It was a huge year for data. There's no denying it. Data is about to explode.
Applications sprung up left and right that help you understand your data - your Web traffic, your finances, and your life. There are now online marketplaces that sell data as files or via API. Data.gov launched to provide the public with usable, machine-readable data on a national scale. State and local governments followed, and data availability expands every day.
At the same time, there are now tons of tools that you can use to visualize your data. It's not just Excel anymore, and a lot of it is browser-based. Some of the tools even have aesthetics to boot.
It's exciting times for data, indeed.
With all the new projects this year, it was hard to filter down to the best, but here they are: two honorable mentions and the five best data visualization projects of 2009. Visualizations were chosen based on analysis, aesthetics, and most importantly, how well they told their story (or how well they let you tell yours).