PhD: Part 1

Fig. 1: An early version of SIEUFERD, the Schema-Independent End-User Front-End for Relational Databases.
It’s my sixth year in graduate school; my committee has been formed, my PhD thesis proposal has been submitted, and I am coding along on SIEUFERD, the research system from which I hope to squeeze my remaining research contributions. The project and [...]

CIKM 2011 Keynote: User Interfaces that Entice People to Manage Better Information

Today I gave a keynote at CIKM 2011.  I argued that in addition to all our work on tools the process information for users, we should also be looking at tools that make people better able to apply their innate information processing talents for themselves.  I talked about the following tools that reflext that idea, [...]

Rich Visualizations in your Wordpress Blog

Datapress is a Wordpress plugin that makes it easy to enhance your Wordpress blog posts with rich interactive visualizations such as maps, timelines, various charts, and sortable lists, all with interactive filtering and faceted browsing.   Datapress uses the Exhibit framework to offer a collection of rich structured data visualization elements that can be dropped [...]

Is Structured Data for Programmers or Plain Folks?

In a post last week I argued that the key to making structured data pervasive on the web was tools that make it easy for people to create interesting data visualizations that share their data by default, without adding effort. This prompted a pair of responses that I’d like to address [...]

Comments as content: The medium hinders the message

When articles were published in hard-copy newspapers, reader response was left to the ultimate in asynchronous communication: letters to the editor for differences of opinion, and corrections when a mistake was discovered. As brick-and-mortar newspapers moved into the digital realm, the static publishing model initially stuck, albeit with an [...]

On a Few Deadly Data Sins and the Entropy of Open Data

I just ran into a lovely and frustrating open-government-style map of stimulus funding put together in Colorado.   The same tool is used in a number of other states, listed in Brady Forest’s blog post at O’reilly Radar.  Lovely because its always nice to look at maps; frustrating because that’s all I can do.  Where’s the [...]

From the Tiny City of Bergen, Norway

From the tiny city of Bergen, Norway comes, well… pretty much all of the cool TV graphics people will be staring at tonight as the US elections are tallied. A spin-off from the Norwegian television channel TV2, Vizrt was founded in year 2000 near an old sardine factory right down the street from my dad’s [...]