The Department of Energy (DOE) is putting 1.3Billion Processor Hours out to the public for simulation and research of several phenomena. The hours are split between the Oak Ridge Cray XT “Jaguar” and Argonne IBM BlueGene/P “Intrepid” systems, and are for unclassified open research.
In 2009, 900 million processor hours were up for grabs (a million processing hours would take 1,000 processors 1,000 hours, or around 41 days), but both computers received huge performance boosts this year. Jaguar’s processor count has shot up from 31,328 to 180,832, while Intrepid now boasts 163,840 from 32,768. Jaguar’s peak performance is now a blistering 1.64 petaflops (a quadrillion and a half floating point operations per second), making it the second most powerful supercomputer on Earth.
While the article talks alot about the science the new machines facilitate, I see nothing about how they intend to perform Analysis or Visualization of this scale of data. An oversight? I know some DOE folks are watching, care to elaborate?
Jack Dangermond is a name synonymous with GIS, and in an interview with Chad Vander Veen of Government Technology he discusses advancements in GIS and how it can be used by the government to facilitate transparency.
I think historically GIS has changed the way people think. It’s changing how they reason. That’s because GIS introduces the relationships and patterns that you can only see through GIS visualization. Imagine when full GIS capabilities – all the analytics and power – are available to everyone so they could be more thoughtful and considerate about what they’re doing to the environment.
A great new video on Youtube references the recent announcement by President Obama that he will reduce the budget by $100M, and gives ua a concrete physical example of how little money that really is. It’s an interesting visualization of the psychological problems the human mind experiences when dealing with huge numbers and the ratios between them.
The Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI) have been commissioned by the UK Department of Communities and Local Government to review the many approaches to visualizing data in the public realm. OCSI is a research group focusing on data and evidence to help the public sector develop better services.
Questions asked include:
What visualisations are being used by the public sector? What can we learn from elsewhere?
Is there a useful typology (classification) of visualisation techniques for public sector users?
How effective are particular types of visualisation in supporting public sector research and decision-making?
What are the most appropriate visualisation techniques for particular purposes?
During a recent oversight hearing, US senators complained that Recovery.gov wasn’t as accessible and easy to use as it should be. In an attempt to rectify this, Recovery.gov will contain an online forum starting Monday, allowing visitors to make suggestions and vote on reforms. Topics will include website design, data collection and warehousing, analysis, and online visualization.
The US government has stood up a rather extensive data portal at Data.gov, and it seems logical that they should begin to display automatically generated and interactive visualizations of the data, right? Well, over at SunLight Labs they think that they shouldn’t.
The second reason why government should avoid spending time on adding visualizations or other bells and whistles to Data.gov is because it actually hurts transparency. Visualizations, like any other form of news product, can be editorial– even inadvertently. If government puts more of a priority on producing great visualizations and user experience than on providing quality accurate data with a great feedback loop, then it runs a pretty good chance of not adhering to the goal of being actually transparent.
Personally, I disagree with their assessment. They also make an argument that by making the data public, the community can create their own visualization which will undoubtedly be better than whatever the government would publicize, which is probably correct. However, I really believe that non-biased visualizations could be created and shown with moderate effort.
Building on the buzz of the US’s “data.gov” government data portal, some European groups have started building “EPVotes“. The European Parliament elections are just 2 months away, and they hope that by exposing the individual trends of the parliament members, that perhaps the EU can see some of the “change” that the US is hoping for.
Laurent the website’s current designer is open for your constructive design critique “The main idea for the design was to keep it simple… no fancy graphics use lines and white spaces a reduced colour pallet and build the page in such a way that one does not need explanatory texts. But by adding features I see that it starts to be crowded. I would need to think about something new. Unfortunately my design talents are only so good : Do you have some comments “
VizWorld.com We cover visualization and graphics news from around the internet, including Scientific Visualization, Visual Effects, and Graphics Hardware. Read more on our About Page or learn about our Advertising Options Get updates via twitter from @VizWorld.