The Visual Imperative. Creating a Visual Culture of Data Discovery

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The recent revival of interest in kinship on both sides of the Atlantic 1 gives David Schneider's vii oft cited remarks about kinship being a 'non-subject' and an 'artifact of the anthropologist's analytic apparatus' a rather novel twist. If kinship is an artefact of the anthropologist's analytic apparatus, then any new study of kinship will need to examine that apparatus as part of the ethnography. This article considers one piece of visual equipment available for representing kinship: the genealogical diagram.

It considers why kinship was visualized in the way that it was, by literalizing the 'tree metaphor' Firth , and thereby classing the genealogical diagram together with other sorts of trees. The shift of kinship studies from anthropological centre stage to the backdrop is well expressed by Barnard and Good 1 : 'every ethnographer, whether kinship specialist or not, is expected to come home from the field with a description of "the kinship system"'.

This imperative echoes Barnes's reference to genealogical charts as part of the ethnographer's 'minimum obligation' for making fieldwork 'intelligible' to others. Collecting and displaying genealogies diagrammatically was - and is - considered indispensable to an adequate description of the kinship system. Firth and his colleagues 33 , for example, systematically obtained genealogies for their study of north London 'as soon as possible and, if it could be managed, before kin were discussed at all'.

Even Schneider 56 once described the genealogical grid as 'a construct modelled on the presumption of actual biological relations, that underlies the sociocultural product called kinship', and was to collect a substantial body of genealogical material before changing his mind about its significance Times have certainly changed, yet simple genealogical diagrams remain a popular form of professional shorthand see, for example, Rapport 83, This article explores the conceptual field of the genealogical diagram by considering its iconographical precedents.

I have demonstrated the centrality of the genealogical method of social anthropological inquiry, developed by W. Rivers around the turn of the century, to subsequent British-style studies of kinship and social organization Bouquet That work contrasted English notions of pedigree with Portuguese ideas about genealogia, and the problems attendant upon exporting the genealogical method even within Europe. Here I focus on the visual expression of kinship in diagrammatic genealogical form, arguing that this way of representing relatedness owed much to prior European use of tree-imagery as a taxonomic device.

It tries, by taking seriously the diagrammatical form in which kinship connexions were and are routinely represented, to engage with what Taylor xii calls 'the visual-sensual in the theoretical no less than the theoretical in the visual'. I want to suggest that visualizing kinship in the genealogical diagram reflects 'the limits of a specific ideological consciousness, [marking] the conceptual points beyond which that consciousness cannot go, and between which it is condemned to oscillate' Jameson, in Clifford Wearable devices, as the name suggests, are devices that can be worn on a person and have the capability to connect and communicate to the network either directly through embedded cellular connectivity or through another device primarily a smartphone using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or another technology.

These devices come in various shapes and forms, ranging from smart watches, smart glasses, Heads-Up Displays HUDs , health and fitness trackers, health monitors, wearable scanners and navigation devices, smart clothing, etc. The growth in these devices has been fueled by enhancements in technology that have supported compression of computing and other electronics making the devices light enough to be worn.

These advances are being combined with fashion to match personal styles, especially in the consumer electronics segment, along with network improvements and the growth of applications, such as location-based services, Virtual Reality VR and Augmented Reality AR.

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Although there have been vast technological improvements to make wearables possible as a significant device category, wide-scale availability of embedded cellular connectivity still has some barriers to overcome for some applications—such as technology limitations, regulatory constraints, and health concerns. By , we estimate that there will be 1. As mentioned earlier, there will be limited embedded cellular connectivity in wearables through the forecast period. Only 10 percent will have embedded cellular connectivity by , up from 4 percent in Currently, wearables are included within our M2M forecast.

Regionally, North America will have the largest regional share of wearables, with 40 percent share in a little down from 41 percent share in Appendix B. Other regions with significant share include Asia Pacific with 29 percent share in , declining to 28 percent by The wearables category will have a tangible impact on mobile traffic, because even without embedded cellular connectivity wearables can connect to mobile networks through smartphones.

With high bandwidth applications such as virtual reality taking off the traffic impact might become even greater. For users with fixed broadband and Wi-Fi access points at home, or for users served by operator-owned femtocells and picocells, a sizable proportion of traffic generated by mobile and portable devices is offloaded from the mobile network onto the fixed network.

For the purposes of this study, offload pertains to traffic from dual-mode devices i. Offloading occurs at the user or device level when one switches from a cellular connection to Wi-Fi or small-cell access. Our mobile offload projections include traffic from both public hotspots and residential Wi-Fi networks. As a percentage of total mobile data traffic from all mobile-connected devices, mobile offload increases from 54 percent Offload volume is determined by smartphone penetration, dual-mode share of handsets, percentage of home-based mobile Internet use, and percentage of dual-mode smartphone owners with Wi-Fi fixed Internet access at home.

