Screen Drawer v06

Screen Drawer v06

I’ve been playing with a few different methods of tracking over the past weeks. For now, this has mostly been using the screen coordinates of a mouse to indicate movement, but in time it will be camera tracking which is driving the system (probably via the Kinect). All built in MaxMSP, they’re quite simple at this stage and started off with the most basic data representation; the first only added colour change to the line stroke, based on the current clock minute time (download patch)…

screenDrawer_v03 Mapping mouse movement across the screen.

I realised pretty quickly that this wasn’t giving me very useful information. The colour change is interesting enough, but it’s still very much a mapping of one (maybe two) dimension. The next iteration added non-movement to the visualisation. Each time the mouse remains in the same position, a circle grows from that place (download patch)…

screenDrawer_v04 adds non-movement to the mapping.

I’m never a fan of being attached to the screen for too long, so I tried importing Google Maps data instead. The following is a month-long tracking of my mobile phone through both GPS and mobile network data. It’s likely Google has something similar on your own account if you want to try it yourself (download patch)…

mapDrawer_v01 Using Google Maps data to visualise movement.
mapDrawer_v01 Detailed version.

The current version is the beginning of a move into 3D. Although it doesn’t actually add anything to the above patches in terms of data sets being mapped, it definitely gives more of a sense of engagement: it’s easier to see the effect you’re having on the mesh (download patch)…

All in all, they’re just some ideas that I’ve started throwing around. Tracking and mapping will both feature heavily in my work over the next few years, so it’s important that I start thinking about the meaning associated with how I choose to visualise this data. Some of these latter iterations might provide the foundations for some more interesting experiments.

Update: As something of an experiment, I ran an updated version of Screen Drawer and tracked mouse movements in Facebook over 5 minutes. Using timed screen captures, I laid the mesh from MaxMSP over the top of Facebook. This is the result…

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