Visually organizing data

We had a guest speaker in my Flash class that spoke about the visual organization of data. She showed samples of sites that excel at organizing complex data in ways that are easy to understand. I really enjoyed some of them. They all use Flash and/or Action Script .

  • Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A tree map visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. It shows different countries and what percentage of their news is dedicated to specific news categories like World, Entertainment, Local, etc.
  • We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale. A data collection engine automatically scours the Internet every ten minutes, harvesting human feelings from a large number of blogs. Once a sentence containing “I feel” is found the system saves the full sentence in a database. There are a number of fascinating, visual ways to sample these feelings.
  • This is my favorite. They Rule allows you to create visual maps of the interlocking directories of the top companies in the US and see the maps that others have created. You can see how corporations and government are intertwined using association comparisons. This must have taken years to put together. If you go to load maps, popular, you can see some very interesting associations.

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