Visualising data – a catalogue of resources

Posted in content, Data by solle on 10/12/2008


There’s a continuing stream of tools and resources for visualising all kinds of data. After coming across quite a few sources myself and from other sources (including Journadism’s excellent list,  the extensive article – Data Visualisation: Modern Approaches from Smashing Magazine and a recent presentation by Max Gadney of the BBC for the Information Design Association) I thought it would be useful for anyone who reads this post (and myself) to make another list. Please feel free to add to it:

Online tools

Doodlebuzz – create typographic maps of news stories

Wordle – popular tool for generating word clouds

Wordcount – tracking the use of words and language across the web

IBM’s Many Eyes – data visualisation tools

New York Times Visualisation Labs – tools for visualisation of New York Times data (powered by IBM’s Many Eyes)

retrievr – search Flickr by sketching

Xtimeline – Explore and create timelines

Visualising Delicious.com

RSS Voyage: Visualise your RSS feeds (beautiful & graceful)

Quintura: visual search engine by way of clouds and explanations

Twitter visualisation with screensaver: Twistori

Google Visualisation API

Pachube – monitor and share real-time environmental data from sensors that are connected to the internet

Visual Thesaurus: Interactive dictionary and thesaurus (costs but free trial available)

Swivel: making data useful. Upload, share, explore

TreeViz – fast interactive visualization of large data structures organized in a tree

Dabble DB – create and manage online databases

FeedVis – an interactive tag cloud tool for RSS feeds

Gapminder – tools for viewing a fact-based world

Revealicious – graphic visualisations of your Delicious account

Offline tools

Touchgraph – work with Excel data or visualise Google search results

The R Project for Statistical Computing – statistical computing and graphics

Prefuse – download the software toolkit to create complex data visualisations

Processing – open source programming language to produce images, animation and interaction

Inspiration: People

Information Architect’s Web Trend’s map – seminal ‘map of web movers and shakers’ updating every year

Shan Carter’s work at the New York Times

Feltron – creator of the Feltron Annual Reports and for Penguin, We Tell Stories: Hard Times

Chris Jordan – His photography project over the last few year’s Running the Numbers

Ben Fry – author of Visualising Data for O’Reilly and creator of an excellent portfolio (associated with Processing above)

Karl Hartig: Data Visualisation – charts, diagrams, information graphics

Mandelbrot on Twitpic – finance-related visualisations

Well Formed Data (Elastic Lists) – Moritz Stefaner’s work

Munterbund – graphical visualisations of text

Concept Maps from Dubberly Design Office. Including visualisation maps of the creative process, a model of play and a model of innovation.

Inspiration: Websites

Silobreaker – news aggregator

Maptube – a free resource for viewing, sharing, mixing and mashing maps online

Daylife Labs – news aggregator

GPS Drawing – Drawing with Global Position System technology

Digg Labs – various ways of visualising high level of activity on Digg

World Mapper – a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest

Getty Images’ Moodstream – images still and moving tuned to your mood (based on what you select)

Newsmap – visualisation of world news by country (similar in layout to Oursignal)

Oursignal – visualisation of data from Digg, Delicious, Reddit, Hackernews, Yahoo Buzz

Stamen Design’s Travel Time Maps for MySociety

Financial Times Global Micromaps Track global market indices and global currencies on an interactive world map.

Threat Meter on Newsweek (powered by Daylife) is an intelligent content services platform, is a brilliant interactive tool that allows you to assess and rate the ‘heat’ of a list of issues.

Facebook Visualisation

Breathing Earth – real-time simulation of CO2 emissions, birth & death rates by country

Twitter Venn – the relationship between words on Twitter

Indianapolis Museum of Art Dashboard

Helsinki live bus monitor – check where the bus is, what time it’s going to arrive (hopefully coming to a city near you soon)

Online news and resources

Information Aesthetics

Flowing Data – data visualisation and statistics

Infographics News


Visual Complexity – “intends to be a unified resource space for anyone interested in the visualization of complex networks”.

Periodic Table of Visualisation Methods

Info Design Patterns

10 Best Free Chart APIs


Smashing Magazine Diagrams: Tools and Tutorials – a list of tools for drawing diagrams, charts and chart-flows

(thanks to Cameron Chapman) Web traffic visualisation – Click Density, Click Tale, Click Heat, Crazy Egg

Read Sarah Perez’s article from ReadWriteWeb last year for a great list of ways to visualise your social network data including Amazon, Last.fm, Flickr, music, search engines, web traffic: The Best Tools for Visualisation

Here’s a couple of examples:

Last.forward – An open source software for analyzing and visualizing social networks (good with Last.fm).

Fidg’t Visualise: Play around with data from your network whether that be Flickr or Last.fm tags.

Excellent article from Semantic FoundryDynamic Visualisation: Introduction & Theory

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