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︎︎Caixin Media

Technology Support Zlab

My Role: UX Designer

Beijing, China

Pinhole of
Tian’anmen Square

The first data visualization experimental project
collaborate with news media in China


On October 1st of 1949, that Chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the Tian’anmen Rostrum declared the coming of the new era of China. Tian’anmen Square began to be seen as the symbol of China since then and becomes an important constituent part of the National Emblem of China. Covering an area of 440,000 square meters, located downtown Beijing, Tian’anmen Square is the largest city square in the world.

Every moment, the tourists’ souvenir photo posting from Tian’anmen Square through social media, that may be a crowdsourcing pinhole to this place.

Tian’anmen Pinhole is an interactive online website, allow user to explore the meaningful moment over the square, which were selected intellectually by individual tourists. This is the first data visualization experimental project collaborate with Caixin media in 2013. (Caixin Media is a Beijing-based media group providing financial and business news)

Pinhole of Tian’anmen Square beta1.0

How it works?


Online Demo Testing
Every 24 hours photos were collected into the column bar day by day,
and sequenced by the post time, 0am to 24pm,
from top to the bottom.

One day, no any photo post from Tian'anmen Square in 2013.

Multi View
User could manipulate their view by zooming and mouse actions,
to look through Tian'anmen Square in micro and macro.


This interactive platform was created in the national day holiday,
when the Beijing and Tian’anmen was much on my mind.
It conveyed the color changing of that biggest sky: with crowd sourcing photos.
Tourists post more photos in the blue sky days, which are rarer now.


Suprise in Maximum View
The photos posted from Tian'anmen Square on Oct02. 2013,
it shows the delicate color changing of sky over 24 hours.

The photos posted from Tian'anmen Square on Oct03, 2013.

The photos posted from Tian'anmen Square on Oct03, 2013.
The quantity of photo is comparatively less than regular day in the hazy day.

Although we made the Pinhole as an crow sourcing photo visualization experiment,
we’ve surprised by the possibilities journalist use it for: new thread exploration on this politically sensitive space.
Because the censored photos also implies.


This project was stopped when coding finished at the end of 2013.


Design Process


If you cannot see the video above
Click Here



Ying He
Cmputational Designer/ Data Visualizer
Based in New York


All copyright 2017