Can data be beautiful?

06 Feb

Information visualization / data presentation can be beautiful, elegant and descriptive. There is a variety of conventional ways to visualize data – tables, histograms, pie charts and bar graphs are being used every day, in every project and on every possible occasion.  However, at the top of the list is is a legendary talk of the Swedish professor Hans Rosling (Hans Rosling TED Talk), in which he explains a new way of presenting statistical data. His Trendalyzer software 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.

If you love time series data visualization, you owe to yourself to visit GapMinder (, who is the development team for TrendAnalyzer.  This software unveils the beauty of statistical time series by converting boring numbers into enjoyable, animated and interactive graphics.  (note: In March 2007, Google acquired Trendalyzer from the Gapminder Foundation and the team of developers who formerly worked for Gapminder joined Google).

Using TrendAnalyzer you can view over 600 indicators on economic, environment, health, labor, technology and more.

GapMinder is going to be my favorite place for awhile.

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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Data Visualization


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