Friday, May 02, 2008

Predicting the Trend through Information Visualization

You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world" using extraordinary animation software developed by his Gapminder Foundation. The Trendalyzer software (recently acquired by Google) turns complex global trends into lively animations, making decades of data pop. Asian countries, as colorful bubbles, float across the grid -- toward better national health and wealth. Animated bell curves representing national income distribution squish and flatten. In Rosling's hands, global trends -- life expectancy, child mortality, poverty rates -- become clear, intuitive and even playful.

This reminds me the works done by Joshua Davis. He is using a generative system to create artwork through the decision of the programs he writes. One of the components of this system is how to color and paint the artwork. He also invites public to interact with his artwork.

See Joshua Davis works on Flickr

And see Diggs Lab, the labs provide a broader (and deeper) view of Digg. A lot of stuff gets submitted to Digg every day, so good things can sometimes fly right past the readers. Labs projects look beneath the surface of the Digg community's activities. They also released a public API for Digg so that anyone can turn Digg data into their own visualizations.

Through wisdom of crowds, any tag, information, data will be collected together. By modeling and comparing the data through space and time, it just a matter of time that someone will comes up with an interface and understanding to predict the trend.

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