At Fathom (and first tablet app)   Leave a comment

Hello! A few days ago I started working at Fathom, the information visualization studio run by Ben Fry. While here I will work on various data visualization projects, specially those requiring real-time, interactive graphics with OpenGL, as well as continue with my involvement with the development of the Processing language and environment. This job also encompasses an exciting collaboration with the lab of Pardis Sabeti at Harvard university, focused in the creation of new tools for visualizing epidemiological data and helping understand the factors that determine the origin and spread of various diseases. During my first week at Fathom I got started by working on an Android port of the “Stats of the Union” visualization, originally available for iPad tablets.

The “Stats of the Union” visualization provides a simple way of navigating through a large set of databases of general demographic parameters and various health indicators in the United States (prevalence of common diseases, births and deaths rates, risk factors, etc). By zooming in and out the user can see detailed information at the country, state and county levels.

The Android version for tablets (you need Honeycomb 3.0 or later to run it) includes exactly the same functionality and data as the iPad version, and it is available for download for free from the Android market.

As for the implementation details, this application was made using Processing for Android for the most part, with the addition of some low-level OpenGL ES calls to optimize the rendering of the large data sets being handled by the app.

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