Data presentation can be beautiful, elegant and descriptive. There is a variety of conventional ways to visualize data – tables, histograms, pie charts and bar graphs are being used every day, in every project and on every possible occasion. However, to convey a message to your readers effectively, sometimes you need more than just a simple pie chart of your results. In fact, there are much better, profound, creative and absolutely fascinating ways to visualize data. Many of them might become ubiquitous in the next few years.
So what can we expect? Which innovative ideas are already being used? And what are the most creative approaches to present data in ways we’ve never thought before?
Let’s take a look at the most interesting modern approaches to data visualization as well as related articles, resources and tools.
Informationarchitects.jp3 presents the 200 most successful websites on the web, ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective in a mindmap. Apparently, web-sites are connected as they’ve never been before. Quite comprehnsive.
2. Displaying News
3. Displaying Data
Hans Rosling TED Talk20 is a legendary talk of the Swedish professor Hans Rosling, in which he explains a new way of presenting statistical data. His Trendalyzer software (recently acquired by Google) turns complex global trends into lively animations, making decades of data pop. Asian countries, as colorful bubbles, float across the grid — toward better national health and wealth. Animated bell curves representing national income distribution squish and flatten. In Rosling’s hands, global trends — life expectancy, child mortality, poverty rates – become clear, intuitive and even playful.
Three Views shows three views of the earth, in which each country is represented by a circle that shows the amount of money spent on the military (size of circle) and what fraction of the country’s earnings that uses (colour). Compact and beautiful presentation of data.
Elastic Lists33 demonstrates the “elastic list” principle for browsing multi-facetted data structures. You can click any number of list entries to query the database for a combination of the selected attributes. The approach visualizes relative proportions (weights) ofmetadata by size and visuzalizes characteristicness of a metadata weight by brightness. Author’s blog34 regularly informs about new experiments in the area of data visualization. Nice to observe, useful to bookmark.
The JFK Assassination Timeline36An Ajax-based approach vor visual presentation of historical events. John F. Kennedy assassination as timeline with numerous presentation options. The related article37 with further examples38.
4. Displaying connections
Munterbund39 showcases the results of research graphical visualization of text similarities in essays in a book. “The challenge is to find forms of graphical and/or typographical representation of the essays that are both appealing and informative. We have attempted create a system which automatically generates graphics according to predefined rules.”
Musiclens gives music recommendations and presents your current mood and musical taste as a diagram.
Figd’t Visualizer47 allows you to play around with your network. You interface with the Visualizer through Flickr and LastFM tags, using any tag to create a Magnet. Once a Tag Magnet is created, members of the network will gravitate towards it if they have photos or music with that same Tag. Available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. Alpha-version.
Shape Of Song51: What does music look like? The Shape of Song is an attempt to answer this seemingly paradoxical question. The custom software in this work draws musical patterns in the form of translucent arches, allowing viewers to see – literally – the shape of any composition available on the Web.
5. Displaying web-sites
Spacetime59 offers Google, Yahoo, Flickr, eBay and images in 3D. The tool displays all of your search results in an easy to view elegant 3D arrangement. Company promises that the days of mining through pages and pages of tiny thumbnails in an effort to find the item you are looking for are over.
6. Articles & Resources
The project presents the most beautiful methods of data visualization as well as further references and book suggestions. The gallery has over 450 entries.
- In his article Infosthetics: the beauty of data visualization65 Andrew Vande Moere, well-known through his blog Infosthetics66, discusses the aesthetics of data visualization and modern apparoaches in this area. Creative design ideas combine form and content and generate fascinating graphs – is it a new area in the art of next generation?
The article presents 13 new techniques of data visualization, with examples and further references.
- 16 Awesome Data Visualization Tools70
“From navigating the Web in entirely new ways to seeing where in the world twitters are coming from, data visualization tools are changing the way we view content. We found the following 16 apps both visually stunning and delightfully useful.” An extensive overview by Mashable.com.
Eric Blue provides some references to unusual Data Visualization methods.
- infosthetics – information aesthetics
Andrew Vande Moere about data visualization, latest development and design ideas.
- Visualizing Delicious Roundup
An overview of Del.icio.us tools you can use to visualize your bookmarks.
- Periodic Table74
A periodic table of visualization methods.
7. Tools and Services
- You can create your own timelines with Xtimeline76 and Circavie77.
- IBM Many Eyes78
- prefuse | the prefuse visualization toolkit81
Presents the beta-version of a Java-based toolkit for programming of application with integrated data visualization methods
This service creates pie charts, diagrams and histograms “on the fly”. It also provides a Swivel API83 you can use to improve already existing visualization methods.
- You can find even more tools for designing your own diagrams and charts online in our article Charts and Diagrams Tools84.
