The Knowledge Cartography website is dedicated to researching how cartography can be used to represent various types of information, and they’re performing most of their research with a tool called ‘ATLAS’.
The images displayed below are screenshots taken from ATLAS, the application that’s being developed to explore the possibilities of the application of a cartographic metapjor to the realms of knowledge. The concept of atlas in this context doesn’t depict as much a list of maps, but rather a system of representations of space, a communication device aimed at representing complex contexts through the use of many partial overlapping narrations: a network of maps, diagrams, texts and peritexts, combined together to describe the space of research in its multifaceted aspects.
The work is based primarily on a series of papers from Marco Quaggiotto at the Politenico di Milano (Italy), and several videos of the ATLAS interface are available at their site.
The World Cup will be winding up soon, but there’s no doubt that this World Cup generated a horde of infographics and visualizations across the internet. While I can’t say for certain, it definitely seems that there were far more this time than in any World Cup in the past. Is the technology better? The data better? Or just reader’s appetites? Over at DataVisualization.ch, they talk about it a bit and end with a great piece about visualization in general.
To successfully create a business case, a visualization must solve a real user need. This is evident for business analytics and scientific visualization. When it comes to more casual visualization projects this problem-solving nature isn’t always given. Visualization is thus positioned closer to entertainment—which isn’t a bad place to be either, but has different mechanics. We have a more playful repertoire of drivers available. At the same time we also face the challenge of communicating the information with clarity and integrity.
Being my first contribution in Vizworld’s infographics section, I must start by thanking Randall for his invitation and support to Visual Loop. It’s been a wild ride, since January, when I started Visual Loop as a simple way of collecting and sharing one of my greatest passions: Information Design.
So, I hope you all enjoy the selections I’ll be bringing on a daily basis, including some of the pieces made by great talents from all over the world that I’ve met meanwhile.
And don’t hesitate to leave your comments and suggestions – after all, more than an one-way information show-off, a good infographic is a fantastic way to start a conversation. ;)
I just found the YouTube page for “WaveAnimations”, a user that is developing new flow simulations for ship hulls, who has several beautiful videos of simulation results. Covering transom waves, plunging and breaking waves, asymmetrical waves, and several others, they are just beautiful and hypnotic to watch.
Disclaimer: I work for the lab that created the videos & visualizations, but not the Simulation.
Verifiable.com is closing up shop, handing another bullet to those ammunition-hoarders who think cloud services are a constant trap for taking your data and info with no real requirements. Fighting in a space full of names like Tableau and IBM ManyEyes, visualization as a service is proving to be a difficult market to break. Robert Kosara takes a look at what happened to Verifiable, and provides some tips on how the next startup may fare better.
As much as I hate to admit it, I think all visualization websites fail on point one. People don’t feel a need to visualize data, we have to make them aware that visualization even exists, and that it can do something for them. The vast number of pretty but useless pictures on the web that are all called visualizations doesn’t exactly help.
The few people who do want to visualize their data and are looking for this kind of service are most likely not interested in visualization web sites the way they exist today. Those people are mostly dealing with very valuable proprietary data that they don’t want to (or aren’t allowed to, per corporate policy) upload to a third party’s web service.
Personally. I think the proprietary data issue is the biggest one. People with interesting data worth visualizing typically are very protective and possessive of it. Not to mention, it can be rather large (I wouldn’t want to upload some of my datasets to a cloud server, 10 gigabytes takes a while).
The Knight Foundation has announced the winners of the annual Knight News Challenge, and it includes a few important tools for data visualizations for journalists. Eric Rodenbeck’s ‘CityTracking’ won $400k, and Eric Gundersen’s ‘Tilemapping’ gets a nice $74,000 to make map mash-ups simpler.
Hear the winning entries pitch their ideas in the video above.
Simulations for Particular Matter generate millions of points together as time and wind manipulate the flow, but many visualization packages do not do well with simple point data. With a NASA grant in-hand, scientists at UNC Chapel Hill create a new tool called ‘Visualize Particular Matter (VPM)’ to solve these issues.
“There are a number of different types of particles often interpreted as pollutants,” said RENCI senior visualization researcher David Borland. “These individual [data] files can have over a hundred different kinds of pollutants and variables that we’re trying to visualize.”
The solution Borland and RENCI senior software developer Steve Chall came up with is a big improvement, according to Shankar.
BP is trying several different approaches to resolving the Gulf Oil Spill, and in a recent presentation by Senior VP Kent Wells, he showed the chart above to demonstrate how their efforts to collect the oil are improving every day. Relying on the public’s perception of upward trendlines being “good”, Stephen Few wasn’t falling for it. He took the raw data, and compiled his own graph showing not the Cumulative Oil Collected, but the Oil Collected Daily.
While the amount of collection increased in the beginning, it has decreased or held steady for the last four days and is now well below the average amount of daily collection for this period as a whole. Things are definitely not getting better. How do you spin bad news like this? One way is to create a misleading graph, but cover your ass by doing it in a way that isn’t an outright lie.
This may be the single best example of using visualization to tell the story you want, rather than the real story.
Many people think visualization is limited to basic pie charts, line graphs, and bar graphs, without knowing the wealth of alternatives that exist. Over at the ACM Queue, an article showcases the “Zoo of Visualization” with some of the more exotic techniques.
In many situations, simple data graphics will not only suffice, they may also be preferable. Here we focus on a few of the more sophisticated and unusual techniques that deal with complex data sets. After all, you don't go to the zoo to see Chihuahuas and raccoons; you go to admire the majestic polar bear, the graceful zebra, and the terrifying Sumatran tiger. Analogously, we cover some of the more exotic (but practically useful!) forms of visual data representation, starting with one of the most common, time-series data; continuing on to statistical data and maps; and then completing the tour with hierarchies and networks. Along the way, bear in mind that all visualizations share a common “DNA”—a set of mappings between data properties and visual attributes such as position, size, shape, and color—and that customized species of visualization might always be constructed by varying these encodings.
All of their techniques are accompanied by a static image and an interactive example developed in ProtoVis, complete with source code for you to peruse and try yourself.
US Tax Brackets are constantly changing. As incomes change, inflation impacts the power of currency, and government needs come and go, how various incomes are taxed change widely over time. A visualization of a “Heatmap” style done by the teams at WeatherSealed shows how the tax rates have changed since 1910.
The colors indicate the marginal tax rate: black for low, red in the middle, and yellow for high. The horizontal axis is the tax year, and the vertical represents taxable income, log-scale, normalized to 2010 dollars with the Bureau Of Labor Statistics’ monthly CPI-U figures. The bracket data comes from The Tax Foundation and the IRS, and the effects of Social Security, capital gains, AMT, and other tax varieties are not included.
That bright yellow spot in the upper center is in the mid 40′s, 50′s and early 60′s when the wealthy ($1 Million +) were taxed at 90%!
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