I found Teehan+Lax Labs‘ Google Street View Hyperlapse project today and was inspired to think a little bit about the data we’re collecting in this Big Data era. It’s so often seen simply as an ineffably large database that requires obscene technical skills to understand and utilize. But the Hyperlapse project demonstrates how the accumulation of data—images of roads for navigation—can be adopted to provide a different kind of “big data” experience, one predicated on intuitive interfaces, beautiful images, and a sense of awe.
Big data collected the images required to make the Hyperlapses, and the images need to be cached for the sheer amount of information to be accessible, but the result is a more visceral than quantitative, especially when paired with the Leap Motion controller:
It makes me think about Google’s mission statement: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Thanks, GOOG, for collecting the data and making it accessible. And to Teehan+Lax Labs for making it beautiful.
(Lax wrote a great article about the purpose of their studio’s Labs and some lessons creative design agencies can derive from their experience. It’s great reading.)