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?
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Excellent idea Nathan! This could lead to a vibrant discussion about ways to visualize data and the competition itself is a great motivator to rethink & refine the approach we take on create visualizations.
how is “best” determined?
I knew someone would ask that :). “Best” will be determined by everyone who chooses to chime in on the thread.
Tim – He’ll know it when he sees it.
That’s a really great idea. I assume many designers hesitate to making nice visualizations due to the lack of knowledge of where to acquire (correct) data from. Can’t wait to see some nice stuff…
The nice thing about these challenges is the data is provided, but the real benefit is to see how differently all the other creative people attacked the same problem. The shortest distance between Q and A is not a straight line, and there are many paths.
On my own blog I often describe how I would approach a problem; invariably someone leaves a comment with a more elegant solution or an aspect of the problem I hadn’t even considered.
I’ve already downloaded Nathan’s data set and fiddled around some. I have no idea yet where it’s going.
What is the unit of measure of the data?
@Peter – They’re proportions. For example, the .27 after “Alabama” means that .27 (or 27%) of all Children 18 and under in Alabama are in poverty. The last value, .20 means that .20 of all people in Alabama are in poverty.
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