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Visualizations at Seattle Public Library – What Community is Reading?

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Seattle Public Library’s Central branch not only boasts unique architecture but also world class visualizations of library data. On the level 5 of the building they have six large LCD display screens dedicated to provide visualizations of data like what people are reading, which books are checked out in the last hour etc. See them for yourself :

Vital Statistics:

spl-vital-statistics
[large size]

Vital statistics displays running totals from various categories – books, CDs, DVDs etc. that people have checked out in the last one hour.

Floating Titles:

spl-floating-titles
[large size]

As the name suggests, floating titles shows the names of various items members have checked out in the order of check out time. The items start floating at right corner and slowly move to left and colored based on category of item (books are red etc.) Items with similar Dewey decimal classification (the numbers you see on library books) are placed at same height and items that are checked out at same time are closer to each other.

Keyword Map Attack:

spl-keyword-map-attack
[large size]

This visualization uses the keywords of checked out titles and maps them based on how many Dewey categories those keywords can be mapped to.

All in all these visualizations provide a comprehensive look at what the library members are reading. If you ever visit Seattle don’t miss the Central library, it is such a great place with millions of books and marvelous architecture.

If you want to find out more about the visualizations in SPL visit George Legrady‘s home page and click on SPL Visualization Link. Artist George Legrady created this visualization at SPL.

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