The amount of traffic offloaded from smartphones will be 59 percent by , and the amount of traffic offloaded from tablets will be 72 percent. Some have speculated that Wi-Fi offload will be less relevant after 4G networks are in place because of the faster speeds and more abundant bandwidth.

However, 4G networks have attracted high-usage devices such as advanced smartphones and tablets, and now 4G plans are subject to data caps similar to 3G plans while, possibly, similar data caps will be in store for 5G. For these reasons, we expect, Wi-Fi offload is going to be higher on 4G and 5G networks than on lower-speed networks, according to our projections. The amount of traffic offloaded from 4G was 57 percent at the end of , and it will be 59 percent by Figure The amount of traffic offloaded from 3G will be 40 percent by , and the amount of traffic offloaded from 2G will be 30 percent.

As 5G is being introduced, while we expect plans to be generous with data caps and speeds will be higher than ever, the new application demands on 5G are also going to move upwards as well encouraging similar behaviors of offload as 4G. The offload percentage on 5G is estimated to be 71 percent by As the 5G network matures, we may see offload rates come down. Globally, total public Wi-Fi hotspots including homespots will grow four-fold from to , from million in to million by Figure Total Wi-Fi homespots will grow from million in to million by Homespots or community hotspots are a significant part of the public Wi-Fi strategy.

The public Wi-Fi hotspots include public Wi-Fi commercial hotspots and homespots. Commercial hotspots include fixed and MNO hotspots that are purchased or installed for a monthly fee or commission. Commercial hotspots can be set up to offer both fee-based and free Internet Wi-Fi access. Commercial hotspots are a smaller subset of the overall public Wi-Fi hotspot forecast and will grow from 9. Homespots or community hotspots have emerged as a potentially significant element of the public Wi-Fi landscape. In this model, subscribers allow part of the capacity of their residential gateway to be open to casual use.

This model is used to facilitate guest Wi-Fi and mobile offload, as well as other emerging models of community use of Wi-Fi Figure Wi-Fi access has had widespread acceptance by MNOs globally, and it has evolved as a complementary network for traffic offload purposes—offloading from expensive cellular networks on to lower-cost-per-bit Wi-Fi networks. If we draw a parallel from data to voice, we can foresee a similar evolution where VoWiFi is evolving as a supplement to cellular voice, extending the coverage of cellular networks through Wi-Fi for voice within the buildings and other areas that have a wider and more optimum access to Wi-Fi hotspots.

A broader view of Wi-Fi traffic inclusive of traffic from Wi-Fi-only devices shows that Wi-Fi and mobile are both growing faster than fixed traffic traffic from devices connected to the network through Ethernet. Fixed traffic will fall from 48 percent of total IP traffic in to 29 percent by Mobile and offload from mobile devices together will account for 48 percent of total IP traffic by , a testament to the significant growth and impact of mobile devices and lifestyles on overall traffic. Because mobile video content has much higher bit rates than other mobile content types, mobile video will generate much of the mobile traffic growth through Of the 77 exabytes per month crossing the mobile network by , nearly 61 exabytes will be due to video Figure Mobile video represented more than half of global mobile data traffic beginning in One consequence of the growth of video in both fixed and mobile contexts is the resulting acceleration of busy- hour traffic in relation to average traffic growth.

As a result, more video usage means more traffic during the peak hours of the day. Virtual reality immerses users in a simulated environment and augmented reality is an overlay of technology on the real world. Both are equally appealing to a creative mind and have their own set of specific applications.

Both VR and AR are poised to be the next set of the biggest trends in mobile technology. The evolution of edge computing and advancements in wireless networking ranging from the imminent roll out of 5G to highly efficient mobile connectivity solutions coupled with access to smarter mobile and wearable devices have all contributed to providing a rich environment for the proliferation and growth of AR and VR.

The accelerated acquisition of smartphones, tablets and wearable devices is significantly contributing to the development of AR and VR markets. Globally, smartphones will be AR and VR market development is expected to follow a similar trend. Adoption Accelerators. Key Inhibitors and Dependencies. VR and AR. While gaming is one of the key applications driving VR, AR is primarily been driven by industrial applications such as retail, medicine, education, tourism, retail shopping furniture, clothes comparison, etc. In comparison to VR, currently AR seems to be growing at a slower rate but with its multiple applications in different industries it stands a chance to become more popular than VR.

The jury is still out as things have just started evolving in this fascinating space. All these innovations in AR and VR will place new demands on the network in terms of its quality and performance. Bandwidth and latency requirements will become increasingly imperative for a high quality VR and AR experience and service providers will need to take a note of this new demand. Globally, augmented and virtual reality traffic will grow nearly fold from 22 petabytes per month in , to petabytes per month in See Figure VR and AR ecosystems are just forming now, Service providers can catch some of these early developments and gain significantly by owning or helping develop some of the AR and VR ecosystems that will ultimately drive their network connectivity offerings.

Whether AR trumps VR or VR grows faster than AR remains to be seen- what is unmistakable is that there will be a resounding impact with this new technological advance. Globally, the average mobile network connection speed in was 8. The average speed will grow at a CAGR of Smartphone speeds, generally 3G and higher, will be on par with the overall average mobile connection by Smartphone speeds will more than triple by , reaching Anecdotal evidence supports the idea that usage increases when speed increases, although there is often a delay between the increase in speed and the increased usage, which can range from a few months to several years.

However, in mature markets with strong data caps implementation, evidence points to the fact that the increase in speed may not lead to the increase in usage of mobile data. Many of the trends in the resulting traffic forecast can be seen in the speed forecast, such as the high growth rates for developing countries and regions relative to more developed areas Table 3. CAGR — Global speed: All Connections. Global speed: Smartphones. Global speed: Tablets. By Region. The speed at which data can travel to and from a mobile device can be affected in two places: the infrastructure speed capability outside the device and the connectivity speed from the network capability inside the device Figure These speeds are actual and modeled end-user speeds and not theoretical speeds that the devices, connection, or technology is capable of providing.

Several variables affect the performance of a mobile connection: rollout of 2G, 3G, and 4G, and now 5G in various countries and regions, technology used by the cell towers, spectrum availability, terrain, signal strength, standard ratifications and number of devices sharing a cell tower. The type of application the end user uses is also an important factor. Increase in speeds by is due to the expected rollout and commercial deployment of 5G.

Download speed, upload speed, and latency characteristics vary widely depending on the type of application, be it video, radio, or instant messaging. By , 4G speeds will be nearly double than that of an average mobile connection. In comparison, an average mobile connection will surpass by over 2-fold over 3G speeds by Average 5G speeds will increase from 76 Mbps in to Mbps by A slow expansion of 5G means that being first to market with 5G is less important than having a long-term strategy for 5G investment that creates value for customers.

The rollout of 4G holds some important lessons. Because the quality of the mobile broadband experience relies heavily on network capability and capacity, network tests and consumer mobile broadband satisfaction tests will be even more important in the 5G world than for 4G or 3G. Tiered pricing and managing top users will remain a priority.

An increasing number of service providers worldwide are moving from unlimited data plans to tiered mobile data packages. To make an estimate of the impact of tiered pricing on traffic growth, we repeated a case study based on the data of several tier 1 and tier 2 North American service providers.

The study tracks data usage from the timeframe of the introduction of tiered pricing 6 years ago. This firm maintains a panel of volunteer participants who have given the company access to their mobile service bills, including GB of data usage. The data in this study reflects usage associated with devices from January and August and also refers to the study from the previous update for longer-term trends. The overall study spans 7 years. The results of the study represent actual data from a few tier 1 and tier 2 mobile data operators from North American markets, global forecasts that include emerging markets and more providers may lead to lower estimates.

Unlimited plans had made a temporary resurgence from October to June with the increased number of unlimited plan offerings by tier 2 operators. In September , 61 percent of the data plans were tiered and 39 percent of the data plans were unlimited. The gigabyte consumption of both tiered and unlimited plans per line has increased. On an average, usage on a device with a tiered plan grew from 1. Tiered pricing plans are often designed to constrain the heaviest mobile data users, especially the top 1 percent of mobile data consumers.

The usage per month of the average top 1 percent of mobile data users has been steadily decreasing compared to that of overall usage. At the beginning of the 6-year study, 52 percent of the traffic was generated by the top 1 percent. With the reintroductions and promotions of unlimited plans by tier 2 operators in the study, the top 1 percent generated 18 percent of the overall traffic per month by June By August , just 6 percent of the traffic was generated by the top 1 percent of users. This rate has been steady since The top 20 percent of mobile users generate 62 percent of mobile data traffic and the top 5 percent of users consume 27 percent of mobile data traffic in the study Figure With the introduction of new, larger-screen smartphones and tablets with all mobile-data-plan types, there is a continuing increase in usage in terms of gigabytes per month per user in all the top tiers Figure At the beginning of the 7-year tiered-pricing case study, Android data consumption was equal to, if not higher than, that of other smartphone platforms.

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However, Apple-based devices have since caught up, and their data consumption is marginally higher than that of Android devices in terms of gigabytes per month per connection usage Figure Tiered plans outnumber unlimited plans; unlimited plans continue to lead in data consumption. The average data usage for shared plans is approaching that of individual plans Figure Besides mainstream mobile devices, billions of IoT connections will be added over next 5 years.

