MoMA Exhibit Features MIT Telecom Research - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

03:02 PM

MoMA Exhibit Features MIT Telecom Research

Some of the works at the exhibit, opening Sunday, visualize global Internet and voice traffic in and out of New York City.

Techies may want to check out an upcoming exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

An exhibit opening Sunday at MoMA will focus on technology and how people and designers cope with it. "Design and the Elastic Mind," will include works created by researchers at MIT.

Some of the works come from researchers at the SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT. The researchers created a project called New York Talk Exchange (NYTE), which visualizes data patterns that reflect the telecommunications traffic flow in and out of New York City. Their three large visualizations, using measurements of the volume of Internet protocol and voice traffic from AT&T's network, will hang at MoMA and be featured on the SENSEable City Laboratory's Web site.

"It is like showing how the heart of New York pulsates in real time and how it connects with the global network of cities," Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Laboratory and associate professor of the practice of urban technologies at MIT, said in a statement.

The first visualization, called Globe Encounters, uses 3-D real-time animations to show New York's connections to other cities. The second, called Pulse of the Planet, shows how global connections between "the city that never sleeps" and those in other time zones fluctuate over 24 hours. The third piece examines global connections down to the borough and neighborhood level.

"We are interested in visualizing and exploring the connections that New York entertains with the rest of the world, how they change over the course of a day, and how the city's neighborhoods differ from each other by maintaining special and distinct relationships with particular cities and countries," Kristian Kloeckl, project leader at the SENSEable City Laboratory, said in a statement.

The project uncovered some interesting patterns of communication.

Columbia University professor Saskia Sassen, author of the book Global Cities, explained in the NYTE catalog that "global talk happens both at the top of the economy and at its lower end. The vast middle layers of our society are far less global; the middle talks mostly nationally and locally."

MIT's data also seems to contradict a common notion that London is more cosmopolitan than New York. British Telecom patterns show that Londoners stay connected with Europe and the United States, while New Yorkers retain stronger communication ties to major cities in Asia and South America.

Kloeckl said individual privacy is protected and that traffic is measured on a grand scale, without collection of individual information.

The MIT team hopes to examine how the structure of global cities is evolving, how telecommunications data can shed light on the dynamics of globalization, how byte transfers affect the need for travel and physical displacement, and whether that information can lead to ideas on global sustainability.

"Our cursory analysis illustrates how telecom data can help us to expand our conception of global cities and their role in the process of globalization," said Ratti. "In the end, the NYTE project reveals as much about the city of New York as it does about its worldwide counterparts, in areas such as business, culture, and immigration. In other words, our visualizations demonstrate that in the information age, urban life is as global as it is local."

AT&T Labs supports the project and said it can help predict how telecommunications needs may evolve.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
CIOs Face Decisions on Remote Work for Post-Pandemic Future
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/19/2021
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
CRM Trends 2021: How the Pandemic Altered Customer Behavior Forever
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/18/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll