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The Data Lab presents innovative visualisation experiment for Big Data Scotland 2015

We have been programmed to engage, analyse and communicate data in 2D, limited to the confines of the rectanglular world of our devices, monitors and projectors. What if we were to break those boundaries, place ourselves within the data and interact with it: could we gain new insight, could we create new emotional responses?

In a world first, The Data Lab are delighted to partner with Soluis to create a live, immersive data visualisation experiment for Big Data Scotland 2015. Breaking out of the limitations of the rectangle, delegates will stand within a four metre immersive dome and experience the mood of the conference through the day using visual and audio interpretation. This will be a live experiment, driven by delegates’ tweets to the conference hashtag #scotdata, interpreted by the IBM Watson Personality API and visualised in the dome.

The Data Lab and Soluis are delighted to bring this world first innovative experience to the conference and can’t wait to launch the experiment. Are you attending the conference? Get involved and start tweeting to #scotdata now!

Twitter Planefinder contest

Leading up to the event, we are also running a visualisation contest on Twitter using some data kindly donated to us by We received a single day worth of data; that’s every plane, from every airport for every minute of the day, for as long as it was in range of a radar. If you’re interested in how the data is collected, read the geeky details here. To start exploring this dataset, the natural thing was to map the flight path of every flight that day. By making each path very transparent we end up with a density map of where busy routes appear darker. We quickly realised that some regions of the world were very recognisable from just the flight paths with no underlying maps (while other regions were not recognisable at all). We also noticed that this way of visualising flight paths created beautiful images.

That’s how we came up with an idea for a quick contest leading up to the event. To participate, stay tunned to our Twitter @DataLabScotland and the event hashtag #ScotData. We will post one image a day, and all you have to do is guess which part of the world it represents. There are Data Lab goody packs to be won!

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