This image is a Data Portrait from the 'Local Landmarks' series. Part of a series of four based on alternative visions of local landmarks in the North East of England.
The image is taken from the website of the Northern Stage and was exhibited as part of an exhibition at the Biscuit Factory.
The process for creating the Data Portraits has been developed over the past 10 years and involves a software application we have built called ‘Data Cartographer’. The first stage is to use a web crawler (similar to the method used by Google) to track and map all the links within a given URL. Using this data, we then feed the information through the software. Web Cartographer creates a drawing with nodes, which represent web site components (pages, images, scripts etc.), and lines between them which represent hyperlinks. The drawing is then plotted using a ‘force directed graph’ which causes related nodes to gravitate together and those which are not linked to spring apart. Gradually the drawing takes form and the nodes settle into the final pattern. The process is usually re-run a number of times using different starting positions for the nodes until an optimal result is achieved. The Data Cartographer software has built-in editing tools allowing the line weights and colours to be changed and labels added and oriented. The output is exported and a final postproduction edit is undertaken prior to printing.