• Data Visualization Sketches for Google Search Results

    January 27, 2009  |  Network Visualization

    chrome_1

    Grid/plane, a studio centered in Portland Orgeon, collaborated with Instrument, to visualize media buzz across various social media outlets. The client? Google.

    Working in tandem with Google Analytics, the Flash-based, interactive tools allow users to explore relationships and see the effects of blogs, as well as mainstream and social media over time.

    While this particular project wasn't really focused on Google search results, can you imagine how cool it would be if it were? One day we will get visualization in lieu of listed results. Trust me. We will also have power laces, self-drying jackets, and flying Deloreans. I've seen it with my own eyes.
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  • Last Day to Put in Your Entry for Visualize This – Vote Now

    January 26, 2009  |  Forums, Visualization

    A quick reminder: tomorrow is the last day to put in your entry for the first edition of Visualize This. There have been a lot of interesting visualization entries so far, so even if you're not planning on making a graphic, make sure you put in your two cents for which one you think is best.

  • Why Do Freeways Come to an Annoying Hault?

    January 26, 2009  |  Infographics

    The worst thing about Los Angeles is the traffic hands down. As you sit there in a traffic jam, you first wonder what the hold up is, and as an hour of 5 mph traffic passes on a 70 mph speed limit freeway, you think of the cities you could've driven to in the time you are stuck in traffic. Stephen J. Beard and Rich Exner from The Plain Dealer try to explain the annoying phenomena in the above infographic. Yeah, traffic patterns are a bit more complex, but oh well. It's still informative.

    [via Cool Infographics]

  • Heavy Metal Band Names Flow Chart

    January 23, 2009  |  Infographics

    Doogie Horner from Comic vs. Audience created the above flow chart for heavy metal band names. So in case you're in search of name for your heavy metal band, start at the skull and work your way out. Just for ideas though. Don't be a biter. For example: Death -> Pleas for Help -> Adolescent Poetry -> System of a Down. Regular FlowingData readers might also recall Doogie's similar flow charts for comedy and what to say during sex.

    [Thanks, Jess]

  • Visualizing Twitter as Barack Obama Became the 44th President

    January 22, 2009  |  Mapping, Projects

    inauguratino

    On Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 12pm, Barack Obama officially became the 44th president of the United States of America. As we all watched Obama being sworn in front of the massive crowd, Twitter was abuzz with excitement. Just how excited was the Twittersphere? Watch for yourself. The map starts early Monday morning. As the day moves on more people wake and tweet at a steady rate with increasing volume as the time comes nearer. Europe gets in on some of the action when the US goes back to sleep. Tuesday morning comes in with a new beginning in the air. Then boom, it's time, and Twitter bursts with excitement.

  • Twistori for the Inauguration

    January 20, 2009  |  Data Art

    twistori

    Remember Twistori? It's the Twitter mashup that shows tweets of love, hate, think, believe, and wish. I guess naturally, there's an inauguration version. It's not as effective, but still worth a look.

  • Photosynth from the Inaugural Stands on MSNBC

    January 20, 2009  |  Visualization

    photosynth

    The Photosynth of first-hand reader photographs is now up on MSNBC. If you're not familiar with Photosynth, here's a brief description:

    Photosynth is a potent mixture of two independent breakthroughs: the ability to reconstruct the scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet.

    Essentially it's a completely different way to look at thousands of photos. Photosynth stitches together images from many vantage points to create a panoramic view of the scene - in this case the view from the inaugural stands. Zoom in and out pan left, right, up, and down. It's almost as if you were there. Watch the TED talk for more:

  • Inaugural Words From 1789 to Present

    January 20, 2009  |  Infographics

    obama-speech

    There's a lot going on today, and of course the news interactive teams are pushing out. The New York Times pushes out an updated infographic that shows inaugural words all the way back to George Washington in 1789. Then there's the guide that I mentioned earlier and the mosaic of reader photos. I'm still waiting for CNN's views with photosynth and satellite views that Wolf keeps on promising. Updates to come.

  • Guide to Inauguration Day

    January 20, 2009  |  Infographics

    It's Inauguration Day! There's a happy buzz in the air, and you can't help but feel excited. I of course turn to The New York Times for a comprehensive guide.

  • Man vs Woman, Decision-making for Goldstar Beer

    January 20, 2009  |  Infographics

    goldstar3

    These ads for Goldstar beer were hung above bar toilets. They're comical flow charts that provide some "insight" on the man versus woman, um, decision-making process - clothes, love, and the bathroom. I wonder if the posters were hung in both men and women's restrooms or just men's. I guess the "Thank God you're a man" bit wouldn't go over too well with the opposite sex.
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  • Fun With Words that Collectively Make Pictures

    January 19, 2009  |  Data Art

    People have fallen in love with word clouds that make pictures. Zoom in and you see a bunch of individual words. Zoom out and you see a famous person's face. It is a dictionary or a portrait? Mystical. TBWA/Chiat/Day, an advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee of all places, brings the concept to promotion for the 2009 Grammy Awards - in animated form. Float through the cloud of songs and lo and behold, it's Stevie Wonder.

    It's only a matter of time until someone creates the next version of Wordle. Let people upload a picture and some words and then charge people a few bucks for a printed poster. It'd be a huge hit. It's the perfect gift I tells ya. I'm looking at you, Jeff. We need to talk.

