Promoting the wealth of cultural activity in France
How many exhibitions take place in France each year? How many of them are temporary exhibitions? What percentage of concerts given in France are opera singing concerts?
All these questions were keeping us awake at night. We wanted to provide an answer with the Culture is Data project, a report that presents all French cultural events in a new light. With this project, which was born out of an internal desire to experiment, we wanted to illustrate the ability of computer graphics to convey information in an understandable and emotional way.
Communicating information in an emotional and understandable way
Making it easier to understand the data
Here, the data comes from Etalab, the branch of the Ministry of Culture that handles the distribution of the institution's public data. We mentioned above the understanding resulting from the computer graphics. Indeed, form and image, when articulated together, make it possible to enhance the information and increase its intelligibility.
Emotionally involving the reader
There is also an emotional dimension. This report is indeed a far cry from the cold, icy corporate report... you know, the one you never read. By emotionally involving the reader, information is better understood and retained.
Lastly, this report allowed us to exploit and create different dataviz and creative coding techniques, to consolidate our library of automatic visualisation methods and technologies.
Hey, are there any museums outside Paris? An anonymous Parisian
France has an incredible cultural wealth, sometimes unexpected...
From there, Denis and Matthieu, associate designers at User Studio, began to ask themselves the question of how to make this cultural diversity visible and understandable, all these events and displays that take place every day of the year in our country? They therefore decided to use their expertise in Open Data (a set of public data made available) and Data Viz (the visualisation of this data) to represent this cultural exception that we are so proud of.
“Culture is Data” is therefore an exploratory project stemming from User Studio's R&D, focused on open data and how it can be visualised. The idea is to provide an overview of the possibilities offered by the marriage of a large amount of open data with automated visualisation technologies - Data Viz and creative coding.
Working with public data
It was not so simple... we first had to work for some time on the raw data (the "dataset") provided by Etalab - the intergovernmental mission in charge of opening up public data - which organised putting online a large amount of data from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. This dataset was supplied thanks to the goodwill of the Regions, Departments and Cities of France. But the collection of data on cultural events on French soil is far from being systematic.
However, it already offers us a good idea of what is happening in France in terms of cultural events, and that was the aim of our exploration. Today it’s about exploring the ways that open data can be represented, but just imagine the tools, digital services and applications that will be able to take advantage of it tomorrow... We are already seeing interactive urban maps, augmented reality applications and a host of other possibilities!
In the meantime, if you’re like us and you’re keen to know more about the cultural life of our country, you can download the poster here.