I distributed the following handout at the presentation, showing the popularity of Bible chapters and verses cited on Twitter. It displays a lot of data: darker chapters are more popular, the number in the middle of each box is the most popular verse in the chapter, and sparklines in each box show the distribution of the popularity in each chapter. (Genesis 1:1 is by far the most popular verse in Genesis 1, while Genesis 3:15 is only a little more popular than other verses in the chapter.)
Archive for the ‘Visualizations’ Category
Let’s look a little more at some of the data on what Twitterers are giving up for Lent.
Categories of Things Given up by Location
As I only track in English what people are giving up, there are concentrations in English-speaking countries.
Categories of Things Given up by State
These visualizations show the differences (or lack thereof) in what people are giving up among U.S. states.
The composition of each state’s categories of tweets shows mostly minor variations among states. Some states (like Wyoming on the far right) have small numbers of tweets. I would have liked to use opacity or width to indicate this disparity but couldn’t figure out how to do it.
Comparison between 2009 and 2010
This treemap shows how the data changed between 2009 and 2010. The size of the box shows the number of people giving up each category and thing, while color indicates the percentage change from last year: dark blue indicates the steepest drop; dark orange indicates the steepest rise. The second chart shows the same data more conventionally expressed.
About the Visualizations
I created these charts mostly to explore how the new data-analysis software Tableau Public works. One of its claims to fame is that you can publish interactive visualizations to the web, a feature I didn’t take advantage of here. Tableau doesn’t do treemaps, so I used Many Eyes to create the treemap; the closest Tableau equivalent appears below the treemap.
Snow makes the list this year, understandable given the Snowpocalypse and Snowmageddon that gripped much of the Eastern U.S. in the weeks preceding Ash Wednesday. IPods also made the list after the Bishop of Liverpool asked people to consider praying instead of listening to them. This year a celebrity, Justin Bieber, cracks the top 100. He beat out the Jonas Brothers, 64 votes to 11; draw your own conclusions.
The list largely tracks last year’s list. It draws from 40,000 tweets retrieved February 14-20, 2010.
Complete List of the Top 100
|Rank||Word||Count||Change from last year’s rank|
|19.||Giving up things||241||-6|
|89.||New Year’s resolutions||42||-29|
Image created using Wordle.
Where did you get the inspiration for your pieces? What was your motivation to create them?
Initially I had started with ideas of creating an information visualizations on Paul’s journeys and the spread of Christianity. As I explored the topic further, I realized that the focus, as a Christian, should not be on Paul but really on Christ Himself. Since the objective of Paul’s journeys and ministry was Christ. So I began exploring the Gospels and the role of Christ in the Bible. Ultimately my motivation is to visually demonstrate, given the Bible as a historical relic and literature, Christ’s centrality in the Bible and His reality because of the sheer number of references to Him found in the OT even before His birth.
What was the process you used to create them? Where did you get the data? What tools did you use?
My data was obtained through many reading and primarily comes from the Tyndale Life Application Study Bible, ESV Study Bible, and The Christ of the Covenants by O. Palmer Robertson. I cross referenced the passages from ESV’s history of salvation and Palmer’s book against the 250 events in the life of Christ from the Tyndale study bible. Some computer programs I used include Adobe Illustrator, Acrobat, and Microsoft Excel.
With infographics, there’s often a tension between making something attractive and clearly portraying the information you want to communicate. As a designer, how did you resolve that tension with these pieces?
As mentioned above, I basically cross-referenced the bible verses/passages to create data points. I did not create my own data, merely synthesized available data that have been around for centuries to create the data sets.
Why do graphic designers create infographics about the Bible?
Perhaps the Bible remains a choice subject matter because it is rich with intricacies and complexities that come together so harmoniously.
What are you up to these days?
I am currently interning/working at a magazine as a art/photo assistant and assisting in teaching an information design class at Parsons. I am also cooking and baking to test and create recipes. Additionally I am involved in starting a new college ministry (City Campus Ministry) and a teaching assistant for the Children’s Ministry at my church, Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC.
Yingyan Huang, a graphic designer, recently created two Bible visualizations that emphasize the unity of Scripture.
The first visualization, “The Harmony of the Gospels—250 Events in the Life of Christ,” identifies 250 events recorded in the Gospels, arranges them chronologically, and plots them to reveal which events occurred in which Gospels. In effect, it’s a visualization of the Composite Gospel Index, though the visualization is apparently using a different data set.
The second visualization, “A Single Story—The Bible through the Lens of 250 Events,” starts with the same 250 events but extends references to them into the Old Testament and the remainder of the New Testament. This visualization shows the centrality of Christ in the Bible.
Both visualizations convey useful information. I wish they were available in larger sizes, but even the low-resolution versions give you a sense of the message behind the images.
The social data visualization site Many Eyes just unveiled a new visualization type, the Phrase Net, which illustrates phrase connections in textual content. The hard part is finding the right phrase to produce a good visualization.
Here are a couple of visualizations of the Old and New Testaments in the KJV Bible, using the pattern “[word] of [word].”
The Old Testament visualization illustrates the centrality of ideas like “Children of Israel,” “King of Israel,” and “Land of Israel.”
The New Testament visualization shows the shift in emphasis to “Son of God” and “Kingdom of God.”
Both visualizations require Java.
Some you’d expect (alcohol, chocolate), some are ironic (giving up Lent for Lent, giving up giving up things), some are odd (pants, lint), some are anti-religious (religion, Catholicism), and some are tech-related (Facebook, Twitter—even “Facebook and Twitter” makes the list).
- Facebook (654)
- Twitter (317)
- Chocolate (272)
- Lent (216)
- Alcohol (187)
- Soda (139)
- Coffee (129)
- Meat (126)
- Religion (102)
- Swearing (94)
- Sweets (92)
- Catholicism (90)
- Giving up things (80)
- Work (70)
- Beer (60)
- Sex (59)
- Fast food (57)
- Facebook and twitter (57)
- Sugar (45)
- Stuff (43)
- Booze (41)
- Smoking (39)
- Food (39)
- Procrastination (38)
- Internet (37)
- Cursing (36)
- Caffeine (35)
- TV (33)
- Pancakes (33)
- Social networking (33)
- Sleep (32)
- Candy (32)
- Diet Coke (29)
- Giving up (29)
- You (28)
- Wine (28)
- Lint (28)
- Cheese (28)
- Bread (26)
- Shopping (26)
- Sobriety (26)
- Abstinence (24)
- Cussing (24)
- Red meat (24)
- Chips (23)
- Internet porn (22)
- Christianity (22)
- Nothing (21)
- French fries (21)
- Jesus (21)
- Sarcasm (19)
- Junk food (19)
- Starbucks (18)
- Ice cream (18)
- MySpace (18)
- Cookies (18)
- Fried food (17)
- Complaining (17)
- God (16)
- New years resolutions (15)
- Social media (15)
- Pizza (14)
- Tweeting (14)
- Carbs (13)
- MySpace and Facebook (13)
- Carbon (13)
- Eating out (13)
- Stress (13)
- Flaky guys (12)
- Laziness (12)
- Texting (12)
- Me (11)
- Some of your money (11)
- Annoying me (11)
- Sacrifice (11)
- School (11)
- Hope (10)
- Rice (10)
- Coke (10)
- Porn (10)
- The snooze button (10)
- Guilt (10)
- Men (9)
- Obama (9)
- Church (9)
- My job (9)
- Homework (9)
- Self denial (9)
- Moderation (9)
- Exercise (8)
- Bacon (8)
- Dieting (8)
- Paying taxes (8)
- Dr Pepper (8)
- Gossip (8)
- Beef (8)
- Pants (7)
- My sanity (7)
- Celibacy (7)
- Shaving (7)
Try Bible Verse Photo Composites. Move your mouse over the image to see a photo composite for a particular verse, and click to see composites for the words in that verse.
Here’s the idea: Use the Flickr API to find photos matching each of the words in the Bible. Then download the photos for each word and layer them on top of each other to produce a composite image for word. Once you do that, layer the important words from each verse on top of each other to produce a composite image for each verse.
Then put all the verses together in sequence to create the orangeish image you see above. About 300,000 images comprising 13,000 words make up the image. Each verse occupies about six pixels.
For layering the photos, I wanted the brightest (most-saturated) colors possible; I used a simple formula. It finds the difference between the brightest and darkest channels in a particular pixel. The brighter colors will tend have bigger differences.
$rgb = array(( $pixel >> 16 ) & 0xFF, ( $pixel >> 8 ) & 0xFF, $pixel & 0xFF);
return $rgb - $rgb;
This formula differs from the usual conversion formula from RGB to HSL. I didn’t like the results of the RGB-HSL formula as much; the images were slightly darker.
Then I placed the darkest pixels on the bottom layer of the composite image, layering brighter (but about 50% transparent) pixels on top. The results for each word resemble abstract art:
(11) (begrudge) (liquid) (sharp) (waterfalls)
I did a similar procedure to produce verse composites, layering the important words from each verse on top of each other. The results are generally less spectacular (in my opinion) than the word composites, as many of the verses look like each other. I’d like to explore other compositing algorithms to try to differentiate the verses more. (Feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions for an algorithm!)
The hardest part was the waiting. It took a long time to download the 300,000 images, and nearly as long to process them all. Plus, it takes a while to upload half a gigabyte of data after processing the images.
The verses composites omit images for about 200 common words (as listed in the Crossway Comprehensive Concordance of the ESV). I didn’t want common words to overwhelm the important ones.
Well, the result is awfully orange. As I said above, I would’ve liked to see some more differentiation. (I tried a few different formulas but didn’t come up with anything that works much better.) You can see some bands that are more orange than others, but I’m not sure how significant they are.
It would be interesting to try to calculate cross-references based on the similarity of the verse composites—are verses that look alike actually similar?
Any work of literature would lend itself to this kind of project. Project Gutenberg has lots of public-domain e-texts available. It would be interesting to compare the composite footprint of, say, Moby Dick to the Bible’s.
The inspiration for this project comes from the 80 Million Tiny Images project by Antonio Torralba, Rob Fergus, and William T. Freeman at MIT. They created a map of nouns in the English language by downloading images from search engines, combining the images, and then arranging them into a graphic based on the words’ semantic distance from each other. Fascinating stuff. Via ReadWriteWeb.
Google just introduced an experimental view of search results that identifies dates embedded in webpages and shows you a timeline of when these pages say the relevant events occurred.
Below are searches for a few events in the Bible. Obviously the timelines reflect divergent opinions on when the events occurred.
Somewhat related to the long zoom and new ways of viewing the Bible, here’s a 3D program for viewing relationships among documents:
This image comes from Xanadu.com (where there are more pictures). It shows transclusions, or (to oversimplify things) places where documents quote each other.
The Bible and biblical reference works do this kind of quoting and referencing all the time—for example, commentaries cite passages and external sources to support their interpretations. Current-generation Bible software makes it easy to work your way through different citations, but it’s hard to see the extended context of multiple citations at one time. A more visual interface might let you make connections you otherwise wouldn’t.