment. My hypothesis was simple: if I captured the visual mix as it unfolded, how well might it coincide with some of my music? The main thing though was that I wasn’t going do anything but slap the two pieces together, so the experiment was seeking to hit rather than miss. This is different than editing music to expressly fit the visual.

I’ve posted the result over at noguts noglory studios. 21 minutes of abstract flow. (You can always turn down the audio!)


When I transferred the result using iMovie to a DVD and played it on the big HD screen, I was amazed at how good it looked.

There’s a sort of “future creativity” lurking in the seams of generativity, person-code, shallow manipulation, and, the immensity of the raw data archive.

conference abstract: graphic visualisation

this weekend here at sydney uni, the 2nd annual free linguistics conference is being held. plenty of interesting papers for linguists of all persuasions, but i am especially motivated to check out michele & colleague’s latest work on the graphic visualisation of text analytic work…


Bandar Almutairi, University of Sydney, Australia;
Michele Zappavigna, University of Sydney, Australia.

Texts can be intractable. As discourse analysts, we are limited by the extent to which our perceptual systems can detect long-range and complex patterns in discourse, even where we have manually annotated the data. Since a text is more than a bag of words, clauses or any other structure (Martin, 1985) we need technology that can assist the analyst in achieving both a synoptic and dynamic perspective on their text analyses. This paper develops a text visualisation strategy that leverages periodicity, how information is organised as a text unfolds (Halliday, 1985; Martin & Rose, 2007). Since periodicity is “concerned with information flow – with the way in which meanings are packaged to make it easier for us to take them in” (Martin & Rose, 2007: 188), we argue that the intangible time of a text can be measured by a complex unit based on this concept. We use mathematical interpolation to produce representations of waves of periodicity that can be used as a time reference helping us to visualise the distribution of other linguistic systems (e.g. Appraisal, Process-Type etc.) throughout the text. We use this method to detect patterns in these features in terms of their relative distance from the peaks of the waves. The method can be used recursively (e.g. nested functions; functions of functions) to create waves of waves corresponding to patterns of patterns at the same stratum or generalized to include components from higher or lower strata in language. We apply the method in a pilot study to compare the unfolding of prosodies of evaluative meaning in two texts annotated using Appraisal Theory (Martin & White, 2005). A long term aim of this project is to develop a metalanguage, as Zhao (forthcoming) has suggested, for describing the kinds of logogenetic patterns, in other words, patterns of unfolding meaning, that are possible in texts.

their work is very much related to our ongoing interest here, in visualising the dynamics of interaction. data visualisation. interaction is mediated through writing, or recorded in writing using a transcript of spoken conversation, or having a video text of a multi-modal event. such a transcript can then be analysed using any number of approaches or frameworks. the next step is to create a ‘transformation’ of that analysis into a diagram which represents the interaction according to whatever elements or figures we are interested in examining – and then further transforming at will those elements cross-referenced by other elements or figures to reveal correlations and new figures that are not immediately obvious from raw analysis alone.

graphing word flows

anyone come by this guy’s site yet? some good links along the side, and some nice graphic representations of speeches and twitter #words. also can insert text of one’s own and see the results – dont see any way of taking them away with us yet… but i have asked. (thanks to michele zappagvigna for the pointer)

tools for visualization

P put me on to this good resource for those of us interested in the visualisation of a variety of interactions… too many categories and kinds to list… and maybe just posting it here will involve some people in hours of fun…

Read Write Web’s “best tools for visualization”

and they have a blog…
using red and white, not blue and white, mmmm…….

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