Many Eyes make light work

Many Eyes is a Visualisation tool by IBM – upload your data set – choose a visualisation type and away you go. I’ve embedded a Tag Cloud of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech because it was easy to do, but any dataset (crime statistics/GDP’s/financial indicators) you can knock into shape can be used and visualised as anything from a Pie Chart/Line Graph to a Matrix or Network Diagram. The results are hosted on-line, can be linked into a topic hub for discussion and easily embedded on a web page.

It’s pretty neat and illustrates the strange reach of Web2 – on the one hand you’ve got people doing entity relationship diagrams of their Facebook contacts and bubble charts of the favourite baby names in Holland and on the other, the OECD created over 100 visualisations, from CO2 emissions to oil prices, in support of its World Forum on Statistics in June. Heady stuff.

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2 thoughts on “Many Eyes make light work

  1. martin king August 2, 2007 / 9:43 pm

    Thanks Richard

    This site looks sreally useful.

    I’m assuming the MLC example the word size represents the frequency of use in the text.

    The integration with data is a step towards web 3 I guess.

    Pity it uses Java though – would be nice if it was just AJAX

  2. rdsc August 2, 2007 / 11:13 pm

    Yeah, I’m no big fan of Java but most of the visualisation tools I’ve seen use it for some reason. Did you play with the page? If you start typing a word in the search bar it focuses the display. Hovering over the word gives you a list of all the sentences it was included in – it’s quite a dynamic way of homeing in on the emphasis people have put into their speeches. There’s a scale at the bottom of the screen to show you frequency. I should plug in some Churchill or Ghandhi to see what comes out.

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