If you get me in a room and we start talking about data, please forgive me if my eyes light up. You see, I confess to a certain amount of data-lust. Primarily because I believe that data is at the core of most great web applications. Secondarily, because I’m enthralled with how to move this data from a list of tables and spreadsheets and make it become real and understandable to anyone at a glance.
I wrote a post about African TLDs (the suffix that country domain names go by) a couple months back. Then, today I came across this visualization in a poster of the world of country TLDs. Simple, interesting and useful.
(You can buy this as a print at HistoryShots.com for $29)
Using graphics to represent data is nothing new, however, doing it well isn’t easy. The moment this became crystal clear to me was when I had the opportunity to listen to the incomparable Jeffrey Veen (before he left Adaptive Path for Google) discuss how to visualize rainfall data – going from database to consumer visualization. The main slides are seen below:
(It’s not nearly as good without his oratory, but you can see the Next Gen slideshow here)
There are now a number of excellent blogs, agencies and consultants who deal with this stuff every day. If you’re as interested in this as I am, you might enjoy these resources:
- Gapminder (and corresponding TED Talk by Hans Rosling)
- Information Aesthetics (blog)
- Visual Complexity (Aggregation website)
- The Visual Thesaurus (amazing!)
- Silobreaker (Public data analysis – past blog post)
- Adaptive Path (Agency archives)
- Flowing Data (blog)
- Tactical Tech’s “Visualizing Data for Advocacy” booklet