FlowingData brings us a neat interactive widget from GE that combines 6000 pages of text of over 100 years of GE’s annual reports, allowing you to interactively search and examine trends over the company’s colorful history.
We’ve scanned 6,000 pages of GEs annual reports to build this interactive visualization. But why? Whats the point? Not only does this provide a rich history of how GE has always been at work building, moving, powering and curing the world, but it is a true reflection of how the economy, U.S. and the world as a whole has progressed from 1892 until 2011. By diving deep into key terms, users can uncover interesting stories about innovation over the last century.
Robert Kosara is celebrating five years of his fantastic “Eagereyes” website, discussing some of the biggest hits and flops during that time.
In dog years, this website is now (almost) as old as I am. Over the years, it has changed both its direction and design several times; there have been times when I was overwhelmed with my readers’ reactions and times when nobody seemed to read the stuff I wrote. While I generally hate “best of” postings and indulging in nostalgia, I want to look back at a few of the things that I believe have shaped this site and how I think about what I’m doing, and revisit a few of the more interesting and/or successful things I’ve managed to do and write over the years.
He mentions that there is still a startling lack of good visualization products, citing Tableau and Visual.ly as exceptions that have stood out. I always take issue with folks that forget about great apps and tools like VTK, ParaView, VisIt, VAPOR, and CEI’s EnSight, but I suppose he has a point if you’re limiting yourself to basic user-level applications targeted at people with no knowledge of data visualization techniques.
Robby Ingebretsen of NerdPlusArt has a great video of what may be the first ever 3D graphics, a manually-digitized rendering of Ed Catmull’s Hand done back in 1972.
The film fell into my hands because Ed and my dad were good friends and office mates at the University of Utah in the 1970s where they were both pursuing upper graduate degrees in computer science. My dad was focused on digital audio and Ed (of course) on computer graphics. Either because of their friendship or possibly because they were renting time on the same computer, my dad ended up being responsible for the 3D morphing titles at the beginning and end of the film (his credit is at 6:15). I guess that entitled him to a copy of the 8mm reel (it was rendered to actual film; this, of course, predated any kind of real time digital playback by many years).
Seeing the hand scanned really makes you glad for tools like 3dsMax.
If you’re one of the many disgruntled Final Cut Pro users lamenting the new design, then check out this video of the original Final Cut 1.0 dug up by StudioDaily.
This video promo for Final Cut’s very first version, in all its blurry, pixelated glory, reminds us just how far FCP technology, and tech promos in general, have come. Back in 1999, after Apple purchased Final Cut from Macromedia, the video landscape included peaks dotted by Avid and Media 100, DV was a hot term, and white-and-teal G3 towers and bulbous Macs were just part of the scenery.
Michael Friendly and Daniel Denis have compiled an amazing timeline of milestones in the history of thematic cartography, statistical graphics, and data visualization.
This page provides a graphic overview of the events in the history of data visualization that we call “milestones.” These milestones are shown below in the the form of an interactive timeline. The timeline is divided into two vertical sections. You can drag each section left or right to see milestones of different time periods. You can also click one of the links at the bottom of the timeline to jump to a particular epoch.
Including everything from USA Today to the S Language, from Sparklines to camera obscura, it’s an amazing collection of data.
Back before computers, “Infographics” were made by hand with pens and paper. The St Louis Federal Reserve has posted a classic wide-format infographic that shows the growth of the American Economy over 75 years, with each year mapped to a single page.
Watch the video below and step back in time to the early days of CGI with ‘MAGI’, a company founded to model nuclear radiation transport. They slowly moved into ray-tracing and constructive solid geometry (CSG) to render their results and example scenarios, and eventually wound up created most of the visuals for the original Tron.
Early (1970s through 1980) demo reel from MAGI/Synthavision, who would later go on to provide many of the CGI effects for the feature film Tron. Mostly television advertising and effects in the early years. Apologies for the lack of audio; YouTube flagged the soundtrack for copyright reasons.
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