There are immense implications on the network design and readiness front with the slew of IoT devices coming on to the network, be it Wi-Fi or mobile. Mobile data plans will need to evolve to accommodate the large mix and types of connections for end consumers and subscribers. Mobile connectivity has become essential for many network users.

Used extensively by consumer as well as enterprise segments, with impressive uptakes in both developed and emerging markets, mobility has proved to be transformational.

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The number of mobile subscribers has grown rapidly, and bandwidth demand for data and video content continues to increase. The next 5 years are projected to provide unabated mobile video adoption. Backhaul capacity and efficiency must increase so mobile broadband, data access, and video services can effectively support consumer usage trends and keep mobile infrastructure costs in check.

We continue to see evolution of mobile networks. While 4G or LTE connectivity is forecasted to have the primary share of the market, there are field trials currently underway for 5G in some countries. Deploying next-generation mobile networks requires greater service portability and interoperability. With the proliferation of mobile and portable devices, there is an imminent need for networks to allow all these devices to be connected transparently, with the network providing high-performance computing and delivering enhanced real-time video and multimedia. New network capabilities have generated uptake of newer advanced mobile services such as augmented reality and virtual reality.

We find that this continuous evolution towards enhanced bandwidth, latency, security and openness of mobile networks will broaden the range of applications and services that can be deployed, creating a highly enhanced mobile broadband experience. The expansion of wireless access both cellular and Wi-Fi will increase the number of consumers who can access and subsequently rely on mobile networks, creating a need for greater economies of scale and lower cost per bit. As many business models emerge with new forms of advertising; media and content partnerships; and mobile services including M2M, live gaming, and augmented and virtual reality, a mutually beneficial situation needs to be developed for service providers and over-the-top providers.

New partnerships, ecosystems, and strategic consolidations are expected to further transform the wireless networking landscape as mobile operators, content providers, application developers, and others seek to monetize the content, services, and communications that traverse mobile networks. Operators must solve the challenge of effectively monetizing video traffic while developing profitable business cases that support capital infrastructure expenditures needed for 5G.


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They must become more agile and able to change course quickly and provide innovative services to engage and retain a wide range of customers from technology savvy to technology agnostic. While the net neutrality regulatory process and business models of operators evolve, there is an unmet demand from consumers for the highest quality and speeds. There is a definite move towards wireless technologies becoming seamless with wired networks for ubiquitous connectivity and experiences.

The next few years will be critical for operators and service providers to plan future network deployments that will create an adaptable environment in which the multitude of mobile-enabled devices and applications of the future can be deployed. Inquiries can be directed to traffic-inquiries cisco. This forecast includes only cellular traffic and excludes traffic offloaded onto Wi-Fi and small cell from dual-mode devices.

Table 3. Global Mobile Data Traffic, — Tablets and PCs.


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  • Other portable devices. By Region PB per Month. Total PB per Month. Total Mobile Data Traffic. The methodology has evolved to link assumptions more closely with fundamental factors, to use data sources unique to Cisco, and to provide a high degree of application, segment, geographic, and device specificity.

    Article excerpt

    This update focuses on the relationship of mobile connection speeds and the KB-per-minute assumptions in the forecast model. This Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast update details traffic to smartphones; nonsmartphones; laptops, tablets, and netbooks; e-readers; digital still cameras; digital video cameras; digital photo frames; in-car entertainment systems; and handheld gaming consoles.

    Tables 4 and 5 show the regional 4G and 5G connections for and wearable devices growth, respectively. Table 4. Regional 4G and 5G Connections by Number of 4G Connections M. Number of 5G Connections M. Table 5. Regional Wearable Devices Growth. Table 6. IPv6-Capable Devices by Region, — Skip to content Skip to footer. Available Languages. Download Options. Updated: February 18, Contents The Mobile Network Through Figure 1. Mobile Data Traffic Growth in Figure 2.

    Figure 3. Figure 4. Global Mobile Devices and Connections Growth. Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 7. Figure 8. Figure 9. Note: Figures in parentheses refer to , device and connection share by network type. Global Mobile Traffic by Connection Type. Note: Figures in parentheses refer to , mobile traffic share by network type. Global Machine-to-Machine Growth. Global Connected Wearable Devices. Note: Offload pertains to traffic from dual-mode devices excluding laptops over Wi-Fi or small-cell networks.

    Mobile Data Traffic and Offload Traffic, IP Traffic by Access Technology. Note: Figures in parentheses refer to and traffic share. Forward projections for mobile data speeds are based on thirdparty forecasts for the relative proportions of 2G, 3G, 3.

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