- A Day in the Life of Twitter (Chris McDowall) — all geo-tagged tweets from 24h of the Twitter firehose, displayed. Interesting things can be seen, such as Jakarta glowing as brightly as San Francisco. (via Chris’s sciblogs post)
- British Library Release 3M Open Bibliographic Records) (OKFN) — This dataset consists of the entire British National Bibliography, describing new books published in the UK since 1950; this represents about 20% of the total BL catalogue, and we are working to add further releases.
- Gadgets for Babies (NY Times) — cry decoders, algorithmically enhanced rocking chairs, and (my favourite) “voice-activated crib light with womb sounds”. I can’t wait until babies can make womb sound playlists and share them on Twitter.
- GP2X Caanoo MAME/Console Emulator (ThinkGeek) — perfect Christmas present for, well, me. Emulates classic arcade machines and microcomputers, including my nostalgia fetish object, the Commodore 64. (via BoingBoing’s Gift Guide)
ENTRIES TAGGED "visualizations"
Make your charts more informative and interesting
You know bar and pie charts can be ineffective, but where do you turn next? Here are some great starting points to make a start with more interesting and effective charts.
The Processing language is an easy way to get started with graphics
Visualization is a powerful way to turn data into a story. But if you're not a "graphics person", where do you start?
Twitter Mapped, Bibliographic Data Released, Babies Engadgeted, and Nat's Christmas Present Sorted
Syntax Highlighting, Forkability, Product Invention, Science Animations
- Fear of Forking — (Brian Aker) GitHub has begun to feel like the Sourceforge of the distributed revision control world. It feels like it is littered with half started, never completed, or just never merged trees. If you can easily takes changes from the main tree, the incentive to have your tree merged back into the canonical tree is low.
- Product Invention Workshops (BERG London) — Matt Webb explains what they do with customers. Output takes the form, generally, of these microbriefs. A microbrief is how we encapsulate recommendations: it’s a sketch and short description of a new product or effort that will easily test out some hypothesis or concept arrived at in the workshop. It’s sketched enough that people outside the workshop can understand it. And it’s a hook to communicate the more abstract principles which have emerged in the days. Their process isn’t their secret weapon, it’s their creativity, empathy, and communication skills that make them so valuable.
- OneMicron — Janet Isawa’s beautiful animations of biological science. (via BoingBoing who linked to this NYTimes piece)
- Exploring Computational Thinking (Google) — educational materials to help teachers get students thinking about recognizing patterns, decomposing problems, and so on.
- Feedly — RSS feeds + twitter + other sites into a single magazine format.
- Attention and Information — what appears to us as “too much information” could just be the freedom from necessity. The biggest change ebooks have made in my life is that now book reading is as stressful and frenetic as RSS reading, because there’s as much of an oversupply of books-I’d-like-to-read as there is of web-pages-I’d-like-to-read. My problem isn’t over-supply of material, it’s a shortage of urgency that would otherwise force me to make the hard decisions about “no, don’t add this to the pile, it’s not important enough to waste my time with”. Instead, I have 1990s books on management that looked like maybe I might learn something …. (via Clay Shirky on Twitter)
Trading platforms, truth in graphs, European financial stats, and Mandelbrot's passing.
In this edition of Strata Week: The London Stock Exchange moves from .Net to open source; learn how graphical scales can lie; the Euroean Central Bank president calls for better financial statistics; and we bid farewell to the father of fractals.
Data Privacy, Journalism and Dataviz, Web Shell, and Kindle Singles
- ‘Scrapers’ Dig Deep for Data on Web (WSJ) — our users’ data comprise a valuable resource to mine and sell, but so do their kidneys. The data world faces serious issues with informed consent, control, and exploitation–it’s not just a shiny new business model, it can also leave people feeling very violated. Again, if you’re not paying for it then you’re the product and not the customer. The majority of humanity is not conscious of the difference between “user” and “customer”. (via Mike Brown on Twitter)
- Journalism in the Age of Data (Video) — Stanford video, with annotations and links, on the challenge of using dataviz as a storytelling medium. (via Ben Goldacre on Twitter)
- webshell (Github) — open source (Apache-licensed) console utility, requiring node.js, for debugging and understanding HTTP connections. (via Chris Shiflett on Twitter, who prefers it to yesterday’s htty)
- Amazon to Launch Kindle Singles (press release) — shorter-form works (think: novellas) as a format to expand publishing market rather than shrink it. Damn near every business book ever written should have been this size instead of 300 pages of tedium.
Data viz for journalism, student career paths, multi-dimensional data, and the future.
Get cozy for fall by watching some videos about visualization. First, check out Geoffrey McGhee's documentary about data viz in journalism. Then get a sneek preview of LinkedIn's Career Explorer tool. Catch up on Julia Grace's Web2.0 Expo keynote, and finally, take a look at the future of user interfaces through touchable holograms.