Telling stories with data research

by khemensley

Jonathan Harris is creating interactive information design, telling stories by mapping cyber space with his data research. You can navigate through his many websites and get up to date data that is being constantly scrapped from millions of web sites and blogs. Each time you login you can get a new story.

 “Ten by ten” is a visualisation tool which showcases the top 100 words in the news and the 100 photos associated to them. The result is a dynamic dashboard that displays in one screen a mosaic of the key news images for that very hour next to an interactive ordered list of all the most popular words appearing in those news stories.


“We Feel Fine” searches the world’s blog posts for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling,” revealing emotion and humanity behind what would otherwise be plain old text. This defines a profound new kind of information design: whittling down the world’s 70 million Web sites and blogs into a framed image of humanity. And it does it live, continuously, and autonomously… constantly changing artistic responses to a constantly changing world.


He has also built a website and created info-graphics for Princeton University’s “International Networks Archive”. One main goal of the INA is to develop a new system of mapping our world — one that does not rely on geography, but on more meaningful parameters like access to world markets or communications infrastructure. The first map reconfigures 23 world cities based on travel time between the cities instead of distance. You can click on different cities, and the other world cities will slide to reflect their travel time from the chosen hub.

Harris studied computer science at Princeton University. His work has been featured by CNN, BBC and wired among others. His work has also been exhibited at Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), and at MoMA (New York). He calls himself a storyteller. But he’s also equal parts visual artist, computer scientist, anthropologist, data voyeur, photographer, digital anthropologist, interviewer, and designer.