I was playing around at Many Eyes, and it was amazingly easy to map some data on the Big Mac. The data set was simply two columns: country name and the cost of the Big Mac in that country. I chose the mapping visualization option, and voila, data was mapped. Awesome.
For quite a while now, I've been back on forth on my data viz weapon of choice -- Flash or Processing. With Processing free and designed for artist, I naturally started here. There were some drawbacks of course like non-extensive (just decent) documentation, and it was a lot of learn by example. There were a lot of examples that were just chunks of code that I had to interpret. Also, written in Java, Processing applets were often slow to load in the browser, and there often seemed to be compatibility issues.
SO, I've set Processing aside, and enter Flash.
I've been playing around with a few examples from Flash Kit and Entheos, and to be quite honest, it's pretty fun. I like the interface, (I'm still getting used to it) and although I haven't used much ActionScript yet, I'm looking forward to learning it. Still waiting on my Flash book from Amazon, Macromedia Flash Professional 8 Hands-On Training, which is taking forever to get here.
I'll just have to go through more tutorials until the darned thing arrives.