• Caption Contest Winner is…

    September 26, 2008  |  Contests

    While we're on the subject of contests, lets not forget the epic battle for best caption. Thank you to everyone who participated. All the entries were great and really entertaining, but unfortunately, there could only be one winner. The winner of Stephen Baker's The Numerati is – Mike for his caption (above), "Severity of Crash vs. Length of Ramp." Congratulations, Mike! Expect an email from me soon. (Ricardo, if it's any consolation, my wife liked yours the best :).

    I put a little something together for everyone else. For everyone who entered – this is for you. I hope you all like it. The darker ones are the honorable mentions.


    Click on image for full version.

    Please do let me know if I mistyped or accidentally left anyone out. Thanks again, everyone for participating. I hope you were all entertained as much as me.

  • Write a Guest Post on FlowingData

    September 22, 2008  |  Announcements

    I'm headed to Chicago next week for Wired Magazine's NextFest, "a premier showcase of the global innovations transforming our world." So if you happen to be there, come find me and what I've been busy working on the past few weeks – the Personal Environmental Impact Report - or PEIR for short.

    Guest Post on FlowingData

    I'll most likely be blogging and twittering the event, but what better time to get some different points of view from all of you? If you'd like to write a guest post, just email me your writeup by the end of this weekend with text (and images if you have them). I can't guarantee I'll put it up, but there's a good chance I will. Last time I asked for guest posts, I put up all of them.

    What I'm Not Looking For

    I'm pretty open to any ideas related to data, statistics, and visualization. What I'm not interested in is self-promoting posts. It's OK if you link to something, but it should be relevant. Plus, I'll link to you anyways at the beginning of your guest post. Your content also has to be original - so no posts that you've already published on your own blog or somewhere else.

    Yup, that's it. So if you've got something cool to talk about, send it my way. I'm looking forward to all of your interesting submissions.

  • Caption Contest – Win The Numerati by Stephen Baker

    September 19, 2008  |  Contests

    As promised, it's time for a FlowingData contest. To the winner goes The Numerati by Stephen Baker, a book about how data play a huge role in our future. Indeed, it does. Stephen also keeps an interesting blog, and I encourage you to check it out.

    How to Win a Free Book

    It's easy. Write a caption for the above graph and leave it in the comments below. Whoever comes up with the best caption by the end of 11:59pm on Sunday wins. By best, I mean whichever I find the most amusing or clever. For example – "drunkeness vs stupidity" or "The more I eat per day the fatter I will get." You get the idea. I'm sure you all can come up with something much better.

    I'm making it one entry per person, so make it a good one, and make sure you use a valid email so that I can contact you if you win.

    Good luck! I'm looking forward to what you all come up with.

  • FlowingData Welcomes Tableau Software

    September 18, 2008  |  Announcements

    I'm pleased to welcome Tableau Software as FlowingData's newest sponsor. I know that a lot of you already use Tableau for your data visualization and analysis needs, but for those of you who haven't heard of it, Tableau is a tool that aims to make "databases and spreadsheets understandable to ordinary people" with an emphasis on statistical visualization and visual analysis.

    One of the co-founders is actually one of the founding members of Pixar, believe it or not. I don't know about you, but that has awesome written all over it. Check it out for yourself and sharpen your visualization skills (hint) for the next FlowingData deconstruct/reconstruct project. Thanks, Tableau!

  • Welcome to FlowingData’s First Sponsor

    September 13, 2008  |  Announcements

    Some of you might have noticed that FlowingData has a new sponsor in the sidebar. It's Eye-Sys, an impressive visualization tool that aims to make complex data easy to understand. It serves a wide variety of data audiences with capabilities in traditional statistical visualization, GIS, and scientific visualization. Eye-Sys sports a drag and drop user interface that lets you hook visualization into data from both text files or databases. No need for programming. There's a lot of cool stuff in their galleries, so I urge you check them out, if just to look at pretty pictures.

    On another note, keep an eye out for another FlowingData contest in the near future. Thanks, Eye-Sys!

  • Join Me in Blog Action Day 2008

    August 20, 2008  |  Announcements

    I hope you'll consider joining me on Blog Action Day on October 15 this year. It's a day for bloggers around the world to all discuss one topic to raise awareness where attention is needed. Last year, 20,000 bloggers took part to discuss the environment. This year's topic is poverty, and of course, we should all know by now that data visualization can play a huge role in showing that.

  • Say Hello to the Brand New FlowingData Forums

    July 23, 2008  |  Announcements

    Notice anything new at the top of this page? FlowingData readers, say hello to FlowingData forums. FlowingData forums, say hello to FlowingData readers. Tada, you're not strangers anymore. Now you can go post your interesting finds in the brand new FlowingData forums.

    Six Forums to Post In

    I've created six categories, all of which are tightly coupled to the blog:

    • Statistical Visualization
    • Infographics
    • Mapping
    • Artistic Visualization
    • Statistics
    • Data Sources

    I got the ball rolling in the mapping forum with this animated carbon map from NASA. Nice.

    Interact With Other Readers

    One of my favorite parts about FlowingData is the interaction. I love comments that help me see and understand data differently, and I love getting emails from readers that point me to interesting stuff that I never would've found on my own. Recently, I've even met some readers in person. I hope that the FlowingData forums provide the same opportunities for all of you, and of course - make for some good fun.

    So please do join the club, grab your favorite link from your hundreds of del.icio.us bookmarks, and post it to the forums. Only about five of you will actually do this, but hey, that's still growth and enough for me to think that this is a good idea. Sometimes it's a good thing that it doesn't take much to keep me motivated.

  • Thank You, Everyone for Reading FlowingData

    July 19, 2008  |  Announcements

    A few days ago, FlowingData's subscriber count shot up to 3,100+ subscribers, moving past the three thousand mark for the first time. I just wanted to take this chance to thank everyone for reading. Thank you. FlowingData wouldn't be the same without you, and I'm really happy with the community that's developing around this modest, little blog of mine, or maybe I should say of ours.

    Thank you for reading, thank for commenting, thank you for linking here, and thank you for sending me post ideas. I appreciate it ALL. FlowingData is well on its way to 5,000.

  • Happy One-Year Birthday, FlowingData!

    June 25, 2008  |  Announcements

    It's been one year since my rambling post on creating effective visualization. It seems so long ago. What was I thinking? Since then, FlowingData has grown to 313 posts, 801 comments (plus tens of thousands of spam), and 2,600+ subscribers, and continues to slowly climb the ranks on Technorati.

    It was exciting when FlowingData hit the 1,000-subscriber mark back in March and even more so when some really big blogs linked here and FlowingData was on the front page of del.icio.us. Who would have thought data visualization and statistics was so popular? I certainly didn't know - which was why I started FlowingData in the first place.

    Most Popular FlowingData Posts

    I've featured a lot of great data visualization and statistics over the past year by some very intelligent and talented people. Here are the 10 most popular posts over FlowingData's short one-year history.

    1. 17 Ways to Visualize the Twitter Universe
    2. Showing the Obama-Clinton Divide in Decision Tree Infographic
    3. 10 Largest Data Breaches Since 2000 - Millions Affected
    4. Ebb and Flow of Box Office Receipts Over Past 20 Years
    5. 21 Ways to Visualize and Explore Your Email Inbox
    6. Chart of the Day: A Breakdown of Facebook Applications
    7. Love, Hate, Think, Believe, Feel and Wish on Twitter
    8. 6 Influential Datasets That Changed the Way We Think
    9. Area Codes in Which Ludacris Claims to Have Hoes
    10. How to Learn Actionscript (Flash) for Data Visualization

    Thank You

    Thank you everyone for reading, linking, and suggesting topics. The blog wouldn't be the same without you. We're well on our way to reaching 5,000 subscribers. If you know someone else who'd be interested in FlowingData, please do pass the word along. I'll super appreciate it.

    Happy birthday, FlowingData!

  • Live Blogging Statistical Graphics From Germany This Week

    June 24, 2008  |  Announcements

    For the next few days, I'm in Bremen, Germany for a conference on statistical graphics. The official name is Statistical Graphics: Data and Information Visualization in Today's Multimedia Society.

    While unsure about some conferences, I'm about 100% sure that I will enjoy this one. The schedule looks very promising with speakers whose papers I've read, but have never had the chance to meet. I'll be speaking on data visualization for self-surveillance and personal discovery, but mostly I'm interested in what I'm going to learn the next few days.

    EuroCup 2008 is also on the schedule. It'll be my first European soccer viewing experience. Very exciting - especially since Germany is in the semi-finals.

    Live Blogging the Conference

    I'm going to try to live blog the event (the conference, not the soccer). There are 35 talks over the four days, so I imagine I'll be note-taking like a fiend. However, a fare warning - there is a chance the jet lag will get the best of me. Just a slight chance.

  • Free Pizza and Beer at the Freebase User Group Meeting

    June 13, 2008  |  Announcements

    Freebase is one of my two new favorite toys, the other being my Xbox 360. Freebase is a free database of the world's knowledge, licensed under Creative Commons and provides an API to enable mashups and applications. That means a powerful driving force for data visualization.

    Attend the User Group Meeting

    On June 17, Freebase is holding their bimonthly user group meeting in San Francisco. They'll be presenting Freebase's new features as well as discuss some interesting mashups and visualizations. So if you're in San Francisco, RSVP now, and go get some free pizza, beer, and a t-shirt.

  • Going to the Wireless Summit in DC Tomorrow

    May 28, 2008  |  Announcements

    Wireless Summit LogoI'm headed to Washington tomorrow for the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks. There are several sessions tomorrow, of which I'll probably attend Using Wireless Networks for Human Rights and Wireless Sensor Networks for sure. It's not so much the actual hardware or technical implementations I'm interested in. Rather it's what wireless networks (e.g. WiFi) can provide - a means to communicate and share information.

    There will of course be wireless there (I would hope), so I'll be twittering during the event. I'm not sure what to expect. Either I will be really interested or super bored. Hopefully it's the former.

  • Relaxing and Drinking On the Beach This Week

    May 18, 2008  |  Announcements

    Beach Vacation

    My wife and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary this week with an all-inclusive trip to some tropical island. If all has gone according to plan, I should be sitting on a warm, sunny beach right now enjoying unlimited food and drink to my heart's content :).

    I do of course have posts scheduled for all this week, so you won't even notice I am gone, but just in case you email me, sit tight, and I'll send a reply when I get back. Have a nice week everyone and I'll see you all next week.

    I'm looking forward to the results of the poll on what you use to play with data (coming up tomorrow).

  • Headed to California for a Few Days

    May 8, 2008  |  Announcements

    A quick announcement: I'm headed back to California for a few days and may or may not be online. While I'm gone, I have a couple of interesting guest posts scheduled, so I'm looking forward to reading what you all think when I get back :).

    Also, I have two guest post spots left for when I leave on vacation, so anyone is welcome to email me their ideas.

  • Write a Guest Post for FlowingData

    April 24, 2008  |  Announcements

    Early next month, I'm going to be traveling a bit. I'm headed back to California for about a week for some work-related stuff. Soon after, my wife and I will be celebrating our one-year anniversary on some tropical island where I will be basking in the glory of all-inclusive. The following week, I'll be at the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks.

    I'm going to write posts in advance, but I'd also like to feature some high quality posts from FlowingData readers (like yourself) while I'm gone.

    What I'm Looking For

    I'm pretty open as long as it's within the scope of FlowingData, but here are some ideas I'm interested in finding:

    • Anecdotes on how you use data, statistics, or visualization to discover new things.
    • The design process (from data-culling to final product) from those who are working on or who have worked on data visualization projects.
    • Tips and tutorials on how to tackle certain types of data.

    I'm not looking for heavy promotion of a product (although I don't mind if you mention it). I want to keep the focus on learning and not so much on buying. Also, I'm looking for original content only. I say this just because I want to stay legit with search engines, so please, no duplicate content.

