MIT Immersion

This is from earlier this month, but didn’t see anyone post, so figured I’d share…

A team out of MIT Media Lab launched a data visualization experiment called Immersion – Working through Gmail (and Gmail only), Immersion provides users with a web-like representation of their email interactions. Users can manipulate the time periods, as well as highlight individual contacts (represented as bubbles) for a more detailed look at the webs of interconnectivity that stem from each one.

Video below:

Why I’m Curious?

I’m always surprised by the ways in which data visualization is able to offer new perspective…It quite literally provides you with a different way of looking at something.

This tool I found particularly interesting given how clearly it lays bare all of the relationships I’ve cultivated or unfortunately let fall off over the last several years. It’s not often you’re presented with such a stark portrayal of your social interactions.

From another standpoint, it’s also pretty remarkable how quickly Immersion is able to process and analyze the data inputs, and then adjust the outputs as parameters (e.g. time period) are modified.


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