Originally posted on TED Blog:

manuel_lima.jpg

Unedited running notes from TEDGlobal 2009.

An interaction designer at Nokia, Lima looks at how complex interconnectedness can be understood. He is compelled by the divide between information and knowledge. So he looks at information visualization. He built a visualization tool called Blogviz that helps display how word-of-mouth information travels from person A to person B.

To understand how to visualize info, Lima started collecting hundreds and hundreds of examples of visualizations of complexity, which he compiled onto VisualComplexity.com. Subjects the visualizations deal with include social networks, computer systems, biology, transportation networks, food webs … Now he tracks close to 700 projects.

Networks are omnipresent. They’re in brains, in cells, power grids, ecosystems. This is why it is important to try to map networks. He studied Warren Weaver, who wrote on complexity, and “problems of simplicity.” There are problems of simplicity, problems of disorganized complexity, and problems of…

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