Safecasting Fashion

One of the less obvious uses of open data and open licensing is that things can be used in ways that someone might never consider an option with all the traditional hoops that need to be jumped through. While not specifically related to licensing, Tara’s recent post about using bGeigie logs to generate music is an excellent example of using Safecast data in ways it was never intended, with wonderful results. Another example is this rarely seen collaboration with Slow Factory. Several years ago I was talking to Céline Semaan about her work with Slow Factory, a sustainably focused company who was using openly licensed imagery from NASA to bring science into fashion and related conversations.

We talked about the potential to use some Safecast data and visualizations in a similar way, and because the data is public domain and maps openly licensed this could just be done without legal concerns of any time. A few pieces were made and sold out right away, unfortunately before we were able to get photos. Recently Rachel Binx, a data science engineer based in Los Angeles, posted an image of one of her favorite scarfs – and it happened to be from the this collaboration! This scarf is actually part of the “Endangered X Extinct” collection which brings attention to changes in the natural world, and animals that are no longer with us. The pairing of the extinct Carolina Parakeet imagery with Safecast radiation visualizations is both beautiful, but also layered with complexity as humans and human development are directly connected to the Carolina Parakeet’s extinction, and the Safecast radiation map is a reminder of the largely unseen impact we continue to have on our environment.

While these pieces are no longer available, we love that they exist out in the world and would love to see more creative uses of our work, and will highlight them from time to time as we come across them. If you’ve used Safecast data in your project, or have an idea that you’d like to explore – please let us know!

Slow Factory scarf with Safecast data visualizations

About the Author

Sean Bonner

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Sean Bonner is a co-founder and Global Director of Safecast. Based in Tokyo, he's an Associate Professor at Keio University and an Associate Researcher at the Center For Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab.

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