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.

Outline for a Dostoyevsky Novel
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been making prototypes depicting entities and relationships in large sets of documents. Separately, we found ourselves reading more than we’d like to admit of the 312 page testimony of Glenn Simpson for the Senate Judiciary Committee, so we began deconstructing the document, using code to extract key people and places mentioned. Realizing that the testimony itself didn’t provide enough background information, we pulled in additional help to start making sense of the tangle of relationships.
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The Latest from Fathom—February 2018
While eagerly awaiting the Oscars, some of the movie buffs in the studio parsed through 20 years of Best Picture nominees. Rachel created a few sketches that look at the findings on movie budgets, viewer ratings, and race. For instance, this a breakdown of movies that push the 3-hour mark:
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Reconnecting China
Exactly five years ago, we launched Connected China. Irene Liu, who led the project at Thomson Reuters, unveiled it at a conference at 4PM EST, and the site was blocked in China by the time we showed up at work the next morning.
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The Latest from Fathom — January 2018
2018 is here!
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The Latest from Fathom — December 2017
How do we quickly find what we know is there, and how do we efficiently explore what we don’t?
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Finding Farmland
One of the biggest hurdles beginning farmers face in the US is access to land. The National Young Farmers Coalition came to us to help them build an “affordability calculator” that would let potential farmers understand funding and financing property of their own. They were looking for a partner that could build a tool from the ground up, one that went beyond a typical home mortgage calculator and took the complexity of farmland purchases into account.
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Over Heard: A design exploration of the On Being archive
Of a career spent interviewing and listening, Krista Tippett writes, “I’ve come to understand the cumulative dialogue of my work as a kind of cartography of wisdom about our emerging world.” Tippett has hosted the award-winning radio show and podcast On Being for the past 15 years, inviting guests from Janna Levin to John Lewis to Rosanne Cash into her studio for conversations covering everything from art and science to philosophy and faith.
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She Should Run
In November 2016, we created First of Her Kind, a poster celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first woman to be elected to Congress and the first 94 women to be elected as Senators, Governors, and Representatives for each state.
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Guest Lecturing at Harvard CS 171
Last week Mark and I had the opportunity to be guest lecturers at Harvard's CS171 Data Visualization course. It's always great to be able to get out of the office to talk with people about the work we're doing.
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Processing Community Day
Just a few weeks ago was the first ever Processing Community Day. As volunteers and attendees, we were lucky enough to be able to watch inspiring community talks, see new and old faces, and present our own work. In this post, Danielle and Olivia reflect on their experience.
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