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Barcode Plantage
Author(s):
Daniel A. Becker
Institution:
(unknown)
Year:
2008
URL:
http://www.barcode-plantage.com/
Project Description:
As stated on the site, Barcode Plantage transforms a simple product bar code into a unique tree in the garden of globalization. Everyone knows that the bar code is used to facilitate the cashing and recording of goods in stores. But which information is actually encoded within the bar code? A simple answer to this question can be found at one of the product databases on the Internet, which are basically huge networks of national code datasets. Keying in the 8, 12 or 13 digit figures of a bar code into an international code database, returns information on the manufacturer and the country of origin of the product. Moreover, each bar code is assigned to only one product worldwide, but these individual details are hardly visible to the naked eye.

Taking advantage of this rich pool of information Barcode Plantage creates a series of visualizations based on a set of default bar codes. Once a bar code is keyed or scanned in, the program sends a request to the database, which returns a master file data. This master file data is then analysed to define positions, curves and colours of Bezier curves of the tree structure. The number of these curves will vary correspondence to the number of figures in the code. Simultaneously, the user will hear a melody, which is based on the figures of the bar code. To complete the visualised information details of the country of origin, manufacturer, product number and sum - each on a single black bar connected by fine lines ? are displayed. Since all data is being interpreted by an algorithm that works completely without any random aspect each product is represented by a characteristic and singular tree.

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Manuel Lima | VisualComplexity.com