|2010||Christian Marc Schmidt,Liangjie Xia|
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“…a city can be considered the outcome of collective memory, the encapsulation of actions and experiences linked to places that shape and redefine the city itself.”
Christian Marc Schmidt and Liangjie Xia, Co-Authors, in the Parsons Journal for Information Mapping
Every day and night, people across the globe are updating to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. While they’re pushed to the web, many are also tagged by location and represent a wealth of location-based data. Invisible Cities creates a virtual re-creation of the urban environment constructed from these digital documents. The project is part data visualization and part immersive 3D world.
Invisible Cities visualizes real-time data, allowing viewers to explore what’s happening in the world as they watch. The project also aggregates information over time and alters the virtual terrain in the interface map to reflect areas with both high- and low-frequency posting. Analysis of the content of posts also ties them together thematically, allowing visitors to see how similar stories merge and spread.
The most recent incarnation of the project, released in 2014, adds to the ethereal effect of the visualization by integrating a gestural interface control tool, the Leap Motion Controller. Visitors to Invisible Cities explore the 3D world with hand gestures, swiping and sliding over a motion sensor to travel through the virtual space.