Chris Mueller – Visualmotive

Thoughts on maps and visualization

Mapping Britain with Telephone Calls

Telephone calls and regional connections in Great Britain

These maps are fascinating. Have you ever wondered why state or county or city boundaries are drawn where they are? It turns out that administrative and government boundaries are consistent with trends in human relationships; that is, people associate most with others in the same government-defined region. To investigate the geography of human relationships, a […]

Continue reading »   Dec 15, 2010Comments Off on Mapping Britain with Telephone Calls

Topologies of Linux and E. coli Control Networks

Comparing genomes to computer operating systems in terms of the topology and evolution of their regulatory control networks

A comparison of the Linux call graph hierarchy with the E. coli regulatory network. Researchers at Yale discovered that the Linux control structure is top-heavy, with a few common modules reused often. E coli, by contrast, has limited central control with many specialized “workers” at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Continue reading »   Jun 12, 2010Comments Off on Topologies of Linux and E. coli Control Networks

Color Sorting – Python source code

I have had several requests for the Color Sorting code I used to create these images. The pixel-based color sorting uses linear and Hilbert sorting techniques in RGB, YIQ, and HSV color spaces. ColorSorting is now on Github.

Continue reading »   Feb 3, 2010Comments Off on Color Sorting – Python source code

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

The process of writing comics

“Comics are juxtaposed pictorial and other images in a deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” These are my notes from Scott McCloud’s excellent book Understanding Comics.

Continue reading »   Dec 9, 2009Comments Off on Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Notes on Color

Munsell Color Space. Image created with POV-Ray, CC license via Wikimedia Commons

Choosing colors for maps, charts, and infographics can be a difficult task. Standard software packages like Excel and Matlab have tended to offer substandard color schemes (though this is getting better) so it’s up to the designer to learn about color and apply the appropriate techniques. This post will focus on understanding color schemes for maps.

Continue reading »   Dec 7, 2009Comments Off on Notes on Color

Walk or Bus?

Should you walk or take the bus?

It is intuitive that when you have a short distance to travel it is always faster to walk than wait around for a bus. But exactly how long should you wait? We decided to do some calculations to find out. Click here to see Walk or Bus?

Continue reading »   Sep 28, 200913 Comments

Sorting Colors

Color sorting using RGB, HSV, and YIQ color spaces

We recently needed to sort the pixels in an image by their color. On first attempt, we sorted by simple RGB values: first sort on R, then on G, then B. But it turns out there are many other possibilities for sorting colors. Every permutation of the RGB letters could be considered (RBG, GBR, GRB, […]

Continue reading »   Sep 14, 2009One Comment

Graph Visualization with Edge Bundling

US air transit routes after bundling algorithm was applied

We recently encountered (via infosthetics) a paper from Danny Holten and Jarke J. van Wijk that demonstrates an algorithm for creating beautiful graph visualizations. The original paper is Force-Directed Edge Bundling for Graph Visualization, published in 2009. In computer science theory, a graph is a collection of nodes and the edges between them. Graphs are […]

Continue reading »   Jul 13, 2009Comments Off on Graph Visualization with Edge Bundling

Jason Salavon


We find the work of Jason Salavon highly inspirational. At the intersection of art and visualization, his images are distinctive for their surface and immediate graphical language while also communicating significant stories of process and history. By merging dozens or hundreds images that share some common theme, Salavon helps us extract high-level information about common […]

Continue reading »   Mar 26, 2009Comments Off on Jason Salavon

Song Visualizations with Echo Nest

Philip Glass String Quartet #5, 2nd Movement

We recently came across Anita Lillie’s beautiful music visualization and MusicBox projects. The music visualization project was especially intriguing to us, since it was the only music visualization project we’d seen that did not require video playback—the visualizations were strictly in 2D. Unfortunately, the source code for Lillie’s visualizations was not available, so we decided […]

Continue reading »   Mar 19, 20095 Comments