Rare Specimen No. 4Flickr Flow

Rare Specimen No. 4
Flickr Flow

With The SPD Digital Competition right around the corner, I thought I'd share a Rare Specimen that bridges print and online: Flickr Flow---an experiment whose materials are color and time.

Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg used this technique in a March 2009 Boston magazine piece, called "Flickr of Hope."


From their web site: "The two of us see the world as a stream of color, and in 2009 we finally had a chance to draw the river in our heads. We began with a collection of photographs of the Boston Common taken from Flickr. Using an algorithm developed for the WIRED Anniversary visualization, our software calculated the relative proportions of different colors seen in photos taken in each month of the year, and plotted them on a wheel. The image below is an early sketch from the piece. Summer is at the top, with time proceeding clockwise."

You read more about Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg's Boston magazine piece here and see more of their work here.

We've expanded the Digital categories to 12. All entries can be e-mailed directly to SPD: mail@spd.org, but the deadline is Friday, April 2, 2010. If you already submitted entries for the Pub 45 deadline in January you are all set--this is when your work will be judged.

  • Michael Grossman

    I love the matter-of-fact explicitness of the images. Never has NSFW been so deadpan clinical. ("Naughty? This? Why, whatever do you mean, dear co-worker/boss/passerby? This is SCIENCE!")

  • Andrea Dunham

    I enjoyed realizing that, in listening to Gospel, those subtle mentions of men's asses were not my imagination. And so white!

  • Brandon Kavulla

    oh. my. god.

    laughed out loud.

    I HIGHLY recommend everyone check out this project of theirs.

    They've done visual charts based on human body parts, structured to show what body parts are spoken about the most…based on genre of music.

    I direct your attention to the hip hop category…and thank Josh for making me nearly nose my coffee onto my screen:


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