Life is a Mystery

16 January 2009

Visualizing large and small

I have no idea why I maintain an interest in visualizing data, even though there is so little of that task in my daily work. But still, there it is. Today I ran across a wonderful free tool that demonstrates a number of techniques for visualizing large tree structures. Think about your documents folder, for example. This free demo lets you explore your files in a number of illuminating ways.

largetree.jpg

Meanwhile yesterday, Nathaniel revealed his inner librarian by discovering a great graphing tool for kids while working on a homework project for math. I’d shown him how to use Numbers and Google Docs for graphing, but he wanted something easier to handle. On his own he discovered this nifty Create-A-Graph tool from the NCES. It handles small data sets really well and offers a boatload of export options so you can use the results just about anywhere.

createagraph.jpg

Of course the real trick in any visualization is getting the data! That’s where Chris Jordan’s work becomes interesting. Seeing invisible data.

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Eric Celeste / Saint Paul, Minnesota / 651.323.2009 / efc@clst.org