• March Madness Bracketology

    The Final Four is just about here. Who's going to win it all? It's anyone's guess at this point, but what we can do while we wait is examine who's won in the past. Leonardo Aranda takes a gander at who has won in each round since 1985, by ranking, with a color-coded bracket that resembles a stacked area chart.

    I think if he used just two colors per corner (instead of entire palettes) and brightness indicating rank, it might be a bit easier to read in the first rounds. At the very least, you could find the Cinderella stories quicker, which is the most exciting part of the tournament a lot of the time.

    I still like the concept though. It reminds me of Stephen's crayon colors.

    See the full-sized version here.

    Who's your money on?

    [Thanks, Leonardo]

  • Design for America – Win $5,000

    In a follow up to Apps for America, Sunlight Labs just introduced their next contest: Design for America.

    This 10 week long design and data visualization extravaganza is focused on connecting the talents of art and design communities throughout the country to the wealth of government data now available through bulk data access and APIs, and to help nurture the field of information visualization. Our goal is simple and straightforward — to make government data more accessible and comprehensible to the American public.

    There are three subject areas to appeal to different types of designers too. There's data visualization, process transparency, and redesigning the government for a total of seven challenges each with a $5,000 top prize. Not bad, eh? Visit Sunlight Labs for more details.

    By the way, I'm one of the judges (along with Charles Blow, Andrew Vande Moere, Nicholas Felton, and others). You've got about two months to show me what you got. Go on, I dare ya.

  • How to: make a scatterplot with a smooth fitted line

    March 29 2010  |  Tutorials  |  Tags: ,

    Oftentimes, you'll want to fit a line to a bunch of data points. This tutorial will show you how to do that quickly and easily using open-source software, R.
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  • Data Underload #15 – Life Simile

    You never know what you gonna get. Life is also known to be like: a box of crayons, a park, a taxi, the surf, falling in love, a bowl of…
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  • The periodic table to end all periodic table ridiculousness

    March 28 2010  |  Miscellaneous  |  Tags:

    A few centuries ago, scientists designed the periodic table to organize the elements we knew about in a way that was useful. Elements were grouped by similar properties on the horizontal and vertical. Somewhere down the line, more recently, someone decided to squeeze a different dataset into the same structure. It made very little sense, but it caught on. Maybe because it looked scientific and official. I don't know.

    Now there's a periodic table of funk, typefaces, candy, and heck, there's even one for visualization.

    So many tables. How do we sort all of them? With another periodic table, of course, and so without further ado, here is the periodic table of periodic tables by Bill Keaggy. Yay?

    [via @EagerEyes]

  • IBM data propaganda – babies and old guys with glasses

    IBM has been spreading the whole "smarter planet" spiel for a while now, but in the past few days, they've revealed the punchline. It's data. The key to a smarter planet is learning how to process and extract information from the 15 petabytes of data we generate per day.

    Surprising? No, not at all. Data's the hot thing right now, and that's where the money's at. Learn how to process all of it and you're gold.
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  • Wear the weather as a bracelet

    March 26 2010  |  Data Art  |  Tags:

    We all know that data is the new sexy, so it's only natural for data to find its way into jewelry. This weather bracelet represents a year of temperatures and rain. Peak heights are mapped to minimum and maximum daily temperatures, and the holes in the sides represent weekly rainfall.
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  • Comment to win free copies of ‘Beginning Python Visualization’ – Winners announced

    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.

  • What your email says about your finances

    This graphic shows average debt categorized by email provider. Average age for Gmail users is 33 and 47 for Comcast. Yeah, that sounds about right.
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  • The Growing Plague that is Spam

    Spam sucks. We all hate it, but no matter how good the filter, something always seems to get through. Want some cheap Vi4gr4? I can tell you where to get it. New Scientist takes a look at the spamdemic. It costs very little to send tens of thousands of emails, but it only takes a tiny percentage of idiots to make it all worth it for spammers.

    Seriously - who falls for these things?