- 1 http://www.informationarchitects.jp/ia-trendmap-2007v2
- 2 http://www.informationarchitects.jp/ia-trendmap-2007v2
- 3 http://www.informationarchitects.jp
- 4 http://www.marumushi.com/apps/newsmap/
- 5 http://www.marumushi.com/apps/newsmap/
- 6 http://rssvoyage.com
- 7 http://rssvoyage.com
- 8 http://labs.digg.com/bigspy/?popular
- 9 http://labs.digg.com/bigspy/?popular
- 10 http://labs.digg.com/stack/
- 11 http://labs.digg.com/stack/
- 12 http://amaztype.tha.jp
- 13 http://amaztype.tha.jp
- 14 http://www.hottoast.org/convexstyle/flickrtime/
- 15 http://www.hottoast.org/convexstyle/flickrtime/
- 16 http://www.time.com/time/covers/20061030/where_we_live/
- 17 http://www.time.com/time/covers/20061030/where_we_live/
- 18 http://www.crazyegg.com
- 19 http://crazyegg.com/
- 20 http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92
- 21 http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92
- 22 http://www.wefeelfine.org/movements.html
- 23 http://www.wefeelfine.org/movements.html
- 24 http://www.abeautifulwww.com/2007/05/20/visualizing-the-power-struggle-in-wikipedia/
- 25 http://www.abeautifulwww.com/2007/05/20/visualizing-the-power-struggle-in-wikipedia/
- 26 http://www.abeautifulwww.com/2007/05/20/visualizing-the-power-struggle-in-wikipedia/
- 27 http://www.aharef.info/2006/05/websites_as_graphs.htm
- 28 http://www.aharef.info/2006/05/websites_as_graphs.htm
- 29 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/timelines/british/index.shtml
- 30 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/timelines/british/index.shtml
- 31 http://www.microsiervos.com/archivo/azar/loto-estrella.html
- 32 http://www.microsiervos.com/archivo/azar/loto-estrella.html
- 33 http://well-formed-data.net/experiments/elastic_lists/
- 34 http://well-formed-data.net/
- 35 http://well-formed-data.net/experiments/elastic_lists/
- 36 http://simile.mit.edu/timeline/examples/jfk/jfk.html
- 37 http://simile.mit.edu/timeline/
- 38 http://simile.mit.edu/timeline/examples/
- 39 http://www.munterbund.de/visualisierung_textaehnlichkeiten/essay.html
- 40 http://www.munterbund.de/visualisierung_textaehnlichkeiten/essay.html
- 41 http://www.munterbund.de/visualisierung_textaehnlichkeiten/essay.html
- 42 http://www.munterbund.de/visualisierung_textaehnlichkeiten/essay.html
- 43 http://www.burstlabs.com
- 44 http://www.burstlabs.com
- 45 http://universe.daylife.com/
- 46 http://universe.daylife.com/
- 47 http://www.fidgt.com/visualize
- 48 http://www.fidgt.com/visualize
- 49 http://megamu.com/lastfm/
- 50 http://megamu.com/lastfm/
- 51 http://www.turbulence.org/Works/song/gallery/gallery.html
- 52 http://www.turbulence.org/Works/song/gallery/gallery.html
- 53 http://www.dimvision.com/musicmap/
- 54 http://www.dimvision.com/musicmap/
- 55 http://www.musicovery.com
- 56 http://www.musicovery.com
- 57 http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/news/languageposter_0504.html
- 58 http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/news/languageposter_0504.html
- 59 http://www.spacetime.com
- 60 http://www.spacetime.com
- 61 http://ubrowser.com/
- 62 http://ubrowser.com/
- 63 http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/
- 64 http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/
- 65 http://pingmag.jp/2007/03/23/infosthetics-form-follows-data/
- 66 http://infosthetics.com/
- 67 http://pingmag.jp/2007/03/23/infosthetics-form-follows-data/
- 68 http://pingmag.jp/2007/03/23/infosthetics-form-follows-data/
- 69 http://pingmag.jp/2007/03/23/infosthetics-form-follows-data/
- 70 http://mashable.com/2007/05/15/16-awesome-data-visualization-tools/
- 71 http://eric-blue.com/blog/2006/10/dataesthetics_the_power_and_be.html
- 72 http://www.infosthetics.com/
- 73 http://www.infosthetics.com/
- 74 http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html
- 75 http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html
- 76 http://xtimeline.com/index.aspx
- 77 http://www.circavie.com
- 78 http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/home
- 79 http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/home
- 80 http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/browse/visualizations
- 81 http://prefuse.org/
- 82 http://www.swivel.com/
- 83 http://www.swivel.com/api/early_access
- 84 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2006/09/01/test-aosu/