Watkins Web 3: Blog

Project 2 Details


Create an online visualization of an external dataset or source of visual material.

First choose an external source of text, data, or imagery to work with. Then buld a site that generates a visual expression from that source. Your final pages may be primarily typographic or image-based, informative or beautiful, organized or haphazard, but they should enhance or comment on the source material, and they should change over time or in response to user input. It is crucial that you sketch multiple ideas — both in Photoshop and in code — before arriving at your solution.

Do not feel beholden to traditional representations of your chosen source material; in fact, it may help to avoid them. What would the news report look like as a series of colors? How could a Flickr stream be expressed through typography?

Some possible data sources you might consider:

  • The news, via Google or Yahoo: stories published in real-time, quantity of coverage that two opposing views receive, stories about a particular person, etc.
  • Weather conditions, via Google or Yahoo: display a full report, the forecast for a given zip code, or focus just on a location’s temperature, wind speed, etc.
  • Twitter: timelines on a per-user basis, a hashtag over time, or a search term of the user’s choosing.
  • Wikipedia: articles on a given topic, edits to a particularly controversial entry.
  • Flickr: images tagged with a particular phrase, popular images, etc.


  • Your site must use a source of text or images that you did not create, and must be approved by the instructor.
  • Your site must not be static: it should change over time, in response to user input, depending on the user’s location, or all of the above.
  • Your site does not need to adhere to the traditional rules of accessible, efficient web design. You are free to make use of inline styles, Javascript dependencies, image- heavy layouts, browser bugs, and other hacks.

Due Date

May 2, 2012