    • oRo1exWatches $200 Off - Each Free Shipping Watch, 2 Days Left, Snap UP! rkru kp
    • USA: ~Percocent~Ritalin best sale !!
    • ~~~Good day :~~~Vicodi~ _ P~ercocet~~~
    • 100 percent male power
    • Heartfelt Plea from Supreme Master Ching Hai: Be Organic Vegan and Loving Kindness for Saving Lives

    I have to admit my spam folder does supply brief moments of amusement every now and then, but come on.

    [via Data Mining]

  • Poll: What do you mostly use visualization for?

    We use visualization for a lot of different things, and its purpose varies person-to-person. Some use it to report the news. Others use it purely for analysis and decision-making. Some even use it for artistic expression. What do you use visualization for? Select the answer that best fits you below. If you select "other," let us know what that means in the comments.

    {democracy:13}
  • March Madness by the numbers

    March 23 2010  |  Infographics  |  Tags:

    I didn't fill out my bracket this year, so it's not nearly as exciting for me. I don't think that's stopped thousands of bars across the country from cleaning house though.

    [FastCompany via Good]

  • Buy and sell data at Data Marketplace

    Add another site to the list of places to find the data you need. Data Marketplace connects people who want data to people who can find, scrape, and cull data.

    Here's how it works. If you want data, you put in a request and optionally, a deadline and budget. A provider can then go find that data for you, maybe through scraping a difficult-to-parse website, and then post it online. You then have the option to purchase the tabular data.

    There are three big humps to get over though for Data Marketplace to work.
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  • Data Underload #14 – Popeil Pitch

    As corny as the Ronco infomercials are, you can't help but stop and watch late at night. It's all about the "set it, and forget it" showtime rotisserie. Here's to…
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  • Weekend Fodder

    The strange science of Francis Galton - Inspired by his cousin Charles Darwin's work, he created the statistical concept of regression and correlation, but he was one crazy dude. Also invented the term eugenics and coined the phrase nature versus nurture.

    Flickr Flow - Wattenberg and Viegas explore the colors of the seasons through Flickr pics. [thx, abigail]

    Wild Bill Bunge - A look at the pioneering work of influential cartographer, William Wheeler Bunge, Jr., the anti-academic. [thx, chris]

    C-SPAN Video Library - 160,000 hours of unadulterated C-SPAN video, "like being able to Google political history." [thx, jesse]

  • Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

    Before you dive into the advanced stuff - like just about everything in your life - you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.
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  • Powerpoint and dying kittens

    I'm 96% sure this isn't true. [Mark Goetz via dataviz]

  • Thanks, FlowingData Sponsors

    A big thank you to FlowingData sponsors. They keep the virtual lights on around here and allow FlowingData to keep growing.

    I can also tell you that all of them show up in the sidebar because I know they'll be useful to many of you. Check out the data tools these fine groups have to offer:

    InstantAtlas – Create and present compelling data reports on geographic maps.

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    Xcelsius Engage – Create insightful and engaging dashboards from any data source with point-and-click ease.

    Business Intelligence – Visual data analysis made easy. Try 30 days for free.

    RWW Graph Contest - ReadWriteWeb Interactive Graph Contest
    Create an interactive graph and enter to win a trip to Web 2.0!

    Xcelsius Present – Transform spreadsheets into professional, interactive presentations.

  • Christopher Walken and Census

    You should have received your Census survey by now. Did you fill it out and mail it yet? If not, get to it. Tim Meadows can only do so many door-to-doors.
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  • A Defense of the Unknown in Infographics

    We’re inventors - we’re creators. And that’s the most important thing about what we do. And I think we should welcome failure every once in a while.

    Hannah Fairfield - NYT Graphics Editor, Malofiej 18, March 2010

    Last year at Malofiej, one of the major awards ceremonies for infographics in journalism, The New York Times took home 'Best in Show' for their work on box office receipts from 1986 to 2008. I'm sure most of you saw it. It was non-traditional. It was an adaptation of Lee Byron's streamgraph, which he had previously applied to last.fm music listening habits - a smoothed stacked area chart at the core.
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