Image Quilts is a browser extension that will, with a click of a button, tile together all the images on a page. Why would you do this? Well, it is an effective way to see an overview of your subject matter and create connections. You’ll be able to manipulate your image quilt and see the results- you can make them black and white, you can shuffle the order, you can take out some images, and you can zoom in or out.
In the example below, I’ve done a Google Image search for pie charts, and then used the image quilt extension, desaturating the images and reshuffling them. I wanted to know what happens when you desaturate pie charts. Do they still make sense? How and why?
Or, what if I want to examine Rodin’s sculpture, The Kiss? I can quickly look at it from all angles with the quilt.
The quilts are not only a way to see your subject matter in a new light- they also make beautiful graphics!
How to Use ImageQuilts
It’s free! All you need to do is to use the Chrome browser. (If you don’t have it already, you can go here and download it.) Then, go to this link, and download ImageQuilts. After it has downloaded, you’ll see a little “IQ” in the top right of your Chrome browser window. On any given webpage, if you click this button, you’ll be taken to the ImageQuilts site with your newly created quilt displayed- made from all the images from the webpage you were just on. You’ll be able to manipulate it and download it to your computer. I find it works best when I’m on pages with lots of image on it- like a Google Image search page.
(Note: if you are going to download and print out your quilt for use in the classroom, make sure that the images you are using follow fair dealing copyright.)
This tool was brought to my attention by one of the creators, Edward Tufte, when I took his data visualization course. Among other things, Edward Tufte is a professor from Yale, and a pioneer in the field of information design. Read more about him at these links: