Some Eye Candy for Your Friday

If you read here, you’ll know I’m in love with data visualizations. Have you noticed that visualizations have become more beautiful lately, i.e. over the last decade or so?

Good data visualizations are as much art as they are information.

Anyway, here are a couple blogs dedicated to beautiful data that I read avidly.

FlowingData is Nathan Yau’s (@flowingdata) collection of interesting and beautiful visualizations. He posts a wide range of visualizations, not just nerdy or serious ones. I like his goal:

In a nutshell, I want to make data available and useful to those who aren’t necessarily data experts; I think visualization plays a major role in this.

Today brought a fun infographic on the strategy behind winning at roshambo (rock-paper-scissors).

Information is Beautiful
David McCandless (@infobeautiful) writes Information is Beautiful. His goals are very similar to Nathan’s:

I’m interested in how designed information can help us understand the world, cut through BS and reveal the hidden connections, patterns and stories underneath. Or, failing that, it can just look cool!

My pet-hate is pie charts. Love pie. Hate pie-charts.

What a coincidence, I also like pie, but I’m ambivalent about pie-charts. That’s an interesting point. Ambivalence about a data visualization means it has failed its only purpose.

Anyway, here’s a sample I like because it visualizes cognitive surplus, the brainchild of one of my favorite thinkers, Clay Shirky (@cshirky).

If you like data visualizations, you’ll love these two blogs.

As a bonus, Nicolas Felton (@feltron), whose Personal Annual Reports are both beautiful and inspiring (e.g. they influenced the foursquare team’s checkin statistics), has a tumblr that provides interesting nuggets.

Enjoy. If you’re in a mood to add blogs to your reader, check out two design blogs I like.

Happy Friday.



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