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Tag Archives | Data-Mining

…It’s Website Wednesday: Personas?


Personas is a fascinating art piece that takes a name and ‘scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person – to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data’.

Personas shows you how the Internet sees you. It allows you to see how the machine is working, revealing the computer’s uncanny insights and inadvertent errors such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world where digital histories are as important – if not more important – than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant – for now. Fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, and this kind of data is indispensable but far from infallible.

So go ahead; give it your name and give it a shot.


…Flickr knows what camera you are using?

Flickr Cameras

Flickr is doing a little Web 2.0 style data mining with their Camera Finder service, a Yahoo! Shopping sponsored look at what cameras the users of Flickr are shooting with. Featuring all cameras, point and shoot cameras, and cameraphones, the graphs “show the number of Flickr members who have uploaded at least one photo with a particular camera on a given day over the last year”. Though the data is only available for cameras that Flickr can autodetect (about 2/3rds of them), it’s definitely an interesting new way of rating products. The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT and PowerShot SD400 (my camera of choice) lead their respective categories, while Sony Ericsson dominates the cameraphone market. If you’re in the market for a new camera, this is definitely a service to keep an eye on.

[Flickr: Camera Finder]