Assignment 1: Inspirations

Dynamic:

Recently I have been in love with Google Maps 5.0 for Android. This latest version finally does what I’ve always thought a mobile app ought to do. It allows the user to tilt and rotate the map, which makes navigation much simpler, since the map’s direction can be change to match the user’s.

Really, though, I just love Google Maps, in general. I use it nearly every day—checking the timing/transit schedule so that I make sure to get to my destination on time, to find a place to get a haircut, a restaurant at which to eat, or a store to visit for grocery items. I am amazed by the vast amount of information available in Google Maps, and the ease at which we can access it. Google Maps is such a basic part of my internet and mobile experience, however, that I often forget what a marvel it is. Then I see some website using Bing or Mapquest, and I think to myself, “Really? Don’t they know Google’s is a much better product?” Additionally, the great documentation around Google Maps allows for some great map mashups with other databases, from tweet mappers to apartment search tools. A site that saved me immense frustration and wasted time is a site called PadMapper.com. Basically, it takes all of the apartment listings on Craigslist and a few other sites, and slaps them onto a Google map. The New York real estate market is flooded with listings, so PadMapper.com was an invaluable tool that allowed me to narrow my search visually rather than a) combing all of Craigslist apartment listings or b) attempting to search the listings by guessing what neighborhood words were used to describe the areas where I was looking. It isn’t a gorgeous site, but it allowed me to find an apartment that is double the size of all others in its neighborhood and price range. To me, that’s HUGE.

Static:

I found the following static visualization on visualizing.org. It is interesting—a chart connecting ‘he’ and ‘she’ to the two words following them, in the top 120 trigrams found online. It gets a bit muddy when you move to the third word in the s/he trigrams, but it is intriguing which 2nd/middle words frequently get paired with only one gender. http://www.visualizing.org/visualizations/web-trigram

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