Seems like Christmas comes early this year! Visualizing.org just announced the results of the Visualizing Marathon 2010. One of the challenges was to visualize planetary boundaries, i.e. the concept of multiple and non-linear earth system processes presented by Johan Rockström and colleagues last year.
The winner: MICA Team #3 and the project One Day Cause + Effect: A look at energy emissions and water usage over the course of one day (by Christina Beard, Christopher Clark, Chris McCampbell, Supisa Wattanasansanee). Congratulations! The other visualizations are also well worth a look – and a few clicks as many of them are interactive.
2010 Honorable Mention: SVA Team #1: Pushing the Boundaries: A Visualization of Our Footprint on Earth. Submitted by: Clint Beharry, David Bellona, Colleen Miller, Erin Moore, Tina Ye
2010 Honorable Mention: MICA Team #1: What Kind of World Do You Want?: A visualization of planetary boundaries. Submitted by: Melissa Barat, Bryan Connor, Ann Liu, Isabel Uria
So, what are we supposed to do with all these loads of information and data available nowadays? As The Economist reported a couple of months ago, the world is practically drowning in data from sensors, computers, research labs, cameras, phones etc. One way to approach this issue, is the development of web-crawling computers able to plough through massive amounts of scientific data and search for logical relations, as recently reported in Science.
Another, and maybe more realistic use, is visualization. As visualcomplexity.com has shown over the years, visualizations are fantastic for not only science communication, but also as a way to enhance our understanding of complex systems and their dynamics.
Here is a compilation of stunning visualizations we would like to see for sustainability science. Some of them are simple, others are quite sophisticated. Be inspired, and feel free to add your own suggestions to the list in the comments field!
#1. The known universe
A multi-user installation for immersion in the history of electronic music. From a complex timeline, rhythms and sub-rhythms merge to create new sounds. Link with video here.
#3. State of the Internet 2009
#4. The Afghan Conflict
#5. The Luxury of Protest