Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Google purchases data visualization tool

Once again, some hot news from my ex-student Adi Gadwale: Google recently purchased a data visualization tool from Professor Hans Rosling at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute (read the story). Adi also sent me the link to Gapminder, the tool that Google has put out.http://tools.google.com/gapminder. For those of us who've become addicts of the interactive visualization tool Spotfire, this looks pretty familiar!


Tatyana said...

The tool developed by Hans Rosling is absolutely spectacular! It presents data in a multidimensional, dynamic way. No wonder Google acquired it! It's really top-notch.

Tatyana (Professor Shmueli's former student (2005))

Galit Shmueli said...

Indeed, very cool. Tatyana also pointed me to a neat movie that shows Prof Rosling demonstrating the tool. A very inspiring speaker!


Or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVimVzgtD6w

Elyas Akram said...

Just ran across a few TED videos, one of which was Prof Rosling's, and felt like I had to share it here... looks like I'm a few years late regarding Prof Rosling.

The other video is from Ted Berners-Lee, awesome visualization tool in the end of the video. Also, thanks to Prof Shmueli's course I greatly appreciate Mr. Berners-Lee's call for "open-data".


Galit Shmueli said...

Thanks for pointing to this great TED talk Elyas! Indeed, it shows the power of "open data". Let me mention three related sites of interest:
Recovery.gov is a recent website released by the US government to help taxpayers track where their money is going. The beautiful interface and graphics are due to the involvement of experts such as Ed Tufte and Ben Shneiderman in the advisory panel.

Another good example is EveryBlock Chicago (previously ChicagoCrime.org). The data source is now the Chicago police, but I think that previously individual users could update crime information.

WhoIsSick.org is based on user-generated data. The graphics are far from being great (pie charts with colored slices???), but the data collection idea is cool.

I noticed that most of the uses of open data (as shown on the TED talk) are by mashing up to create map charts. What about other types of uses beyond geography? I think we're ready for the next innovation!