China preparations and work on another project

It has been a while since my last post, I have been really busy preparing my trip and setting up meetings with people in China! A few days ago I picked up my new passport and I am currently waiting for my visa. Unfortunately on the day I sent my request the regulations had changed and a maximum stay of only 30 days was introduced! Luckily the guy from the visumburo in Amsterdam assured me it will be easy to arrange a permit for a longer stay (I will be in China for approximately 37 days). All I have to do is go to a police station or so and they will fix it, fingers crossed….

Besides my visa I have also bought a digital voice recorder for saving and archiving all my interviews. Its an Olympus vn4100pc, I have done some tests and it works great; no background noise, more than 24hours of high quality recording space and the distortion is minimal. All I have to do now is finalize my case studies on the companies that I will interview and start packing!

Screenshot of our databody applicationWednesday I will attend my last class for my Information visualization course (my last course for my new media master) before I head off to China. The project consists of creating a concept and an application that will contribute to a visualization of a Social network.  Me and my fellow group members – 2 other new media students, 2 Dutch IT students and 1 designer  from the U.S– are really doing a great job and have come up with the depiction of the so called ‘databody’.

A databody is all the data that a single person has left or put on the Internet. A more thorough description of the databody can be found here. We are currently scraping thousands of Myspace profiles that we will transform into a databody model and visualize this with our application. The application creates an innovative insight in data that is available on the web. The applications provides the opportunity to compare different databodies.

As you can in the screenshot, besides comparing your own with your friends’ databody, the average size or completeness of the databody of a country can also be depicted and compared. This will create an interesting insight in how much data people put online in different countries. Also by selecting certain age groups it will be visualized that for instance the younger a Myspace user is, the more information it makes available and the less its concern with privacy.

During my research in China I will continue to work on this project. Eventually me and my group will have to build a working application and present the concept to our professors. I will keep you posted on the proceedings of this project.

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One Response to “China preparations and work on another project”

  1. Olli Junna Says:

    Hey Piet,

    Cool blog, I look forward into reading about your journey through China. You asked if I was somewhere around China at the same time but unfortunately I’m already back in Finland. However, I will be in Amsterdam between May 16th to 18th, and if I remember correctly by then you’ll be back home as well(?). So maybe we could meet up there…?

    Anyway, good luck with your trip and your quite interesting thesis!


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