Gleaning information from the internet and using algorithms to process it, Aaron Zinman's Personas project creates a color-coded map of online identities. The experiment in data visualization works like a conceptual Google, distilling what's on the web into a DNA-inspired strip with varying degrees of accuracy. Those with strong web presences and more unique names will find the game most rewarding, while a few may come up with the disappointing message "no digital traces found."
Watching the site in action, with animated words sorting into colors, is almost as compelling as the results, making it a popular part of the "Metropath(ologies)" exhibit currently at the MIT musuem. (Zinman is a PhD student in MIT's Sociable Media Group.)
Through 13 September 2009
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