• Comment to win a signed copy of Data Points

    June 4, 2013  |  Contests

    Data Points: Visualization that Means SomethingIt seems like ages since we ran one of these.

    It's hard to believe Data Points hit the shelves two months ago. (Thank you to everyone who got a copy!) It still feels brand new in my head. I kind of thought that time would slow down after I finished the book (and dissertation), but it seems to be moving even faster now.

    Anyways, if you'd like a chance to win a copy of Data Points blemished by my signature, leave a comment below by Wednesday, June 5, 2013 11:59pm PST. Tell us what your favorite number is and why. One entry per person please. I'll pick a winner at random via sample() in R. Good luck.

    And of course, if you can't wait, have never been lucky at cards, or want a blemish-free version of the book, you can get it at online and physical bookstores everywhere.

  • Send your pictures of Visualize This in the wild (and win a goodie)

    August 9, 2011  |  Contests

    One of the best parts since the launch of Visualize This has been the pictures that people have sent me of the book in the wild. It makes it feel all the more real.

    To have some fun with it, let's have a little contest. Take a picture of the book in your hands, on your desk, or wherever you like really, and send it to [email protected] by this Friday, August 12, 2011. If you have a digital version, feel free to take a picture of your iPad or Kindle with the book open. I'll put all the pics together in a mosaic or something.

    Then I'll choose five winners at random, and you can pick any print book you like from the Wiley Tech library (minus box sets). Good luck!

  • Challenge: Visualize the impact of Wikipedia

    July 14, 2011  |  Contests

    If you're like me, you've probably used Wikipedia at least once in the past week (or day... or hour). It's had a huge impact on how we find information and keep history up-to-date. The online encyclopedia turned 10 this year, and to celebrate, WikiSym and the Wikimedia foundation recently launched a challenge: WikiViz 2011.

    WikiViz 2011 is about visualizing the impact of Wikipedia. We want to see the most effective, compelling and creative data-driven visualizations of how Wikipedia impacted the world with its content, culture and open collaboration model. Potential topics include: the imprint of Wikipedia on knowledge sharing and access to information; its impact on literacy and education, journalism and research; on the functioning of scientific and cultural organizations and businesses, as well as the daily life of individuals around the world.

    There are lots of small datasets within Wikipedia articles, but Wikipedia itself is also one giant (open) dataset. For example, we've seen the history of the world according to tagged events as well as back and forth discussions for deletion.

    Can you find something good? Judged by Moritz Stefaner, Andrew Vande Moere, and Kim Rees, among others, winners get to attend WikiSym on the house and of course get a mention or two.

  • Visualization contests around the corner

    May 25, 2011  |  Contests

    The best way to learn how to visualize data is to grab a dataset and see what you can do with it. You can read as many tips and tricks as you want, but you're not going to get any better until you actually try. Contests are a fun way to do this.

    Participate

    So here are a handful of visualization contests to get your hands dirty. Hey you might even win a couple of thousand dollars. Not that money matters to you, because as well all know, learning is your reward.

    Hacking Education — A contest for developers and data crunchers. DonorsChoose.org has inspired $80 million in giving from 400,000 donors, helping 165,000 teachers at 43,000 schools, and the donation site has opened up this data. Can do you do something with it? Deadline: June 30, 2011.

    Data In Sight — A hands-on competition in San Francisco's SoMa district with surprise data sources. Some talks, lunch, dinner, and a 24-hour hackathon. Event date: June 24, 2011 (better to register your team early).

    Tableau Interactive Viz Contest — This one is coming up the quickest, but is the most straightforward. Plus, you get a t-shirt just for entering. Grab some business, finance, or real estate data and go to town with Tableau Public. Deadline: June 3, 2011.

    Know of any other data/visualization contests coming up? Let us know in the comments.

  • Friday freebies: Comment to win a copy of R Cookbook – winners announced

    May 6, 2011  |  Contests

    Want a free copy of R Cookbook by Paul Teetor? You're in luck, because I have four copies to give away, generously provided by O'Reilly. In case you're unfamiliar, here's my review for some background. Bottom line: It's a fine addition to the O'Reilly series of cookbooks.

    How to Win

    You know the drill. Simply leave a comment on this post by Sunday, March 8 at 11pm PST. This time around, let's go with... your favorite number. Yeah, tell me what your favorite number is. Then I'll choose four winners at random on Monday.

    Obviously make sure you use a valid email address, and only one entry per person please. Good luck!

    Update: Winners announced! You should have received an email if you were picked. Thanks for participating, everyone.

  • Comment to win a free HistoryShots print – winners announced

    March 24, 2011  |  Contests

    HistoryShots pop rock

    Happy Friday, everyone. Leading into the weekend, HistoryShots has kindly put three prints up for grabs to decorate that plain wall of yours with data and information. HistoryShots has been around for a while, but in case you're not familiar, they "create elegant graphics and diagrammatic art that visually tell stories about subjects, time periods and events." Some are vintage reprints from the 1800s and others are original designs.

    How do you win a free print? Go to the HistoryShots list of available prints, and then come back here and leave a comment saying which one you want by Sunday, March 27 at 10pm. I'll pick three winners at random. Good luck!

    Update: Winners picked. If you won, you've received an email from me. Thanks for entering!

  • Friday freebies: Visual history posters from Timeplots – winners announced

    March 4, 2011  |  Contests

    Visual History of Senate

    It's Friday, and the weekend's staring you in the face. You look like you need some free stuff. Timeplots has kindly put up three visual history prints up for grabs. In case you're not familiar, Timeplots takes complex history stories, like the American presidency or the changing nature of the Senate, and puts them in visual form.
    Continue Reading

  • Comment to win free registration for Strata data conference – winner announced

    January 27, 2011  |  Contests

    Okay, I sort of dropped the ball on this one. I have a free pass up for grabs to the O'Reilly Strata Conference next week, February 1 to 3. Here's the short description:

    Unprecedented computing power and connectivity are bringing new layers of experience to our lives in how we manage and present data sets of all sizes.

    Throughout three days of training, breakout sessions, and plenary discussions, O'Reilly Strata connects the decision-makers, practitioners, and leading vendors from enterprise and the web who are at the leading edge of this space. Topics include data science, acquisition, organization, machine learning, visualization, and more.

    Want to win the free pass? Leave a comment below by Friday, January 28, 2011 at 7pm PST. Tell us what super power you'd want if you could only pick one. I'll pick a comment randomly and email you the discount code. Please only enter if you know you can attend February 1-3 in Santa Clara, California. I'd hate the pass to go to waste.

    If you don't want to leave it up to the randomized gods and just want to register now, it's not too late to do that either. You can register here and get a 25% discount. The program looks like it'll be a good one.

    Update: Congrats to Tyson! "I’d like to fly"

  • Comment to win a copy of Data Analysis with Open Source Tools – winner announced

    January 7, 2011  |  Contests

    Looking to get more serious about your data analysis? Data Analysis with Open Source Tools by Philip K. Janert can help you with that.

    The back cover reads:

    Collecting data is relatively easy, but turning raw information into something useful requires that you know how to extract precisely what you need. With this insightful book, intermediate to experienced programmers interested in data analysis will learn techniques for working with data in a business environment. You'll learn how to look at data to discover what it contains, how to capture those ideas in conceptual models, and then feed your understanding back into the organization through business plans, metrics dashboards, and other applications.

