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A Carefully Selected List of Recommended Tools

A Carefully Selected List of Recommended Tools | visual data | Scoop.it
When I meet with people and talk about our work, I get asked a lot what technology we use to create interactive and dynamic data visualizations.

At Interactive Things, we have a set of preferred libraries, applications and services that we use regularly in our work. We will select the most fitting tool for the job depending on the requirements of the project. Sometimes a really simple tool is all you need to create something meaningful. On other occasions, a more multifaceted repertoire is needed. But how does one choose the right thing to use? An endless list of every tool available, does not answer that question and a recommendation from a friend is oftentimes more valuable.

That’s why we have put together a selection of tools that we use the most and that we enjoy working with. We called it selection.datavisualization.ch. It includes libraries for plotting data on maps, frameworks for creating charts, graphs and diagrams and tools to simplify the handling of data. Even if you’re not into programming, you’ll find applications that can be used without writing one single line of code. We will keep this list as a living repository and add / remove things as technology develops...

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learning, conceptualizing + communicating data with infographics, visualizations, etc...
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What Is Visualization?

What Is Visualization? | visual data | Scoop.it

This seems like a straightforward question, but it’s proven to be a difficult one to answer. Even visualization researchers don’t have a clear definition.


Is it synonymous with information graphics? Does visualization have to be computer generated? Does data have to be involved, or can it be abstract? The answers vary depending on who you ask.


Visualization is a medium. It’s not just an analysis tool nor just a way to prove a point more clearly through data.


Visualization is like books. There are different writing styles and categories, there are textbooks and there are novels, and they communicate ideas in different ways for varied purposes. And just like authors who use words to communicate, there are rules that you should always follow and others that are guidelines that you can bend and break...

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Fàtima Galan's curator insight, September 12, 2013 6:50 AM

"Visualization is like books. There are different writing styles and categories, there are textbooks and there are novels, and they communicate ideas in different ways for varied purposes. "

Patrice Mitrano's curator insight, January 30, 2014 5:16 AM

De très nombreux exemples d'infographies, malheureusement pas toujours aboutis. A croiser avec d'autres infographies ou représentations sur des sujets identiques ou bien à rapprocher des données sources.

Sang Lee's curator insight, June 17, 2014 9:57 PM

Visualization

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City Layouts Created with OpenStreetMap Data

City Layouts Created with OpenStreetMap Data | visual data | Scoop.it

Topography, architecture and traffic routes give every city a unique structure.
'These conditions create the typical and individual inner structure of a city. I didn’t only want to show these structures in the conventional way from above, but also including the exact three-dimensionality of topography and buildings – a real world visualisation.
The OpenStreetMap data enabled me to visualize the satellite-based information using DEM Earth in Cinema 4D. The results are some extraordinary views of large capitals and small towns.'

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What the Internet Thinks About—in an Interactive Infographic

What the Internet Thinks About—in an Interactive Infographic | visual data | Scoop.it
What does the Internet care about? What articles do we share the most? Using the data from the Ahrefs Content Explorer, the people at Funders and Founders 
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Steve Bavister's curator insight, May 2, 5:31 AM

Interesting insight into the internet

Emilio Ruano's curator insight, May 4, 1:17 PM

At least, the concern about equality, energy and social welfare is there. I like the last one about engineers tho. Hahaha.

jose antonio gabelas's curator insight, May 15, 3:33 AM

añada su visión ...

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Infographic: 14 Principles Of Using Text In Design

Infographic: 14 Principles Of Using Text In Design | visual data | Scoop.it

Logo design company Designmantic has put together 14 principles of using text in design. 
Titled ‘Touchstones To Get The Text Right’, the guidelines include paying attention to font size and creating an ideal line length...

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Marco Favero's curator insight, April 16, 4:04 PM

aggiungi la tua intuizione ...

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Real Life Infographics That Brilliantly Visualize Data Using Physical Objects

Real Life Infographics That Brilliantly Visualize Data Using Physical Objects | visual data | Scoop.it

A look at infographics that brilliantly display data using physical objects, a technique that can simplify information. 
Visit the original list by Freeyork for more, including a pie chart made from actual thanksgiving pies, information about water usage and fast food visualized with handmade paper objects and stacks of sugar cubes depicting the amount of sugar in food and drinks, among others.

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Marco Favero's curator insight, April 5, 5:45 PM

aggiungi la tua intuizione ...

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12 Stylized Maps That Express The Evolving Nature of the Urban Landscape

12 Stylized Maps That Express The Evolving Nature of the Urban Landscape | visual data | Scoop.it
Viewed together, these colorful and impressionistic maps depict the organic, evolving nature of the urban landscape.

Charles Labanowski creates hundreds of stylized city maps, and the 483 maps he's put together so far are both an accurate reflection of the actual topography of places and impressionistic in what they depict.

Maps are at the intersection of so many interesting things," he says. "For one, they are a beautiful combination of organic and unplanned, and inorganic and planned growth—sort of a constantly evolving, living history. They can also be emotionally evocative—whether it’s reminding you of some past experience or inspiring a desire to travel and explore a new place."

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How Fractals Bring Imaginary Cities to Life

How Fractals Bring Imaginary Cities to Life | visual data | Scoop.it
Artist Emily Garfield maps places that don't exist. "I think that's related to the way cities grow in real life."

Emily Garfield like to say that she grows cities. With pen, ink, and watercolor, the Boston-based artist creates maps of imaginary places that tap into the essence of urban form.

Garfield has long been interested by the presentation of architecture in visual art. The inviting, surrealist arcades and sidewalks of the Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico inspired Garfield to begin producing her own street-level dreamscapes as an art student at Brown University.

But it was when she created her first aerial view of a fantasy city—an abstract web of streets, bridges, and blocks—that she got a particularly positive response from other people. Even without any text, Garfield's drawings were strongly recognizable as maps...

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18 Visions Of The City Of The Future, From The Past

18 Visions Of The City Of The Future, From The Past | visual data | Scoop.it

In 1939, visitors stood in line for hours to see the Futurama exhibit at the New York World's Fair, a detailed model imagining 1960s America. Complete with half a million tiny buildings and a million handmade miniature trees, it also visualized a network of highways crossing the country. And while the interstate system probably would have been built without it, it's arguable that the visualization—sponsored by GM—helped the roads happen.

A new exhibit called the Future City, up now at London's Royal Institute of British Architects, looks at how drawings and models of futuristic cities can shape the cities that actually are built.

"Visualizations of future cities contribute to our collective imagination," says Nick Dunn from Lancaster University "They provide us with visionary projections of how we might live. Reexamining these from a historical perspective can give us new insights and greater understanding of the developments and patterns that shape the present, and in turn, their implications for our future."

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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, March 8, 11:15 PM

I can't help but wonder how cities might look given what we know already about urban development and what often passes for planning, how quickly the promise for development dollars (or presidential libraries) can influence growth and gentrification at others' expense.

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Movie: digital art is "starting to be taken seriously"

Movie: digital art is "starting to be taken seriously" | visual data | Scoop.it

Leading artists and curators discuss the increasing significance of digital art and the new opportunities open to artists working "in a digital age."

"Digital art has been around since the 1950s," claims writer and curator Conrad Bodman. "But not many museums and galleries have focused on it as a serious subject matter."

"In the last ten years that's really changed. Many venues around the world are now having a serious look at this area and the artists that are working in it."

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Using Big Data to Design Smarter Cities

Using Big Data to Design Smarter Cities | visual data | Scoop.it
Architects and Planners across the country are harnessing the potential of Big Data to build information-laden city-scale models. By gathering and synthesizing such factors as traffic, energy usage, water flows, and air quality, the urban design field is hoping to layout smarter, more efficient, and more resilient forms of development.
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Hilary McEwan's curator insight, February 17, 7:17 AM

Having already made a huge difference to the landscape of the financial, public health and manufacturing sectors, it looks like we can expect Big Data to keep on trucking, so to speak, and right in to the major infrastructure decisions that drive our city planning.


But does it make sense to plan a city on digital footprints instead of real-time foot fall and the day to day needs of the population? Each of us behaves very differently online to how we live offline, so can turning that data into a streetplan really change the way we live for the better?

Juanma Holgado's curator insight, February 21, 4:57 AM

Big Data i arquitectura, la construccio inteligent de la ciutat cercant eficiencia i sostenibilitat

Norm Miller's curator insight, February 23, 11:23 PM

This is like BMS but for cities.   It makes sense.  

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5 Realistic Rendering Styles and the Future of Visualization

Architectural Visualization is a harsh mistress. We are seduced by it, but sometimes it leads us astray. While modeling, rendering, and post-production capabilities are always increasing, the realism that we see in renderings is not always proportionate to our ability to produce it. In other words, some renderings don't even look try to look real anymore; they are often dramatized until they look like science fiction or a romantic painting.

