This summer, three of my UW Cartography compatriots and I were hired by Professor David Van Sickle to create an epidemiological visualization showing asthma exacerbations. This all depended on an inhaler he was/is developing. The inhaler (details to follow) includes some capacity to receive GPS coordinates and transmit these to a database.
This real-time data collection requires a visualization system to help epidemiologists and other health professionals understand the data collected. We built such a system. This was my and our first project in Flash CS3 and Actionscript 3.0. It’s still very much in progress, but (when active) you can view the map at our secret development address.
We were very much inspired by two interactive Flash maps. The first is the UW Alcohol Map by Jian Liu and Feng Qi. This brilliantly simple map uses various temporal controls (allowing the user to change the temporal aggregation and composition of the displayed data) to show alcohol-related incidents on the U of Wisconsin campus in 1998/99. The second is the Trulia Hindsight Map produced by the brilliant people at Stamen Design. We were particularly (and obviously) inspired by their histogram, which is incorporated into the play/pause/step and filtering controls of the map. Our visualization tool builds on the Stamen approach by adding sophisticated temporal and data-driven filtering. I must also give big ups to Modest Maps, an interaction and display library written in Actionscript 2 (but luckily available in an AS3 version as well).
My three UW Cartography compatriots, by the way, were Eve McGlynn (initial design), Robert Roth (initial interface design and programming), and Andy Woodruff (programming, along with myself).