    It's a little over 500 pages and thorough about describing how to analyze your data. However, it is light in the "with open source tools" part of the title. Most of the time is spent explaining concepts, and then each chapter ends with a workshop, which includes some code. There are examples throughout, but few provide an explanation of how a plot was made or the implementation of a method. So definitely not a book for beginners.
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  • Challenge: Advertised vs. actual waistline

    September 30, 2010  |  Contests, Statistical Visualization

    waistline measurement chart for men

    Ever notice how pants seem to fit differently from store-to-store even though they're labeled as the same size? Why does the 36-inch at Old Navy feel kind of loose but the same size at The Gap feels like you had too many fries at lunch? Here's your answer from the Esquire Style blog. The actual size (from this über-scientific study, I am sure) tends to be bigger than the size as advertised. A 36-inch waistline actually means 41 inches in Old Navy units.
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  • Comment to win a graphic guide to coffee drinks (poster) – winner announced

    August 19, 2010  |  Contests

    The Perfect Pour - Guide to Coffee Drinks

    We saw this handy dandy coffee guide by Plaid Creative a while back. Oh so clean. Oh so informative. The world of fancy pants coffee drinks can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be with this poster on your wall to guide you through the most difficult challenge in life: ordering coffee.

    With some updates and corrections to the original, The Perfect Pour is now in poster form.
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  • Comment to win a copy of ‘Beautiful Visualization’ – winner announced!

    June 21, 2010  |  Contests

    Continuing with the 'Beautiful' series, O'Reilly has released their newest one, Beautiful Visualization.

    This book examines the methods of two dozen visualization experts who approach their projects from a variety of perspectives -- as artists, designers, commentators, scientists, analysts, statisticians, and more. Together they demonstrate how visualization can help us make sense of the world.

    Like others in the series (e.g. Beautiful Data, Beautiful Code), Beautiful Visualization is a compilation of essays from twelve people and groups who work in the field, and it's a very mixed bag. Regular FD readers will recognize many of the names: Fernanda Viegas, Martin Wattenberg, Aaron Koblin, Robert Kosara, Nick Bilton, and Jer Thorp, among others.
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  • Comment to win free copies of ‘Beginning Python Visualization’ – Winners announced

    March 26, 2010  |  Contests

    You know when you're going through old junk and find something really awesome that you completely forgot about? Well that's what happened to me the other day, and lucky for you it's free e-copies of Beginning Python Visualization. Four of them, actually.

    Simply leave a comment below by Sunday, March 28, 11:59pm EDT for a chance to win, and then come back to this post on Monday to see the winners. Let's make it a round of desert island. Name the five movies that you would want to take with you if you were stranded on a desert island.

    I'll get it started:

    • Back to the Future
    • Forrest Gump
    • Billy Elliot
    • Shawsank Redemption
    • The Sting

    Good luck!

    P.S. Here's my review of Beginning Python Visualization, in case you missed it.

    Winner Announced

    Congratulations to the four following people. You should have received your redemption codes via email by now.

    Thanks everyone else for participating, and good luck next time.

  • Comment to win free copies of The Visual Miscellaneum: Winners announced!

    December 4, 2009  |  Contests

    As we all know, David McCandless of Information is Beautiful, launched his new book The Visual Miscellaneum. You can read my review here.

    David was kind enough to provide a handful of copies to all of you. How to enter? Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and then come back on Monday to see if you're a winner. If leaving a comment isn't your thing, because it's just too crazy hard, you can buy it here. It's well worth it, and would also make an excellent gift.

    Good luck!
    Continue Reading

  • Friday Freebies: 5 Copies of Applied Security Visualization

    September 4, 2009  |  Contests

    Applied Security VisualizationWe passed the 20k-subscriber mark last week. Very cool, and a tiny bit scary at the same time. Thank you everyone for reading and spreading the word about FlowingData. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm looking forward to what the next few months brings.

    Anyways, I've found that the best way to celebrate these types of milestones is with some free stuff :). Plus it's Friday.

    Applied Security Visualization

    I have five free copies of Applied Security Visualization to give away. While the book is geared towards network security, the principles behind each chapter can certainly be applied to other types of visualization. The book also includes free software for visualizing networks and assessing security.

    How to Win

    Super easy. Just leave a comment below that says what you're thankful for. You are not allowed to say you are thankful for free stuff, wise guy. Do this by Sunday, September 6, 2009, 8pm EST. Comments will then close, and I will randomly select five winners. One entry per person please. Good luck!

