Visualizing the BP Oil Disaster

June 7, 2010

Anyone with access to a TV or Internet connection can see live footage of the millions of gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.  It is an unbelievable spectacle but hard to put into perspective until you see the breadth of the oil spill on a map. It is nearly 50 miles out at sea but the devastation is horrific and will be felt for years to come.

Type in your own address to “move” the oil spill to your location to understand the impact in your area. I happen to live on the coast of Lake Erie and the spill is already bigger than the entire area of this Great Lake. Mind boggling to say the least.


The Art of Listening, Learning, and Sharing

February 11, 2010

Doing my usual morning research when I stumbled upon The Conversation Prism.  It is truly an excellent visualization of social media wrapped up in one succinct package.

Using the Conversation Prism , we can visualize and map the shifting landscape of social networks and micro communities to observe and conduct our initial fieldwork through digital anthropology. The process reveals everything, from measurement opportunities to participation strategies to the specific infrastructure changes necessitated by the new proactive and reactive process of engagement in the social Web.

Check out the versions that preceded the final visual as well.  Neat to see how the ideas and workflow progressed.

It would be very interesting to see how this prism changes over time possibly by having the “petals” change color or fall off when new emerging technologies, innovations, processes, or ideas are introduced – changing or replacing the old.

The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas

The Making of the NYT’s Netflix Graphic

February 8, 2010

The New York Times recently published an article, “A Peek Into Netflix Queues“, examining the Netflix rental patterns by neighborhoods in U.S. cities.  It is a very cool interactive visualization – check it out.   SND (Society for News Design) posted this article explaining how it was done.    Great behind the scenes explanation relating to data, design, and interactivity!

Charting The Beatles

January 22, 2010

I am a huge fan of the Beatles so I was completely shocked when I stumbled upon a site with a section devoted to exploring the Beatles music through information graphics.   The below info graphic is a visual depiction of songwriting contribution from 1963 – 1970.    You can see other visualizations from Michael Deal’s site as well (Song Keys, Working Schedule, Self Referencing Songs).   Ringo was responsible for only two songs, but they were good ones.

It would be interesting to see what the 70s looks like!

There is also an open collaboration project exploring the music of the Beatles through information graphics too.

Have a nice weekend!

Employment Future Visualization

January 19, 2010

NPR has an interesting information visualization comparing 2008 employment levels with those projected in 2018.   Interesting to note that the Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services sector within the Professional and Business Services industry has the largest increase in employment.

Check out the interactive chart on the NPR site.    Do you agree or disagree with their projections?

Welcome to Revveal!

January 15, 2010

What’s with the name and why the extra ‘v’ you say? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first let me introduce myself. My name is Jason Price and I am passionate about working with all kinds of data to help inform better decision making. I tend to have a tongue-in-cheek style of writing in order to keep things light, so please do not take me seriously all of the time.   Talking about data isn’t always that dry!

I will be using this blog to emphasize the skills, expertise, and tools used to discover, visualize, and interact with data, leading to better understanding.  Better understanding of data leads to more informed decisions – we want to look smart, right?  That said, I will also include posts on the “heavy lifting” aspect too (acquiring, parsing, cleaning, transforming data).  You can’t visualize and interact with data without having it first!

Oh, back to the name…   I thought Reveal was an appropriate name since the definition of the word means ‘to make known; to unveil; to disclose; to show; uncover; make apparent.’   You get the idea.   Working with data is sometimes a very daunting task and it is much easier to understand it when in a visual format.    The extra ‘v’ emphasizes the importance of visualizing data since it is not always apparent what the story tells us when looking at plain old tabular views of data.   Tabular data is sometimes necessary but it is much easier to see patterns, trends, and outliers when in visual format.  Take the following simple example (I promise it will get better than this, it is only my first post).   It takes a couple seconds to determine which project owner has a larger budget in the visual representation.

Discovering the patterns and trends in data is only the start!   You may begin down one path and suddenly question your own thinking when the ‘story’ tells you otherwise.   Always be curious of what the data tells you because your curiosity may lead you to additional questions and answers you may not have even known you had!

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