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Favorite Pew Research Center data visualizations from 2014

Favorite Pew Research Center data visualizations from 2014 | visual data | Scoop.it

"The heart of our work at the Pew Research Center is data. And data visualizations that tell clear stories about our research — whether it be about American politics or our changing demographics — are just as important as the words we write in a report. So, what makes a successful data visual? We think it should present information clearly and concisely, engage the reader and allow them to explore that information.

This year, the design staff looked back through our 2014 archive, and these graphics stood out as almost universal favorites. These visualizations presented a particular challenge and, for each of them, we talk about the approach we took in presenting the data."

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Keiichi Matsuda: Augmented Hyper-Reality

Keiichi Matsuda: Augmented Hyper-Reality | visual data | Scoop.it

Watch the designer’s films that depict a future in which a virtual layer of data is a continual presence in our lives 

For our latest issue we met designer and filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda, who creates films that depict a future in which our everyday lives are densely stuffed with information via a digital overlay, in an effort to spark debates about how technology can and should shape our world.

Now, everyone has a camera in their phone, and can produce and distribute their own content,” he says. “I was thinking about how that could be applied to architecture, to the creation of space. What if an ordinary person could not only customise their own house, but their own street?"

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Here's Every Meteorite Fall on Earth in a Single Interactive Visualization

Here's Every Meteorite Fall on Earth in a Single Interactive Visualization | visual data | Scoop.it

Ever wonder how many meteors have hit Earth? The Meteoritical Society is doing its best to keep track. And Javier de la Torre, co-founder of CartoDB, is helping us see the pure volume of hits (into the tens of thousands). His interactive visualization shows a heatmap of hits all over the world, letting you explore where and when meteorites fell, as well as their size and classification.

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Laura Brown's curator insight, May 25, 4:14 PM

I wonder how much of this is biased by the lack of reporting (or over reporting) in some areas. 

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It's Never Been This Easy to Find a Great Topographical Map

It's Never Been This Easy to Find a Great Topographical Map | visual data | Scoop.it
The USGS is on a open-access roll with topoView, an advanced new map-finding tool.

The cartography arm of the U.S. Geological Survey has been on an open-access roll. First they send their constantly updating stream of satellite imagery to what's basically a public dropbox, so that anyone can use Landsat-8 photographs for free. And now they're introducing topoView, an online archival tool that makes truly accessible the agency's 178,000 topographical maps, dating from 1880 (shortly after the USGS started mapping the country) to 2010.

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Marco Favero's curator insight, May 8, 6:34 AM

aggiungi la tua intuizione ...

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Storytelling with Data Visualization

Storytelling with Data Visualization | visual data | Scoop.it
Does your data tell a story and can you visualize it? We look at the history and thought processes behind data visualization and successful infographics.

Via José Carlos
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Anna Vetter's curator insight, May 1, 8:21 AM

L'infographie pour raconter des histoires.

Un article fort clairement documenté sur l'émergence des données visuelles. En prime, quelques conseils utiles pour la conception :

- organiser le plan de l'infographie sur le papier

- identifier l'idée force (comme sujet principal de l'infographie)

- vérifier l'exactitude des informations et la légitimité des sources

- faire aussi beau que possible !

Nikke Blout's curator insight, May 13, 5:16 PM

Content Marketing: the magic of visualizations in helping data tell the story. #contentmarketing #marketing #bigdata #sales #agility

Dianita Páez's curator insight, May 14, 1:23 PM

Infografías que cuenten historias. 

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A Single Day on the London Tube Condensed Into a 2-minute Visualization

A Single Day on the London Tube Condensed Into a 2-minute Visualization | visual data | Scoop.it

Everyday an average of 3.5 million people ride the London tube. Where is everyone going, and when are the busiest times? 

Developer Will Gallia was curious to see it visualized, so he gathered a day’s worth of data and created a timelapse visualization...

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A Beautiful Blueprint-Style Map of the World

A Beautiful Blueprint-Style Map of the World | visual data | Scoop.it
It's the work of a Philadelphia-based data scientist who, a year ago, had never made a map.

At this time last year, Lauren Ancona had never made a map. But halfway into 2014, with help from from the free and open source mapping community and Code for America, she successfully created her first map of Philadelphia parking districts.

The parking map got a lot of attention and landed Ancona a job with the city's Office of Innovation and Technology as a data scientist. Now she's back with a beautiful blueprint-style world map made using Mapbox Studio.

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World's Largest Tree Of Life Visualizes 50,000 Species Over Time

World's Largest Tree Of Life Visualizes 50,000 Species Over Time | visual data | Scoop.it

Temple University researchers recently put together the world's largest tree of life visualized across time. The family tree of living and extinct organisms encompasses 50,000 species—only a fraction of the world's history of life—and would easily take up hundreds of pages if laid out linearly. To fit their work onto a printed page, the researchers, led by evolutionary biologist S. Blair Hedges, instead decided to visualize the data as a spiral.

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Digitally Mapping Brazil’s most important monument

Digitally Mapping Brazil’s most important monument | visual data | Scoop.it

Digitizing Brazil’s most important monument is no small feat. Located atop the 700 meter Corcovado Mountain the Christ the Redeemer statue towers over Rio de Janeiro, at 38 meters of height and with a 28 meter arm span. Traditional 3D scanning technologies are unuseable due to the size and location of the statue, the difficult accessibility and challenging weather conditions.

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Poetic NASA Visualization Shows How Everything Is Connected

Poetic NASA Visualization Shows How Everything Is Connected | visual data | Scoop.it
NASA visualizes the 22,000 tons of life-giving dust that flows between Africa and South America.
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Mosaics of images snatched from Google satellite view

Mosaics of images snatched from Google satellite view | visual data | Scoop.it

No one has ever driven by a nuclear cooling tower, nudged their loved one, and paused to bask in the aesthetic moment. Just as no one has ever driven the family to a garbage dump for a photo op. But these are the features of our urban landscapes that delight artist Jenny Odell as she scans Google Satellite View, pasting mundane, sometimes repulsive objects into massive mosaics. Each of her pieces in Satellite Collections consists of single categories—swimming pools, baseball parks, docked cargo ships—snipped over and over again from locations across the world, curated into collages of architectural similarities.

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Solarium: Enter the Sun in New NASA Video Installation

Inside the Solarium, a video installation by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), you can enter the belly of the sun without worrying about frying to a crisp. In fact, the dynamic visuals of the giant star’s turbulent gas atmosphere exploding and erupting on the walls of the Goddard Space Flight Center's Visitor Center are surprisingly serene.

Since Feb 11, 2010, SDO has been watching the sun, taking one picture a second, and collecting data to trace how materials enter into the layers of the corona, the massive aura that surrounds the sun. Paired with audio crafted from 40 days of data from the now-defunct Michelson Doppler Imager, the creators adjusted SDO’s vast collection of solar images to “elicit a calming, soothing and mesmerizing experience,” with each minute of footage taking around 10 hours to complete. 

From records of images as binary code, through computer translations of the data into black-and-white pictures, a coloring process that highlights different wavelengths of ultraviolet light, and finally motion graphics and video softwares, bringing the Sun to the Earth was no easy feat—but Solarium was well the effort.

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Visualization + Physical Charts: Making Data More Accessible

Visualization + Physical Charts: Making Data More Accessible | visual data | Scoop.it

Physical versions of pie and bar charts and a tapestry that represents human voices are attempts by designers to make data more accessible

With life saturated by screen-based information, designers are presenting information in more tangible ways. As part of the V&A’s recent Digital Design Weekend, several projects opted for low-tech ways of representing data.

Among these was Physical Charts, a project by Microsoft Research Cambridge for the Tenison Road community project that set out to encourage civic engagement with locally generated data, such as surveys on traffic and air quality. The result is a mechanical pie chart made from slices of sheet plastic attached to a central motor and bar chart constructed from motorised measuring tapes, both of which animate to display real-time data.

The intention, says project designer David Sweeney, was to create something easily legible, but with a sense of magic and theatre. “We wanted to find a way to communicate data back to the people generating it, but in a digestible way, so they were connected to it,” he says...

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Abstracted Landscapes: 5 Photographers Creating Spectacular Images of the World From Above

Abstracted Landscapes: 5 Photographers Creating Spectacular Images of the World From Above | visual data | Scoop.it

Sometimes the best photographs come from simply looking at the world from a different perspective. The five photographers featured have all taken this sentiment to daring heights, abstracting landscapes via a bird's-eye view. 

From Miks Mihails Ignats' portraits that obscure perception to Vladimir Melnikov'sunlikely view of a wildfire devouring the land, and from Mariusz Szczygiel's and B Brown's graphic displays of industry from above to BMJ's vision of an ocean in which boats look like bathtub toys, each of these photographers brings a unique eye to aerial photography...

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Data Visualization 101: Bar Charts

Data Visualization 101: Bar Charts | visual data | Scoop.it

'In our Data Visualization 101 series, we cover each chart type to help you sharpen your data visualization skills.

Bar charts are a highly versatile way to visually communicate data. Decidedly straightforward, they can convey the message behind the numbers with impact and meaningful clarity, making complex data easy to understand at a glance.'

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