e.volution

e.volution visualizes a user’s email relationships with other people through time.

Aimed as an exercise in data visualization, we based our concept on a very simply principle of representing the conversation with different people through volumes over time. We present this data both as a animation which evolved with time as well as a volume in 3D which can be looked upon, adjusted by time and and filtered for more controlled analysis.

Most of our time and energy was spent with translating how the idea would take form from the data which we have and then fine tuning the visualizations. Since it was a first kind of project for us on many levels, a lot of effort actually went on refining the aesthetics of the visualisations, ordering the flow of presentation and creating appropriate labels. Because we went for an alternative approach of creating two visualisations, one the animation and second the 3D volume, we also had to make them consistent and provide sufficient cues for the user to understand the relation between them.

We are currently in the process of packaging the project as a desktop  application which can be used with your GMail accounts. Check out soon for the progress and a video of how the project works.

Technical Details

The project is built in Processing and uses JavaMail API to download the emails through IMAP protocol from Gmail accounts, JAXB API to save the downloaded emails in XML format and ControlP5 library for control elements on the screen. We hope to release the code for the project soon.