TechEd keynote kicks off with data artist
TechEd 2012 kicked off in an artistic style with New York Times' data artist in residence Jer Thorp showing the exciting side of data.
The keynote speaker helped open the Microsoft's technology conference in Auckland by combing science, art and design to develop visualisations, arguing the screeds of data in the world can be made more exciting and less complex.
“Data has character – it’s not just numbers," Thorp says.
"Each set is bespoke and can be used to create a meaningful visual that people can relate to and interact with."
Thorp offered insights into how data can be made more palatable, using examples like the fall of Communism, vanity Tweeting, mapping names onto the September 11 memorial and mapping the streets of London with lightbulbs.
Renowned for his ability to create beautiful data visualisations that put abstract data into a human context, Thorp's work enables people to understand and more effectively engage with the information surrounding them.
Before Thorp's introduction, Microsoft's Scott Wylie kicked off the keynote session stating it is a great time to be in tech, explaining why the next 12 months will be “the biggest year of launches in Microsoft’s history”, with the reimagining of the entire product line and the progression of touch-enabled interactions driven by the cloud.
Paul Thurrott, Microsoft blogger, published author, podcaster and the news editor for Windows IT Pro magazine, followed to offer update on Microsoft’s upcoming key product releases, including Windows 8 and Office 2013 while demonstrating the power of the world’s largest multi-touchscreen, the 82 inch Perceptive Pixel.
Over 2,000 IT professionals and software developers have descended upon Auckland for the conference, listening to over 140 international and local technology experts, who will present at 169 sessions covering the four days.