The Internet changed a lot of things. It made information practically free. It made sharing messages instant. It allowed us to speak to an unknown audience. It made is all ‘published’ writers. Well, it’s too late to write blog posts about all these without feeling like plagiarising Marshall MacLuhan.
So, I am going to restrict this article to one of my favourite things about the Internet. That is makes data beautiful.
Data visualisations are definitely not something that the Internet brought to the world. Drawing solids, liquids and gases within a square is perhaps the first data visualisation I’ve ever done!
The television of course, showed us tons and tons of visualisations about survey results and exit polls.
The Internet however made data beautiful. It made our data beautiful. We could all see our networks and our tweets drawn in beautiful ways for us to show off!
LinkedIn launched LinkedIn connections timeline last week: a simple visualisation of one’s connections over a period of time. The ‘timeline’ for me is a nostalgic trip down memory lane through all the places I worked in. You should try yours. Here.
The one other fantastic visualisation on a timeline is the memolane. Memolane brings together one’s social media conversations on a lovely looking timeline and allows you to embed it anywhere!
Storify is one other lovely visualisation (if you will) concept as well. It allows you to choose, drag and drop almost any piece of information from the Internet and make a story out of it. While I was writing this, Murali Vijay was having a great time in the IPL4 final and I made a quick story out of it. You can most definitely make better ones at www.storify.com.
But for the best data visualisation though, take a look at information is beautiful. They have some fantastic visualisations of the most complex information. My pick of the lot is here.