• Designing Google Maps

    January 10, 2012  |  Mapping

    New York redesign

    Google Maps is one of Google's best applications, but the time, energy, and thought put into designing it often goes unnoticed because of how easy it is to use, for a variety of purposes. Willem Van Lancker, a user experience and visual designer for Google Maps, describes the process of building a map application — color scheme, icons, typography, and "Googley-ness" — that practically everyone can use, worldwide.

    We have worked (and driven) around the world to create a "map" that is a collection of zoom levels, imagery, angles, and on-the-ground panoramas all wrapped into one. Through these varied snapshots of our world, we are attempting to sew together a more seamless picture of the Earth—from its natural beauty to the surprising (and often absurd) details that make it our unique home. As our work progresses, new technologies give us the opportunity to get away from the limitations and complexity of standard cartography to provide a much more approachable and easy-to-understand map, loaded with data and information.

    Remember when we had to refresh the page to see more of map?

    [Core77 via @awoodruff]

  • Google+ Ripples show influence and how posts are shared

    October 27, 2011  |  Network Visualization

    Google+ Ripples

    Posts and links get shared over and over again, but we usually don't know how. We get counts, but who shares what and how far do does a link reach? Google+ Ripples gives you a peak into the process. A link or status is posted, and like when a pebble is dropped in a pond, a pattern forms outwards.
    Continue Reading

  • Google Map Maker edits in real-time

    August 16, 2011  |  Mapping

    Google Map Maker edits

    Google Map Maker is a simple tool that lets you draw your own map and share that map with others. The Pulse view lets you see how people are making use of that tool in real-time. On top is the Google Earth view. On the bottom is a zoomed in view of the actual edit. Just press play, and see how people around the world are using Map Maker.

    It's a simple map that is of the same likeness as the Zappos sales map and the even older Twittervision, but somehow it's still fun to peek in to see what people are doing.

    [Google Map Maker via @johnmaeda]

  • Find popular places to stay with Google Hotel Finder

    August 11, 2011  |  Mapping

    Google hotel finder

    When you're picking a hotel to stay at in an area you don't know well, the place you end up at can be arbitrary. With most travel sites, you get a list of hotels with ratings, which is helpful, but still feels confusing at times. Sites like Hipmunk aim to make the search easier. Most recently Google launched a new experiment called Hotel Finder.
    Continue Reading

  • Google Correlate lets you see how your data relates to search queries

    May 25, 2011  |  Online Applications

    Influenza search - Google Correlate

    A while back, Google showed how Influenza outbreaks correlated to searches for flu-related terms with Google Flu Trends. It helped researchers and policy-makers estimate flu activity much sooner than with previous methods. Google Correlate is the evolution of Flu Trends in that now you can correlate search trends with not just flu cases, but with your own data or other search queries.
    Continue Reading

  • Global search volume by language

    May 10, 2011  |  Mapping

    Search by Language

    To show off their new toy that is WebGL, a 3D graphics API for JavaScript, the Google Data Arts Team maps global search volume by language:

    The Search Globe visualizes searches from one day, and shows the language of the majority of queries in an area in different colors. You’ll see a bright landscape of queries across Europe, and parts of Asia for instance, but unfortunately we see many fewer searches from parts of the world lacking Internet access—and often electricity as well—like Africa. We hope that as the Internet continues to become more accessible over time and people continue to ask questions, we’ll see this globe shine brightly everywhere.

    We've seen this sort of view before, but the interesting thing is that this runs native in the browser (and will probably send your fan whirling). Rotate and zoom in to your heart's content.
    Continue Reading

  • Think Quarterly from Google UK on data

    March 27, 2011  |  Statistics

    “The problem isn’t that specialised companies lack the data they need, it’s that they don’t go and look for it, they don’t understand how to handle it.”

    —Hans Rosling, A Data State of Mind, March 2011

    Google UK produced a short book called Think Quarterly to distribute to partners and advertisers, but it's actually pretty interesting for a more general audience. Articles feature Hans Rosling, Hal Varian, and others. Also a hat tip to FlowingData in Simon Rogers' list of sexy resources.

  • Google opens up Public Data Explorer to your data

    February 17, 2011  |  Online Applications

    Public data explorer

    With Google's recent data-related offerings, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that they've opened up their Public Data Explorer so that you can upload your own data. Previously, it was only available when you searched for something like "GDP" and a related dataset was supplied by an official provider.

    [W]e’re opening the Public Data Explorer to your data. We’re making a new data format, the Dataset Publishing Language (DSPL), openly available, and providing an interface for anyone to upload their datasets. DSPL is an XML-based format designed from the ground up to support rich, interactive visualizations like those in the Public Data Explorer. The DSPL language and upload interface are available in Google Labs.

    In terms of visualization, there's isn't anything new. You've got your maps, bar charts, and time series line charts, with the checkboxes on the left (like the snapshot below). Then there's the chart types available via the charting API.
    Continue Reading

  • Epic animation in Google Docs

    December 22, 2010  |  Miscellaneous

    Epic docs animation

    For the Google Demo Slam, three animators Tu+, Namroc, and Metcalf Anything put together an animation completely in Google Docs. Three days, 450 slides, and they got the video below. A tool might be limited, but you can still get a lot done with a little bit of imagination.
    Continue Reading

  • How the world searched in 2010

    December 13, 2010  |  Mapping

    Google Zeitgeist 2010

    Google recaps search trends for the year in Google Zeitgeist 2010, from the World Cup and the Olympics to the earthquake in Haiti and the BP oil spill. Above is relative search volumes around the world during the ash cloud in Iceland. You can browse the interactive map, or use the timeline to watch changes over significant events during the year.

    A video (below) also accompanies the interactive, showing how the physical world and digital are melding ever so nicely.
    Continue Reading

  • The United States of Autocomplete

    December 6, 2010  |  Mapping

    United States of Autocomplete

    Very Small Array has some fun with Google's autocomplete. Utah... Jazz. Kentucky... Fried Chicken. New York... Times.

    [Very Small Array via @mericson]

  • Format and clean your data with Google Refine

    November 16, 2010  |  Software

    When we first learn how to deal with data in school, it's nicely formatted and fits perfectly into a rectangular spreadsheet. Then when we start to deal with real data, we find missing values, inconsistencies, and for some reason it doesn't plug straight into our software. What the heck?

    The caveman way to fix this problem is to open Excel and manually edit everything. Some ad hoc code can often fix your problems, but still that takes time and can be a pain. Google Refine, the Googley evolution of Freebase Gridworks, can help you.
    Continue Reading

Copyright © 2007-2014 FlowingData. All rights reserved. Hosted by Linode.