    Email Me Your Post

    To submit a post, send it to me via email. Put "FlowingData Guest Post" in the subject line, and put your post in the actual email or a plain text file. No Microsoft Word documents, and if your post is already with HTML markup, all the better.

    I'm not really sure how many posts to expect, but I'll use as many submissions as possible, if not all of them. My hope is that I'll be able to highlight some more flowing data and as well as help us all learn a thing or two. Looking forward to what you all have in store.

  • Winner of the Edward Tufte Book is…

    March 31, 2008  |  Contests

    Congratulations, Cody, the winner of a brand new copy of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information!

    Thank You Everyone

    Thank you to everyone who left comments and participated in this celebratory contest over the past ten days and for all of the congratulatory wishes. I read every single comment and it only confirms my belief that FlowingData readers are awesome. My favorite discussions were those around the Google API and the redesign of Dolores Labs color cloud. I was also amused by the introduction of the term statcore by Dibyo.

    I had a lot of fun running this contest, and really felt like there was this excitement revolving around data. That makes me happy. I hope that now, even though there's no prize up for grabs, that all of you will continue to leave comments and add to the conversation. Interacting with all of you is one of my favorite parts about FlowingData.

    Also, thanks a lot to Andrew, Kaiser, and Tony for helping me promote the contest.

    More Contests Ahead

    On that note, seeing how this contest was so successful, you should look forward to more contests ahead. I'm thinking end of April. Maybe Tufte's second book? Or maybe a movie. I don't know, what do you guys think should be the prize for the next FlowingData contest?

    Thanks again, everyone. Here's to the start of a good week.

    P.S. Don't forget to tell your friends! We're still working towards 5,000.

  • Upgraded to WordPress 2.5 – Hopefully All Went Well

    March 31, 2008  |  Announcements

    I just upgraded to WordPress 2.5. I've been due for an upgrade for quite some time now, but I kept putting it off due to fear. The upgrade took about 10 minutes and everything seems to have gone smoothly (other than losing the functionality of my popular post plugin). If you see any weirdness or catch any bugs, please let me know. Thanks!

  • Last Chance to Win Tufte’s Visual Display of Quantitative Information

    March 27, 2008  |  Announcements

    A quick reminder - there's just three more days to put in your contest entry to win Edward Tufte's Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Leave a comment on any FlowingData post after March 19 to this Sunday March 30. I'll announce the winner on March 31. Good luck!

    Here's the original contest announcement for those who missed it.

  • First Annual Applied Statistics Center Art Contest

    March 20, 2008  |  Contests

    Speaking of contests, the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University is holding their first annual art contest.
    Continue Reading

  • Win a Copy of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information By Edward Tufte

    March 20, 2008  |  Contests

    FlowingData reached a long awaited milestone yesterday - 1,000+ subscribers. Thank you to everyone who has subscribed, commented on, and linked to FlowingData. To extend my thanks, I'm running a (very easy) contest to win Edward Tufte's milestone book - The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

    Reaching 1,000 Subscribers

    I started FlowingData ten months ago not really knowing what to do with it. My new hosting plan came with a free domain, so I thought, hey, FlowingData. One month in, I started this blog to convince people that statistics was more than their least favorite class in college.

    Since then, it has been my goal to reach 1,000 subscribers. It has been my goal to find 1,000 people interested in data or get them interested in it. This happened yesterday. FlowingData now has 1,025 subscribers - thanks to all of you!

    How to Win Visual Display

    So now I'm going to make it really easy for you to win a copy of Edward Tufte's Visual Display. All you have to do is leave a comment on any new post (this one included) during the next 10 days. On March 31, I'll randomly select a winner. The more comments you leave, the higher the chances are of winning.

    The comment should add to the conversation, and trackbacks and pingbacks don't count. That's it. If you have a valid mailing address that Amazon can deliver to, you can win. Oh, and make sure you leave a valid email address so that I can contact you when you win. Good luck and again, thank you, everyone.

    Next Step: 5,000 Subscribers

    Let's get more people talking about data and visualization and find those who already are. I know that there are hundreds of thousands of people we haven't reached yet. If you could take a few seconds to email one friend about FlowingData, I will super appreciate it.

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