Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Visualising the Music Universe

Every now and then I like to post data visualisations, and this one comes from one of my favourite web applications, Last.fm. Last.fm remembers what songs you play on your iPod (or whatever music player you use). Given that we now have an electronic device ban in our workplace, I'm giving their online streaming radio a go. (Ask me what I think about this ban and I'll give you a forthright answer, offline...) In any case, last.fm is a data lovers dream. The following visualisation shows my listening habits in 2009. The planets represent the top tags given to songs I listened to throughout the year - generally, these tags are song genres. Planet size is proportional to how much of that tag I listened to. The moons represent my top artists of 2009, with the light side showing how much I listened to the artist this year and the dark side showing last year's listening. Moons that are clustered together suggest that those artists are similarly tagged. The orbits show the correlation between the artist and the tag - artists with a closer orbit are more strongly associated with that tag than artists on the outer orbits.

Very funky, even if sometimes the moon is larger than the planet, and the small planet "Old People" appears in my solar system - you'll need to check out the high resolution picture to make out the smaller planets and moons.

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