Plotting the Afghan war, via Open Source Tools Turn WikiLeaks Into Illustrated Afghan Meltdown Updated | Danger Room | Wired.com:
It’s one thing to read about individual Taliban attacks in WikiLeaks’ trove of war logs. It’s something quite different to see the bombings and the shootings mount, and watch the insurgency metastasize.
Even more Afghan visualizations thanks to WikiLeaks are available at Visualizing Data.
Guess which link-map representation above is the most efficient for showing directionality? Information Aesthetics blog has an interesting article about the different techniques for showing the “from-” and “to-” of network charts.
Networks are often visualized using points and interconnecting lines, with triangular arrowheads at one or both ends to show any directionality between the different points. Although such a standard arrow representation seems intuitive, it can lead to problems in dense graphs that contain many incoming or outgoing relationships. Furthermore, since the arrowheads often have approximately the same size and aspect ratio as the small circles they connect, the graph as a whole might be perceived as cluttered with so much visual detail to the point of being distracting.
via What is the Best Way to Represent Directionality in Network Visualizations? – information aesthetics.
How many different user interfaces can you create for something completely banal? Read 1,000 Screens, 1,000 Dreams over on World Famous Design Junkies to see how something as simple and commonplace as scorekeeping for bowling can be complexified endlessly. Dozens of screenshots show the variations that can occur when you need to record a few columns and rows of numbers. What if this data was more complex?
Posts like this make me think that we’re only scratching the surface for Big Data visualization. How many ways can you envision a social network such as a series of cell phone calls? How soon before we transcend the boring lines-and-icons approach?
via World Famous Design Junkies » 1,000 Screens, 1,000 Dreams.
Gource – Software Version Control Visualization Tool.
In Gource, software projects are visualized as they break out different branches, and split into different subprojects. Active users fly around zapping each node, representing software updates. The whole visualized node-and-line structure swirls, bends, and bounces like a rubber band.
The best thing about Gourse is the kinetic detail to the visualization, making each structure look like a tree wafting in a breeze.
via YouTube – Gource – Software Version Control Visualization Tool.
Artemy Lebedev of Designer’s Block articulates the problem we’ve discovered after diving into big data:
There is no way to think up an original and extraordinary design—it can only come as a result of pursuing a given task. In the same way running down a list of words is different from making a narrative.
As FlowingData adds:
This applies to visualization too. When you don’t have a question to answer or a simple wonderment about something, you end up staring at a bunch of numbers with no clue what to do with them. Want to test this out? Go to data.gov and make something useful.
via Visualizing data: ask a question first.
This visualization only looks like the spreading of a horrible plague. It is instead of the growth of Walmart and Sam’s Clubs throughout the United States. Starting in the relatively quiet 1960’s, Walmart added one or two locations a year. The flow accelerates until in 2010 there are 4393 stores studded across an apocalyptic consumerist landscape.
Watch the Growth of Walmart and Sams Club Across America | FlowingData.
OKCupid continues to be the world’s best dating site, mainly because of their sense of humor and their willingness to play with their data in their analysis blog. Who can forget their article about how best to pose for your profile picture? (Hint: no duck-lips.)
Here they break down the dysfunctional Democratic Party:
Time and again in American politics, Republicans have voted as a unit to frustrate our disorganized Democratic majority. No matter what’s on the table, a few Democrats will peel away from the party core; meanwhile, all Republicans will somehow manage to stay on-message.
Thus, they caucus block us.
The Democrats Are Doomed, or How A ‘Big Tent’ Can Be Too Big « OkTrends.