Category Archives: Uncategorized

Big Data Bookshelf: Data Points: Visualization that Means Something

In the newly released book Data Points: Vsu­al­iza­toin that Means Some­thing, Nathan Yau (Flow­ing Data blog) shares his ideas on under­stand­ing, visu­al­iz­ing, and ana­lyz­ing data. The exam­ples are use­ful and imple­mentable. Many focus on sets of graphs with mul­ti­ple dimen­sions of data, rather than a sin­gle chart type. The author also presents ideas and examples […]

Chart of the Week: Gun Regulation by State

The UK Guardian news­pa­per recently pub­lished an inter­ac­tive ring dia­gram show­ing gun reg­u­la­tion by US states. It’s an attrac­tive dia­gram but makes so many ele­men­tary mis­takes in chart­ing that it fails to sum­ma­rize the data in a mean­ing­ful way. Analy­sis: If the graph makes a sin­gle point, it’s that all states reg­u­late whether a weapon […]

Chart of the Week: Timeline+Segmentation+ Scatterplot

Information-​dense charts show mul­ti­ple rela­tion­ships in data in a sin­gle, chart. They take more time to read/​review, but pro­vide deeper insights. This week’s exam­ple from R.W Brun­skill’Illus­trated Hand­book of Ver­nac­u­lar Archi­tec­ture shows the evo­lu­tion of “ver­nac­u­lar archi­tec­ture”. Ver­nac­u­lar archi­tec­ture ” will have been designed by an ama­teur, prob­a­bly of the occu­pier of the intended building […]

Chart of the Week: Bucket vs. Pail

What’s the dif­fer­ence between a pail and a bucket? Accord­ing to this chart in Word Geog­ra­phy of the East­ern States (Kurath, 1941), most of the New Eng­land and New York use “pail” (tri­an­gle) , while Penn­syl­va­nia and the lower mid-​Atlantic states use “bucket”. Data con­text: Kurath had local research teams who focused on cities and […]

Gifts for Data Geeks: My Life in Graphs

Gifts for Data Sci­en­tists and other data geeks: My Life in Graphs from Knock Knock Design is a gruided jour­nal where you write about your life using graphs and charts. In Seat­tle, it’s avail­able at Elliot Bay Book Com­pany in Queen Anne or online through Amazon.

Smart Fork — Big Data and Healthy Eating

hapi labs is intro­duc­ing a “smart fork” at CES this year. It is a fork with a built in sen­sor to track: Fork serv­ings — how long it takes from the plate to the mouth The amount of “fork serv­ings” taken per minute. Inter­vals between “fork serv­ings”. How long it took to eat a meal. […]

Visualizing worldwide education disparities with the WIDE tool: A data meatloaf

Using the recently released WIDE (World Inequal­ity Data­base on Edu­ca­tion) is part of a UN ini­tia­tive called edu­ca­tion for all. This is an exam­ple of a visu­al­iza­tion Mean years of edu­ca­tion using the tool: It’s also pos­si­ble to view mul­ti­ple indi­ca­tors for a coun­try, for exam­ple, Domini­can Repub­lic: Some high level thoughts: As data visualization, […]

Speck Design + Venn Diagrams

A num­ber of blog­gers have com­mented on the impos­si­bil­ity of the Venn dia­gram posted on a build­ing in New York City. The cat­e­gories read: Peo­ple who live in Noho Peo­ple who live in Soho Peo­ple who can afford their rent Even though it’s just an ad, it raises some inter­est­ing ques­tions about using Venn diagrams […]

Classifying Chevy El Camino

How do you clas­sify some­thing like the Chevy El Camino? Is it a truck? pickup truck? car? or some­thing in-​between? When my son was two years old he used to call pickup trucks “George trucks” after his Uncle George who drove a pickup truck at the time. One day we saw a Chevy El Camino […]

How large data sets create opportunities for entrepreneurs

Large data sets pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for entre­pre­neurs to cre­ate new busi­nesses that help cus­tomers make deci­sions using data and ana­lyt­ics.. I’ve reviewed a cou­ple of them pre­vi­ously: Solum (geo­tar­get­ing fer­til­izer to increase crop yield) and Steet­light Data (opti­miz­ing retail store loca­tion) A recent arti­cle in Slate enti­tled Here Comes the Data Econ­omy describes how startups […]