Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Cool Tool #7 Many Eyes

Posted by Andy

Many Eyes is a free online data visualisation tool made by IBM and allows users to import their textual data and turn it in to one of many different visual diagrams.

You need to register with the website first, and after a small learning curve you can create, share and embed visualisations onto your blog or website.
Below is one that I used to create a diagram breaking down the various subject themes from David McCandless' brilliant book - Information is Beautiful.
This is not a static diagram, you can select various parts of diagram within our blog -very cool.

What IBM says about the tool:

Many Eyes is a bet on the power of human visual intelligence to find patterns. Our goal is to "democratize" visualization and to enable a new social kind of data analysis. Jump right to our visualizations now, take a tour, or read on for a leisurely explanation of the project.

All of us in CUE's Visual Communication Lab are passionate about the potential of data visualization to spark insight. It is that magical moment we live for: an unwieldy, unyielding data set is transformed into an image on the screen, and suddenly the user can perceive an unexpected pattern. As visualization designers we have witnessed and experienced many of those wondrous sparks. But in recent years, we have become acutely aware that the visualizations and the sparks they generate, take on new value in a social setting. Visualization is a catalyst for discussion and collective insight about data.

We all deal with data that we'd like to understand better. It may be as straightforward as a sales spreadsheet or fantasy football stats chart, or as vague as a cluttered email inbox. But a remarkable amount of it has social meaning beyond ourselves. When we share it and discuss it, we understand it in new ways.

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