Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website my classes, teachers and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.
Visual representation of data
Started in 2005, Many Eyes is an experiment by IBM Research and the IBM Cognos software group to offer a FREE method for internet users to share data in appealing visual formats. This is done by uploading numeric data by cutting and pasting from spreadsheets or tab-delimited text files, or uploading textual data by cutting and pasting from word processing documents or text files. The data can then be morphed into sixteen data pigmentation styles, including stack graphs, bar graphs, bubbles, cluster maps, pictographs, scatter diagrams and bar charts. TreeMaps, showing information in colorful rectangles, are among the most popular. Each visualization can be shared on blogs, wikis, etc, just as you’d share a Youtube video.
The goal according to the founders, is to foster a social style of data analysis in which visualizations serve not only as a discovery tool for individuals but also as a means to spur discussion and collaboration.
Many Eyes‘ graphical representations go well beyond Wordle, Tagxedo, Excel and any other pictorial data-morpher you’ve ever used. Though ranked ‘easy’ to use by Infosthetics, they must be referring to people comfortable with dataviz programs. Because of the sophistication in Many Eyes’ pictographs, IMO it requires more than an intuitive five-second leap and you’re done. For a tutorial on using Many Eyes, go to NorthStartNerd.org.
As a final note, there are two options for using Many Eyes:
- Unregistered users can view and discuss visualizations, view and discuss what is called data sets and create visualizations from existing data sets.
- Registered users (registration is free) can rate data sets and visualizations and upload their own data
Has anyone out there used Many Eyes? I’d love to hear your feedback.
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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller Any suggestions? Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.