I was exploring this idea of data painting, which is much like data visualization without being ‘meaningful’ essentially. I started with an idea of determining the simplicity of the number in term of remembering the number.

I started with a simple algorithm which would reflect the randomness of the sequence of numbers, which in turn would tell the viewer that the number is easily memorized or not. I started to work with Processing. Parsing numbers that is written on a text file.

Getting a suggestion from a friend, I decided to color the lines, but I always get in trouble coloring stuff with random number. He gave me the answer, BORDERS. And that was it, I changed and tweaked the program, added a few borders and that was it. The next picture is of my number again, colored. The color is decided by the last 6 digits of the number.

The idea is simple. The point starts from an arbitrary position. The program checks the next digit, and compares it with the current digit. The slopes in various places on the pattern indicate either the next number is greater, less or equal with the current number.

For example, let’s consider the number, 12537043332. For this number, the pattern is,

If you look at the details (from left) we will see that the 1st digit is smaller that 2nd, and there is a positive slope. Like wise, the first negative slope indicates 5 and 3. The string ‘333’ is indicated by that long straight near the end of the number.

Here are a few patterns that I generated.

There is a glitch with the co-ordinate system. Was being too lazy to fix that!

Here the link to the Processing sketch in Zip Files. The input should be a text file named ‘data.txt’ in the same folder containing the numbers with one number in a line (for the no name version). There is also another one designed to generate patterns from phone numbers with names. For that, do also put your name left to the phone number in ‘data.txt’. The outputs will be in GIF format in the sketch folder. Ignore the file names, my initial plan was reflected in the file names.