Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Many-eyes and social visualizations

A website that I am really excited about is Many-eyes.com, a social visualization website out of IBM's Visual Communication Lab. Users can upload datasets or create visualizations using their own or others' datasets. They can then embed the visualizations in their blogs or use the many-eyes site to discuss anything interesting they find in the data. Users can take snapshots and post them with their comments so that others can see the same view of the data that the comment is talking about.

For example, last night's State of the Union address has already been uploaded and someone created a tag cloud of the most commonly used words.

The idea for the site grew out of how people were interacting around sites such as NameVoyager, developed by Martin Wattenberg. Anecdotal evidence seemed to show that users spent more time interacting when they were in a group, either in real life or online. People created challenges to find unique names or names that were once popular and aren't any more.

So have fun playing with visualizations!

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