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February 06, 2007

The Oracle of Elsewhere


World Cities Browser

The Oracle of Elsewhere, by Ian Wojtowicz, explores current events happening in major urban centers around the world. It functions as both an information visualization and as a collage generator. The work's first screen shows a rotating 3D model of the earth displaying cities as extruded blocks. The height of each block indicates city density, and width represents land use. Color is also used to convey information: varying shades of blue show where news is currently increasing. Because this map is connected to live data from Google, it changes with the fluctuation of world events. At the time of this writing, for example, a ferry disaster in Indonesia insured that Surabaya was most noticeable city on the map.

The Oracle also has a sculptural element that enables people to interact with the 3D model manually. A reconfigured standalone globe allows the computer model to be rotated by physical interaction. It brings the work out of the confines of the computer screen and into a real collaborative conversational space. [via Rhizome]

Posted by jo at February 6, 2007 10:41 AM