• maeve Installation Shows Relationships Between Projects

    The Interface Design Team at the University of Potsdam revealed maeve last week. It's an installation that lets users place physical project cards on an interactive surface and see the relationships between those projects. Move cards over the surface and the network relationships (e.g. inspired by, social relation) follow. The more cards that you throw on, the more relationships that form.

    Here's the demo video:

    Pretty. I would love to have one of these as my coffee table (sort of like the Microsoft one).

    [Thanks, Moritz]

  • Pie I Have Eaten and Pie I Have Not Eaten

    Posted to Miscellaneous

    Gotta love Fridays. Have a good weekend everyone. Go have yourself a slice of pie.

    [via Zoomdoggle | Thanks, Canna]

  • Caption Contest – Win The Numerati by Stephen Baker

    Posted to 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

    Posted to Site News

    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!

  • Art of Mathematics – Visualization of Dynamical Systems

    Posted to Data Art

    Dynamical systems are mathematical models used to describe the time-dependent position of a point's position in ambient space. For example, a dynamical system could be used to describe the movement of a swinging pendulum. The way the pendulum moves is based on the laws of physics, but trajectory, velocity, acceleration, etc changes over time. Over at the University of Liverpool is a series of visualizations by mathematicians around the world that shows such dynamical systems.

    Lasse Rempe, a mathematician, describes the beauty of these visualization in this video on the BBC. Many more beautiful pieces in the video and explanation of the underlying structures.

  • Tree Map to Show Losses by Major Companies

    Posted to Infographics

    Taking after Map of the Market, the New York Times uses tree maps to show a year of heavy losses by major companies. It's a pretty sad state of affairs. Content aside though, this is certainly one of the reasons the Times is so popular among the infographics crowd. Data visualization isn't just bar graphs and time series plots.
     Continue Reading 

  • How Consumers Around the World Spend Their Money

    Posted to Infographics

    This pseudo-map graphic from The New York Times shows how consumers in different countries spend their money. Squares represent selected countries and are sized and colored according to spending in 2007. As you might expect, the United States does some heavy spending on clothing and footwear.

    Does the graphic remind you of anything? The Times put up a different pseudo-map in force-directed graph format for the olympic medals. What do you prefer – pseudo-map or traditional?

  • How Eating Ice Cream and Feeling Gross Leads to Alcholism

    Posted to Infographics

    This stream of consciousness video (below) from Current is complete with animated infographics and some lovely narration. I have no idea why the video was made or if there was a story behind where the video came from. However, I do know that the narrator's voice is both reassuring and soothing, and I am ten times smarter after watching it.
     Continue Reading 

  • Compare Media Coverage of Presidential Candiates with Everymoment Now

    I keep stumbling on rants about how media coverage of presidential candidates is uneven, biased, etc. Everymoment Now provides a way to see what's going on with the election from the coverage (and sort of statistical) standpoint. From Craig, the developer of Everymoment:

    In order to limit the scope I've decided to keep the focus (for now) on the 2008 US general election. It's a timely, pertinent and, I believe, quite fascinating topic to study under this sort of data visualization lens. When all is said and done, you'll be able to use this site to look back over the last 100 days leading up to the election and see how the shifts between candidates played out in the media. I think we all have a sense that things may get pretty nasty in the coming weeks. I feel that having a bird's eye, hindsight view of how things went down, which stories the media focused on and how that ultimately influenced the final outcome will be an invaluable resource.

    Check out spikes in coverage of the candidates or even events and locations. Lots of sparklines and lots of bar graphs very nicely organized.
     Continue Reading 

  • Welcome to FlowingData’s First Sponsor

    Posted to Site News

    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!

  • 23 Personal Tools to Learn More About Yourself

    Posted to Self-surveillance

    Like what you see here? Subscribe to the feed to stay updated on what's new in data visualization.

    In the not too distant past, the Web was all about sharing, broadcasting, and distribution. The tide is turning. The Web is moving towards the individual. Applications spring up every month that let people track, monitor, and analyze their habits and behaviors in hopes of gaining a better understanding about themselves and their surroundings.

