Visualizing Wireless Usage

[wikilike_img width=220|src=|url=|caption=iSpots Visualization|align=thumb tleft]

A project called iSpots (iOyVey..) renders the activity of the wireless network over MIT. I mean, that’s cool in an entirely alpha-geek sort of way. Props. Not unexpectedly, the target opportunity here is to identify through this kind of visualizer/surveillence apparatus, where people prefer to work and thereby manage the deployment and upgrade of the network in a planned, intelligent way. I’m also intrigued by the aesthetic dimension to this kind of planning, the way traces of activity can be rendered, or visualized over time.

Why do I blog this? This idea of rendering some sort of cartogrammic or otherwise visualized representation of activity on wireless or cellular networks is compelling. It’s another kind of representation of the activity of anonymous social formations. One of the challenges, though, is that you either have to totally foreground the aesthetics and the visual eyeball-candy, or reveal some previously unknown characteristic or argue that the visualization is operative and will help, I don’t know, some guy in the NOC manage the network more efficiently or whatever. Otherwise, the representations are likely “expected” and nothing is gleaned except moving blobs. By that I mean, it’s not going to be surprising to see activity clouds in areas where you expect lots of activity. Unless you make the activity clouds (or whatever) visually gorgeous so you forget yourself in the representation.

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