Data Driven Digest for November 14
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Originally Written by Fred Sandsmark
Each Friday we share some favorite reporting on, and examples of, data driven visualizations and embedded analytics that came onto our radar in the past week.
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Service Salute. Veterans Day was Tuesday in the U.S., and real estate website Trulia took the opportunity to crunch and visualize data about where America’s military veterans live. The company created the map above, and its chief economist, Jed Kolko, delved into the demographics of former service members in a detailed writeup. Maps like this are great for quickly and clearly presenting certain types of information; attendees at Actuate’s recent Data Driven Summits in Santa Clara, Singapore, and Tokyo saw BIRT-powered maps and learned best practices in our Effective Data Visualizations presentation. There’s still time to attend upcoming Data Driven Summits in Paris, London, Frankfurt, and New York.
Name Drop. Matt Daniels won the Kantar “Information is Beautiful” Awards for an interactive data visualization, “Rappers, Sorted by Size of Vocabulary” (shown above, but we recommend you click through to the real thing). Daniels analyzed lyrics from 65,000 hip-hop songs by 85 artists to build the visualization, and dropped in William Shakespeare and Herman Melville for reference. With a click you can identify artists by geography, or just see the Wu-Tang Clan (individually and as a group). Daniels’ writeup of the visualization explains how he handled some language processing challenges (ahem) unique to rap lyrics.
Getting Physical. Not all data visualizations exist on a screen. Researchers Pierre Dragicevic and Yvonne Jansen of the French Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique (INRIA) curate an online list of more than 100 physical visualizations, ranging from 7,500-year-old Mesopotamian clay tokens (thought to capture information long before the invention of paper and writing) to a Lego-based time tracker created by Michael Hunger (shown above). These and other great examples make me wonder: Is anybody driving a 3D printer with BIRT?
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