    [via uncovering data]

  • Dopplr Presents Personal Travel Report to All Users

    January 16, 2009  |  Infographics

    dopplr

    Dopplr is a service that lets you share your travel schedule with friends and then highlights times when you and your friends will be in the same place. For example, if you're traveling to Las Vegas in December, Dopplr will tell you if any of your friends are going too. OK. So yesterday Dopplr started sending out "Personal Annual Reports" to all of its users. The report shows what friends your travels coincided most with, where you traveled, how you traveled, and your carbon for 2008. What a great idea.

    Above is a report for Barack Obama. It should surprise nobody that Joe Biden tops the list on who Obama most coincided with, and then John McCain follows in a close a second.

    [Thanks, William and Tim]

  • Flow Chart Shows You What Chart to Use

    January 15, 2009  |  Design

    chart-chart

    Amit Agarwal, of Digital Inspiration, posts this Andrew Abela creates this flow chart that helps you decide, well, what type of chart to use. Start in the middle with what you want to show - comparison, relationship, distribution, or composition - and then work your way out to the number of variables. Pretty timely for our brand new Visualize This project.

    [via Digital Inspiration]

  • Visualize This: Poverty Rate By Age in America

    January 14, 2009  |  Forums

    I'm going to try something new here at FlowingData in a section called Visualize This. Every two weeks I will post a dataset to the FlowingData forums for all of you to visualize. Download the data, visualize it (graph, chart, map, infographic, animation, etc), and post your work to the thread. As we've seen already, there are many ways to visualize a single dataset, and with multiple pairs of eyes, we get stories from different points of view. I will post the best visualization at the end of each cycle.

    My hope for Visualize This is that we all learn from each other as well as use the opportunity to improve our visualization technique. From experience, I've found that the only way to really learn how to visualize data is by doing. Digital photography forums follow a similar format, and I think the idea can easily carry over to visualization.

    Your Mission, If You Choose to Accept it...

    To start things off, I've posted data for poverty rate by state and age in America. With the current state of the economy and the changes that are on their way, the dataset seemed fitting. Post your work here, and let's start Visualize This on the right foot. Have fun!

    If you haven't registered yet, make sure you do that first. Also, if you have any ideas for future datasets we might want to use, go ahead and post those here.

    Are you up for the challenge?

  • 2008 Feltron Annual Report Now Available

    January 13, 2009  |  Infographics, Self-surveillance

    Feltron Report

    After Nicholas Felton's ever popular 2005, 2006 and 2007 annual report on himself, you knew this was coming. The 2008 Feltron Annual Report is now up for your viewing pleasure. There's a lot more mapping, data, and pages this time around.
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  • Ford Turns to Design and Data Visualization to Boost Sales

    January 13, 2009  |  Infographics

    1208_fusion_hybrid

    Ford sales are suffering. In an attempt to improve, they're going green with hybrid vehicles, and in doing so, had to shift their design. In their initial studies with IDEO, the Palo Alto-based design group, they found that drivers who were interested in fuel efficiency were "playing a game." Getting more miles to the gallon was like earning points. With that in mind, Ford worked with Smart Design to create a high-resolution LCD dashboard to show drivers how efficiently they drive.

    In order to play into the research finding that drivers are looking for a high score when it comes to fuel efficiency, one high-resolution LCD screen on the dash features an eye-catching rendering of curling vines blooming with green leaves. It's more than a decorative element; it's a data-visualization tool intended to change the way people drive. If a driver wastes gas by aggressively accelerating or slamming on the brakes, for example, the vine withers and leaves disappear. More leaves appear if individuals drive more economically. The system will be standard on all new Fusion Hybrids, which will start at about $27,000.

    There's still another 6 months until we see the results of this design shift, but what do you think of this futuristic-looking dashboard?

    [via BusinessWeek | Thanks, Alastair]

  • Tools You Need to Track Energy Consumption – WattzOn

    January 12, 2009  |  Infographics, Online Applications

    wattzon

    "Climate change is a global problem. But it's individuals who will create the solution." This is the WattzOn premise.
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  • Browser Wars – A New Take on Streamgraphs

    January 9, 2009  |  Infographics

    browserwars

    Because it's Friday - PixelLabs puts a cartoon-ish spin on streamgraphs. Who will win??

    [Thanks, @prblog]

  • One Death is a Tragedy; a Million is a Statistic

    January 9, 2009  |  Design

    Photograph by *Your Guide

    I posted a comic from xkcd last week that implied graphs and data lead to a decline in love. I didn't really think much of it, but Jim commented that an episode from This American Life (episode 88: Numbers), was very much related to the topic of personal data and what we often miss out on as a result. The lead-in to the show reads:

    Numbers lie. Numbers cover over complicated feelings and ambiguous situations. In this week's show, stories of people trying to use numbers to describe things that should not be quantified.

    This reminded me of Joseph Stalin's well known quote, "One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic." It's a horrible thing to say, but when it comes to data visualization and analysis, it's true a lot of the time. We have a huge dataset and we have to extract information from it. In the process though, we forget that every one of those numbers has real non-numeric value to it. There are emotions and feelings. Life is complex. Data represents life, and therein lies the purpose and meaning of FlowingData.
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  • Are You a Freelance Data Visualization Designer/Consultant?

    January 8, 2009  |  Forums, Miscellaneous

    I frequently get requests or propositions for data visualization projects, but I almost always have to turn them down - not because they're not worth my while, but because I've made a conscious decision to try really hard to finish my PhD. To that end, I always wish there was a list or resource that I could at least refer people to for their data visualization needs. I know of a few freelancers, but I'm positive there are many others. If you do visualization freelance (that includes BI, infographics, maps, graphs, charts, etc), post to this thread in the FlowingData forums (NOT this post), and hopefully, I can get a list going that I can point potential clients to.

Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.