Sunday, December 18, 2005

Interactive statistical graphics

In the last few years, interactive data visualization seems to have really taken off. Some Google counts:

  • "visualization": about 53,300,000
  • "interactive visualization": about 243,000
  • "interactive data visualization": about 28,100
  • "interactive statistical graphics": about 362

(By the way, "Google metrics" are an interesting topic in themselves, and certainly there are all kinds of methodological questions about their use. See g-metrics.com for some longitudinal data. But they probably give a rough indication. To get a sense of scale, I turned off Google's "safe search" feature and did a search for "sex". Result: about 224,000,000.)

Check out this remarkable interactive visualization on The Secret Lives of Numbers.

For the last few years, the New York Times has been producing quite impressive interactive statistical graphics:

I'd be very interested in comments about this. Which ones do you like or dislike? Why? Do you know of other interesting examples?
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3 Comments:

Blogger Raywat Deonandan said...

I turned off Google's "safe search" feature and did a search for "sex".

Now if I had said that, there'd be no end of eye-rolling, Barrowman!

;-)

On topic: I really didn't like the US Election 2004 "graphic". It was overly complex. I think a young java/flash programmer was feeling his oats that day, or was completing his internship project for the NY Times.

6:26 PM, December 18, 2005  
Blogger Nick Barrowman said...

Really ... it was research!

It's pretty neat how you can zoom in on the map and look at individual counties, but I tend to agree with you. Incidentally, Edward Tufte has a map like this in the middle of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information 2nd edition (pp.156-157). The data density is clearly very high, but what to make of it?

8:27 PM, December 18, 2005  
Blogger Raywat Deonandan said...

I have a similar complaint about the Congo graphic. Essentially 4 very basic statistics are gussied up unnecessarily with hundreds of megabytes of flash programming. Too much, I say!

8:43 AM, December 19, 2005  

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