    Update: I forgot about Labor Day. Extending the entry deadline to Monday, Sept. 7, 8pm EST.

  • Friday Freebies: Beautiful Data is Now Available

    July 31, 2009  |  Contests

    beautiful dataBeautiful Data from O'Reilly is now available! The book is a collection of articles from 39 data practitioners including Michal Migurski, Aaron Koblin, Jeff Heer, and plenty others, sharing their experiences with data, their methods, their thoughts, and most importantly, how beautiful data really is.

    I was fortunate enough to write one of the chapters: Seeing Your Life in Data. I describe my experiences developing for the Personal Environmental Impact Report and the beginnings of your.flowingdata. I'm looking forward to reading all of the other contributions.

    Two Free Copies to Give Away

    Lucky for you I have two free e-book copies to give away. Want to win one of them? Leave a comment below by the end of today - July 31, 11:59 EST. Let's go with your favorite food this week. One entry per person please. Good luck.

    P.S. If you're not one of the two winners, don't fret. Use the following discount code on the O'Reilly site for a 30% discount: ABF09.

  • Friday Freebies: 5 E-book Copies of Beginning Python Visualization

    July 24, 2009  |  Contests

    Beginning Python VisualizationIt's Friday! I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the weekend, and what better way to start with some free stuff? I have five free e-book copies of Beginning Python Visualization to give away.

    I reviewed this book last month, and I thought it was really useful. In fact, I still have it in arm's reach on my desk.

    How to Win a Copy

    As usual, I'll make this really easy. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me why I should give you a copy. Make up a reason if you like. I could use a good laugh. Do this by 11:59pm EST today (Friday, July 24), and I'll select five random winners. Good luck!

  • Friday Freebies: 1,000 Business Cards from AllBusinessCards

    June 26, 2009  |  Contests

    abc-logoThe folks over at AllBusinessCards have generously donated 1,000 business cards to three lucky FlowingData readers. Uh, read that as three FlowingData readers will each win a set of 1,000 business cards. Design your own or pick from a template.

    How Do I Enter?

    All you have to do is pay me one thousand dollars. No, I'm totally kidding. Ten thousand. A million?

    Okay, okay, nevermind. I'll make it easy on all of you. Simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post. If you're too lazy, just copy someone else's comment (and let it weigh on your conscious for the rest of your life :).

    Do this by today at 11:59pm EST. I'll randomly pick three winners. One entry per person, and as always, make sure you leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. Winners in the continental United States get free shipping and internationals just have to cover shipping. Good luck!

  • FlowingData NCAA Tournament Bracket – Try and Beat Me

    March 17, 2009  |  Contests

    I just started the FlowingData NCAA tournament bracket. Join now. Try and beat me if you can.

    The great thing about the tournament is that that you're gonna hear tons and tons of statistics on what players have done, who's favored to win, and who is without a doubt going to lose. Throw a huge dose of raw, human emotion and competitive spirit, and without a doubt, a lot of the data will mean absolutely nothing. I love it.

    To make things interesting, to the winner goes a $20 Amazon gift certificate. If I win, nobody gets anything. Muauahahaha. Go on. I dare you. Join now and make your picks. Hurry though, because there's only a couple of days left.

  • Phew, FlowingData 10k Giveaway is Done!

    March 4, 2009  |  Contests

    Our 10k giveaway is now complete. Congratulations to all the winners, and a big thank you to all of you who participated. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the entries, especially the reader introductions (nice to know you all are living, breathing humans :) and the data visualization definitions. It just goes to show how diverse FlowingData readers are.

    I also want to take one last chance to thank the 10k giveaway sponsors. They put up some really awesome prizes for all of you. Please do give them a visit if you get the chance. Here's a recap of all the prizes and where they came from:

    Again, a big thank you to all of you. Thank you for reading FlowingData and keep spreading the word - statistics is the new sexy and data visualization's future is bright :).

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