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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Amit Agarwal, of Digital Inspiration, posts thisAndrew 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]
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!
Are you up for the challenge?
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]
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.
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.
I admit it. I'm a sucker for animated maps - especially when there's music playing in the back. I'm not exactly sure what it is about them. It's data visualization over time and virtual (or physical?) space fast forwarded and rewound. It's like I'm a supreme being looking at changes over time, peering down from above. It's intuitive. It's very visually linked with the real world, and that's probably why I chose Britain From Above as the best visualization of 2008.
Find high resolution pics at the Flickr photo pool.
[via visual complexity]
This is a guest post from Elad Israeli and Roni Floman of SiSense, which specializes in easy-to-use business intelligence.
Pundits joke that Google Adwords is driving Microsoft Excel sales. Two rivals are vying for domination; yet one's desktop software is used to optimize keywords sold by the other.Â The reason is very simple: the Google AdWords interface doesn't support the rigorous analysis of multiple AdWords keywords and their optimization. Importing the Google AdWords data into Excel lets you do just thatâ€¦ albeit within the constraints of Excel.
Let's try to explain this by looking at the visualization and business intelligence assumptions behind the Google use case and the Microsoft use case.
First off, happy new year! I'm back from my short hiatus from blogging and school. I trust everyone had a good holiday week. I saw a couple of good movies: Slumdog Millionaire, which was one of the best movies I've seen in a while, and Benjamin Button, which was good, but not as great as Slumdog. I also played a ton of NBA 2K8 on Xbox 360. I'm not much into video games (I really suck), but the plasma HDTV I got for my birthday/Christmas almost makes me feel like I'm in the game.
Rate and Tweet Your Fortune Cookies on CookieSays
During the last few days of break I put together CookieSays. It's a toy Twitter application that lets you tweet fortune cookie fortunes and rate others. The point? Good ol' fashioned fun, of course. I don't know about you, but whenever I crack open a fortune cookie, that little piece of paper never fails to amuse me and everyone else at the table - no matter how ridiculous or incoherent. Now you can share them on CookieSays! Plus, it seemed fitting for the new year and all.
How to Tweet Your Fortunes
@cookiesays You will make a million dollars tomorrow.
That's it! Your fortune will appear here in about 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, rate other people's fortunes or just sit back and let the fortunes change on their own. Have fun! It was fun making it.
Now - back to work on my more serious project.
December was a good month for FlowingData with some big waves of traffic and nearly 1,000 new readers. The new server withstood the spikes though, and everything was good and speedy just like I hoped. None of this would be possible without the help of FlowingData sponsors. I hope you will join me in thanking these fine groups that keep FlowingData going smoothly by checking out what they have to offer.
Eye-Sys — Comprehensive real-time 3D visualization. Their gallery section in particular is quite impressive.
SiSense — Easy-to-use reporting and analysis. No code required and directly connects to Excel, CSV files, SQL, MySQL, Oracle and SQL Analysis Services
If you'd like to sponsor FlowingData, please feel free to email me, and I'll get back to you with the details.