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Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum

President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization, Infographic Design, Visual Thinking, Product Development and Marketing professional fascinated by good infographics.  Always looking for better ways to get the point across.

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« Get Your Geek Chart! | Main | What is Wolfram|Alpha? »
Friday
May222009

The Amazon Book Map


Now this is impressive.  Chris Harrison has created the Amazon Book Map using data scraped from Amazon and which books Amazon thinks are related to each other.
Aaron Swartz, who runs theinfo.org, contacted me back in January '08 with an interesting data set. He had built a list of 735,323 books by crawling Amazon. Of course a gigantic list is pretty boring, but Aaron had also captured similarity data between books. In particular, he had amassed a whopping 10,316,775 connections (edges) between books Amazon believed were related. This allowed me to throw the data into my old wikiviz engine to spatially layout a huge mosaic of books (I let it run for a 140 hours). Items that were noted as being similar had attractive forces, bringing them together, often into large groups. Unsurprisingly, when we color coded by Amazon book category, there was an obvious coalescence. The way various high-level categorizations mix and meet also seems fairly logical.
I produced a few versions of what I am dubbing the Amazon Book Map. The first visualization is a huge mosaic of book covers, tinted by their respective category colors. I can't produce this in one go at full resolution because the memory requires are enormous. The second version uses color-coded dots. 
As you zoom into the image, you can see its built using the book cover images with a color overlay depicting the category of the book.


Thanks to @anniesmidt on Twitter for the link to this one!

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Reader Comments (3)

broken link hhttp ...

May 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thank you, I fixed the link.

May 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRandy Krum

You're right! Harrison's work is really impressive!!! I have try to put his image into the ClosR.it widget. Have a look: http://www.closr.it/show/BDFWi5UBgBp

With an higher resolution it will be really amazing browsing through covers.

Great job!

May 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterManuela

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