Tag Archives: data

Visualizing information

I’m analytical by nature but I have a hard time really processing information unless it’s represented visually. That’s why the graphics-heavy layout of USA Today and books like Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information are so fascinating.

One of my new favorite websites is FlowingData, which focuses exclusively on data visualization. At the end of the year they compiled the top 5 best visualization projects of 2008. In addition to being incredibly impressive projects, these projects are a good reminder that data can be both informative and really great to look at.

Not surprisingly, Radiohead made the shortlist with their “House of Cards” music video that used no cameras, only scanners and lasers. The video was just one of the band’s list of breakthrough, clutter-busting efforts over the past couple of years,  including offering a pay-what-you-want digital version of album “In Rainbows” that went on to top the charts in CD sales and a fan contest to create a music video.

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Life in raw data

These days, there seems to be no limit to what the internet can do. We can learn about new inventions, find out the weather 3,000 miles away, book a vacation and catch up with friends. But the internet is best at amplifying the one thing we are most interested in: ourselves. In an inspiring article in Good magazine, Boing Boing‘s David Pescovitz talks about how technology is enabling us to not only learn more about ourselves but keep a record of who we are –  everything from exercise and diet habits to sleep cycles and number of phone calls made.

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