    We saw what data can be recorded in the personal visualization project. Some data lend themselves to easy tracking while others are easier to monitor with the aid of an application. These 23 tools, to track the minutiae of everyday life, try to fill that niche.

    Is it information overflow or are we learning more about ourselves?
     Continue Reading 

  • OneGeology Wants to Be Geological Equivalent of Google Maps

    Posted to Data Sources, Mapping

    There's lots of free geographical data about what's going on at the surface of our planet. It's a different story for what going on underneath though. OneGeology aims to be the solution to that problem.

    OneGeology is an international initiative of the geological surveys of the world and a flagship project of the 'International Year of Planet Earth'. Its aim is to create dynamic geological map data of the world available via the web. This will create a focus for accessing geological information for everyone.

    I've never been one for the geology, but if the data (and interactive maps) were easily accessible, there certainly would be a peak in interest.

    [via msnbc | Thanks, Samantha]

  • See the World Through SimCity’s Eyes – One Up On OnionMap

    Michael comments, "Onionmap is nothing when compared to this Chinese site...They've practically mapped out the entire Shanghai (and quite a few other China cities) in a SimCity-like fashion! Amazing stuff!" He's completely right. Edushi maps Shanghai with great detail. While OnionMap looks like Google Maps with SimCity sprinkles, Edushi is just straight up SimCity.

    Unfortunately my three years of Chinese classes in high school did me no good, and I don't understand a thing on the site. Maybe someone can translate and let us know what Edushi is all about. Chinese CitySearch?

    [Thanks, Michael]

  • Winner of the Personal Visualization Project is…

    Posted to Self-surveillance

    Like what you see here? Subscribe to the feed to stay updated on what's new in data visualization.

    Last week was the end of our FlowingData personal visualization project. I asked readers to collect data about themselves or their surroundings and then visualize it some way. Thank you to everyone who participated. It put a smile on my face every time I got an email with "summer project" in the subject line :).
     Continue Reading 

  • Interactive Graph Visualization System – Skyrails

    Skyrails is an interactive graph visualization system that looks a lot like a video game. Explore relationships, visit nodes, and immerse yourself in the data. As I watch the demo video on YouTube, I feel like I'm seeing another world.

    You've got the standard ball and stick view. Whether it's useful for analysis or deeper understanding of relationships between whatever is up for debate, but one thing's for sure – it looks cool. Plus the code is open source.

    [Thanks, Atilla]

  • Flowchart Shows You What to Say During Sex

    This flowchart shows you what to say during private time with your special friend. Say goodbye to confusion and hello to deep conversations. Start from the middle of the chart and work your way out. Never again will you be at a loss for words.
     Continue Reading 

  • How to Create a Real-Time Web Traffic Map for Your Site

    Posted to Mapping, Projects

    I was exchanging email with Rob a few days ago, and he brought up that I might see a slight boost in traffic from Australia because he had spread the word (thanks!) at a statistics conference. I immediately went over to Google Analytics, and indeed, there was an increase in traffic from the land down under.
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  • Mozilla Labs Ubiquity Plugin Makes Mashups Easy

    Posted to Software

    Mashups have been around for a while now, but for the most part have required at least a little bit of web development. Maybe it's a line of javascript or thousands. Mozilla Labs, with the Ubiquity plugin, aims to make mashup-making accessible so that everyone can view data how they want everywhere on the Web. Use natural language like "map this" to stick a map into your email or get Craigslist offerings out of the list and onto a map.

    For version 0.1, the application looks interesting. Check out the demo (or even install the plugin yourself):

    [Thanks Colin and Jodi]

  • Nike+ Human Race 10K – Racing Around the World

    Posted to Self-surveillance

    Nike+ is a device you hook up to your shoe and iPod Nano to track your running patterns and receive feedback while you're running. Already a million people around the world have been training with the device, with the U.S. putting up 2.4 million global training miles. This past Sunday was "the day the world stopped to run" in the Nike+ Human Race 10K.
     Continue Reading 

  • Best of FlowingData: August 2008

    Last month, FlowingData had a pretty good month moving up to rank 4,130 on Technorati and growing from about 4,000 subscribers to 4,500, so our community has grown a bit. Thank you to all of you who have been spreading the word!

    In case you missed them, here are some of the best posts from August: