Hanging iFrames: Exhibitions of Data

Created by Michael Sanderson.

I'm a Developer in Astoria, NY. I work at Dayou Unlimited, Ltd.. Previously, I've worked at Managing Editor, HERE! Dongguan, China, Senior Teacher, English First Dongguan. I earned a B.A. from New College of Florida.

Project Description

(For NYCBigApps. The plan to work on this at the NYC BigApps CityCamp, Saturday, June 1. For a more thorough exploration, see the link at the bottom.)

"Hanging iFrames: Exhibitions of Data" proposes a new way to present collections of data sets online: Each dataset in a frame, in an interface that replicates the experience of moving through a museum. This visual choice not to be glib: An art museum must present hundreds or thousands of paintings -- with different but related artists, styles, times and places -- in a way for non-liner exploration yet making their relationship clear.

In the case of an online exhibition for civic datasets, like the physical museum it would be divided into wings of borad categories, with each wing divided into smaller rooms that can number from a few to dozens, and the experience of browsing datasets a horizontally-scrolling experience like scrutinizing paintings on a wall.

It’s called data curation and the term “curation” comes from the world of museums: Defined, the organization and maintance of items in a collection. Museum curators know, however, that a key part of their civic mission is presentation of what they have. Developers know that trying to get a handle of what data is available, a task usually done looking at spreadsheets, can frustrate and preclude projects before they’ve begun.

The “museum of data” is a metaphor. It’s a interface built on a metaphor, and one that could dramatically improve the usability of data by making it easier to explore civic data, discover what’s there and understand the relationship among sets.

Web designers and coders are especially needed.

Relevant links:
Adobe Museum of Digital Media:
Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art Interactive Map:

For more information about the project, with images and links:

Project Goals

  • Designed interface for main screen (to resemble the Met front hall, arches leading to different categories of data)

  • Working horizontally-scrolling pages, with working iframes from Socrata

  • Designed map of dataset rooms resembling the Met gallery map. Ideally working in sidebar as moved from page to page.

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