Visualizing My Gmail Contacts
Dark green dots represent my family. Blue and red are local friends and contacts. Orange is from a large client project. Purple dots are people I email sporadically and who aren’t connected to anyone else. The colors go on.
Together, these dots comprise 1,041 people in 40,363 email messages I’ve sent or received since August 1, 2008.
That’s the date I created my current email account.
Engineers at the MIT Media Lab have created a tool called Immersion that enables anyone with a Gmail or Microsoft Exchange account to scan timestamps of messages, though not actual content, and display the interconnections and frequencies of people who are in the “to,” “cc”, or “from” fields.
Do you see the three small orange dots in the bottom right of the above image?
They are captioned with the names Danny, Kristi, and John. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know those names to be this Danny, this Kristi, and this John. Because I used to email them together and/or they replied to all, that’s why they’re seen in a triumvirate shape with lines drawn between the dots.
Same concept with other sets of circles and lines.
It’s amazing how you can show maps based on different time periods, such as the five-year history with my Gmail address or going back one year. If I want, I can show a given week.
There is a manual slider at the bottom of the screen that lets you move back and forth between timelines. As you move the slider, the dots change color and size as your emailing habits change.
You can create your own visual maps here.
Armed with a Master in Public Administration and 12+ years of experience as a corporate webmaster, newspaper reporter, government manager, and digital marketing college professor, Ari Herzog is a connector and storyteller at the intersection of digital media and community relations.
He blogs at ariherzog.com and occasionally writes about himself in third person.
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