F

Notebook

Here's where we post periodic updates on what we've been up to at Fathom. Reflections on the interesting stories that emerge from our client work, side projects, after-hours rabbitholes, and other miscellaneous threads of inquiry.

James speaks at SATE Conference
This past fall I spoke at the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) SATE conference at Carnegie Mellon University. SATE stands for Storytelling, Architecture, Technology and Experience — the core elements of themed entertainment — and by "themed entertainment" they mean amusement parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, among others.
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GE Transformation Timeline
We're excited to announce our latest project, an interactive timeline for GE's corporate website showcasing their transformation as a company over the last 100+ years. GE is one of the world's largest companies, and that only feels more true as you look through their history, and see how they have influenced almost every sector of technology and industry. From healthcare to aviation, energy and power to television, GE has touched it all.
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2015 print shop donations
We’re happy to report that for another year, our curiosity and love of print have enabled us to give back to our local community and beyond. Our latest printed project—The Preservation of Favoured Traces—continues the tradition. Proceeds from all our books, offset posters and on demand posters are donated to organizations that support areas we are interested in. From supporting female entrepreneurs to encouraging more active and sustainable transportation, the diverse interests of folks in the office are reflected by our areas of donation.
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Coubertin Rings Update
The Android Experiements are composed of a gallery of creative open source projects developed for the Android platform, and were introduced as a way to “encourage more developers to challenge how we interact with the devices we use every day.” In the spirit of the experiments, we set out to challenge how users interact with their Android Wear devices, and in doing so challenged none more than ourselves.
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The Architecture of Typography
Fathom’s recent Architecture of Typography workshop was a fun opportunity to hone our design skills and discuss trending topics in type.
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One million forks in a centrifuge
For the past few weeks, I have served as Fathom's in-residence explorer of 3D printed information design with Formlabs’ Form1+ printer. Because my goal was to focus on the physical medium and form, I tried to stay away from directly 3D-ifying data visualizations that already exist in 2D (think extruded line graphs, bar graphs, etc.), or from arbitrarily mapping data points onto 3D space for the sake of aesthetics. Instead, I zeroed in on the features of physical objects that cannot be expressed on a screen, breaking them into two categories: material and interaction. More on forks later.
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2015 Wrap-up
The past year has been action-packed here at Fathom. We gave numerous talks, hosted a great collection of visitors, and launched one of our largest projects to date.
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The Preservation of Favoured Traces, now as a poster and book
Hot off the press—and just in time for the holidays—are two print projects that look at the six editions of Charles Darwin's, On the Origin of Species. Originally developed as an interactive piece, we decided to continue our tradition of producing and selling unique printed artifacts. And as always, all of the proceeds from this work will be donated to charities focused on education, science, music, art, food, and homelessness.
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Metric spaces and information distance
In my last blogpost, I showed some visualizations generated by usage data from our tool Mirador. These visualizations rely on the calculation of a "distance" between variables in a dataset, and Information Theory allows us to define such distance, as we will see below.
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Search processes in correlation space
This new post is the continuation of a series of writings (1, 2) on discovering correlations in complex datasets. Some of the ideas I discussed so far have made their way into Mirador, a tool for visual exploratory analysis developed in collaboration with the Sabeti Lab at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. By visualizing "information distance" to construct a geometric representation of statistical correlation, I will describe the usage patterns within the interface of Mirador. Keep reading for the details!
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