Generative Design Variations M.6.6 Fish-eye view

This is the last exercise of the Generative Design Variations project. Technically I have modified 1219 programs. The programs generated 5957 images. And I have written 83 articles about this project which lasted from November 10, 2013 until  August 21, 2015.

Here is the summary from the Generative Design book: ‘The more nodes added to the graph, the more the network expands in all directions. One can zoom out in order to gain an overview, but the nodes, and especially their inscriptions, lose their legibility. To resolve this discrepancy, the area in which the graph is displayed can be distorted with a fish-eye projection. This functions like a wide-angle lens with a 180º angle. The elements in the middle of the display are still depicted at their original size, but te farther the elements are from the center, the smaller they are drawn–although they remain visible in the display. This kind of distortion can help maintain perspective without distorting information, especially with representations like force-directed layouts, in which the linking structure of the nodes is more important than their exact position. Projection always means taking the original coördinates of the points to be displayed (in this case the coördinates of the nodes) and calculating new coördinates. Only the latter coördinates are used to draw the object in the display.’ So far this summary. And here you can find the the original program.

JavaScript does not support the Generative Design library. Or vice versa. I think the class Processing XML data is also not supported. But I am not sure about that. Furthermore, there are some obscure things imported during the initialization phase:*,, java.util.regex.*, java.util.Calendar, java.util.Iterator and java.util.Map. Because this program is a tool and because I modified it not much I thought it was not necessary to put it online. But I have created a Flickr album where all the images are that I have made during this exercise.

This is still the same tool I used in the previous assignments. I only have chosen to use a little more functionality. And as I said in the previous exercise it is now my intention to use all functionality of the tool to create images. I repeat once again the basic elements of the tool (for myself):
– any element (or node) reflects an article from Wikipedia pages
– the themes are science, nature and society, art and culture
– in the original setup of the tool science is blue, nature and society is yellow, art and culture is purple
– the size of the element is decisive for the length of the article
– there should be an indication in the node that represents the amount of links
– another element should show that there are additional items.

I have made a few screen dumps from the arrangement as it was in the earlier exercise (M.6.5). So the colors I have used in this previous set-up are changed and do not correspond to the above list. Any node reflects a Wikipedia article. And the keywords that I would like to use are coming from people who are working in the science, nature, society, art and cultural world. I start with: Louis B Mayer (1885-1957), US film producer.

Keyword: Maria Callas (1923-1977), Operatic soprano. In this graphic are three theme colors. But I want to modify those because I think there are more possibilities. Science is now red, nature and society are yellow and  art and culture is blue. And looking a bit deeper into this linking mechanism it seems that Maria Callas was little concerned with science. That is why there is only a bit red present in the image. The majority is art, which is blue-ish. Of course it depends on how many nodes you click. But there also are interesting relationships noticeable. For example, what has Maria Callas to do with L-Dopa? I continue to change colors during the following exercises.

Keyword: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), US writer. Because the colors are interpolated it seems better to me to choose three very different colors. I have made science red, nature and society white, art and culture is blue. The disadvantage of white is that it brings back all bright colors to a shade or a tint of that color. So I replaced white with magenta. Probably this is not a good choice but I think yellow is still good. Although I think it’s a very ugly color combination. I experiment now by exaggerating the shapes. Which also leads to terrible results if you ask me.

Keyword: Alma Mahler Werfel (1879-1964, Wife of composer Gustav Mahler, then architect Walter Gropius, and finally writer Franz Werfel. There are now three bars one above the other. The white bar is there only if there are additional items. The middle bar represents the themes and the lower bar is there if there are any links.

Keyword: Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), British general and statesman. What happens if I drop all these circles and just start with texts and lines. Maybe I should also cut the arrow points for a moment but it could well be that they eventually disappear forever. Finally, the main thing that I am interested in is the article’s name. So I’m going to bring this chart all the way back to its essence.

Keyword: George Sand (1804-1876), French novelist and memoirist. I have not much used the feature that lets you specify colored lines. That gives a completely different picture.

Keyword: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), German-American architect. Color was added to the central point that indicates that there are back links. I think the point maybe slightly larger. Actually, I make the same mistake again. The emphasis is now on the nodes. While I would like the emphasis to be on the texts.

Keyword: Eva Duarte de Perón (1919-1952), Actress and First Lady of Argentina. I have associated the colors with the text. So now you see directly in which group the texts fall. Over time the colored texts disappear but the context of the categories is taken over by the colored dots in the nodes.

Keyword: Groucho Marx (1895-1977), Comedian. I tried to find out how many links are possible. But only so that it all remains manageable. I also think that those black circles in the background do a great job. I leave them in.

And let’s finally spend the last keyword to the woman to whom we owe all this programming: Ada, Countess of  Lovelace (1815-1852), English mathematician, writer and pioneer of computing. And the Wikipedia link is not working. What is wrong? Nothing! Just kidding!


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