Visualizing Communications Flow

From MIT’s Sensable City Lab and the New York Talk Exchange Project that has an exhibition running at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

"In an information age, telecommunications such as the Internet and the telephone bind people across space by eviscerating the constraints of distance. To reveal the relationships that New Yorkers have with the rest of the world, New York Talk Exchange asks: How does the city of New York connect to other cities? With which cities does New York have the strongest ties and how do these relationships shift with time? How does the rest of the world reach into the neighborhoods of New York?

"Globe Encounters visualizes in real time the volumes of Internet data flowing between New York and cities around the world. The size of the glow on a particular city location corresponds to the amount of IP traffic flowing between that place and New York City. A greater glow implies a greater IP flow."


"World Within New York shows how different neighborhoods reach out to the rest of the world via the AT&T telephone network. The city is divided into a grid of 2-kilometer square pixels where each pixel is colored according to the regions of the world wherein the top connecting cities are located. The widths of the color bars represent the proportion of world regions in contact with each neighborhood. Encoded within each pixel is also a list of the world cities that account for 70% of the communications with that particular area of New York."


For me, the future of enterprise communication software is on-demand, social, device-agnostic, prosumer driven and voice/visual centric.  Visualizing communication flows at the enterprise, team or individual level will increasingly create value for users through a set of new communication analytics applications. 

Think of it this way.  If we take the questions asked by MIT’s Senable City Lab and redefine them from an enterprise perspective, we have a set of questions like:  How do enterprise functions, teams, individuals connect to other parts of the enterprise, with customers, with partners or across the supply chain? With which enterprise colleagues do I have the strongest ties and how do these relationships change over time? How do those at the edge of the enterprise reach into the various parts of the business and why?  What are the important conversations embedded in the enterprise flow of communications?

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