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Descripción del proyecto / Description of the project

Fluflux is a data visualization project showing significant correlations between global pandemics (SARS, Avian Flu and influenza A), international flight travel, media representation of disease and online individual responses. The changes in the influx of people traveling between countries reflects historical events. FLUflux highlights these changes by focusing in the concept of "global disease".



The graphic metaphor is that proximity between countries is determined by the amount of people traveling between them. This representation can show many process going on in time: progressive shrinkage given to the increase of flight travel, and sudden expansions due to events like the outbreak of global pandemics. Descripción previa del proyecto.

Preguntas iniciales / First day questions

*Previous description of the project: The ongoing pandemic of influenza A (H1N1, swine flu) occurs in the context of an interconnected world where large numbers of people quickly move from one country to another. An array of factors - social, geopolitical, economical, etc.- affect and are affected by the flux of tourists, immigrants, temporary workers, students, and refugees traveling between different parts of the world. Global pandemics like influenza A today are a unexpected and potentially disruptive factor that alter the configuration of these networks of global mobility. There are various online data repositories for both influenza A statistics (FluTracker, HealthMap) as well as border crossing and entry activities for different countries (Tourist arrivals by region of origin database at UNdata, Aviation data library at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics). The goal of this visualization project is to mine, filter and visualize these two different sources of data in such a way that time and location correlations between them are made visible and open for discussion.

The project will have a web-based interface as well as a physical installation form, and both will be updated regularly to reflect the current evolution of the pandemic.

1. Describe the goal of the project in 3 sentences (which message do you want to carry? to whom?)
The main goal of this project is to have fun with and examine the social and discursive effects of or "global disease" such as the current pandemic of influenza A. We will juxtapose quantitative layers of information (contagion statistics, international travel data) with more anecdotal sources (individual responses to the epidemic posted on forums, blogs, etc) and excerpts from news media. This project is aimed to the general audience, which is usually the passive receptor of the mass media discourse on this disease.

2. What are the inspiring projects and theories; background, context, references
In terms of representation, we are inspired by previous projects that involve geo-mapping on the 3D globe of different types of data. Regarding the visual style, we find the images from the thermal scanning] carried out at the airports as a immediate reference to the current influenza A pandemic and its relation with the influx of people between countries. The media saturation during the past months regarding the pandemic is the context where this project tries to locate itself in terms of a critical message about the increasing blending between objective facts (quantitative measurements), individual opinions and media representations.

3. What is the short-term objective (what do you expect to finish in 2 weeks)?

Online visualization plus an initial version of a screen-based physical installation, using flu data updated until August of 2009.

International flight data is affected by the global pandemic of influenza A, as well as the spread of the disease being influenced by the international flight routes

Desarrollo / Development process

Progress report - Thursday 19th

  • project goals: flu/text visualization & flights/news visualization
    * data model (structure of data and current status): xml and csv files obtained from BTS, flutracker and answers.yahoo
    * draft sketches in processing of proposed visualizations
    * problems we are currently facing: making the text interesting in the flu/text visualization, and querying the news in the flights/news vis. Also, we need to decide which project to keep, or do both.

Progress report - Thursday 23th The project finally settled into using the flight data from BTS.

Datos / Data

Flight travel: http://news.google.com/archivesearch/advanced_search

Tecnologías / Technologies


Estado actual y seguimiento del proceso / Current status and next steps

We would like to incorporate more flight data in order to show international routes with no point in the US . News and blogs query will be improved, and the interface and graphics will be refined as well.

Autores del proyecto / Authors of the project

  • Jihyun Kim
  • Andrés Colubri

Colaboradores / Collaborators

  • Larissa Pschetz: programming