Data Visualization Tools

Tired of the same old bar graphs and pie charts?

I’ve never really created many of these things myself, but it’s clearly good to know how to do it. I am therefore glad that I now am asked to provide some examples of applications that may be a little more excited than the basic charts and stuff we’ve all seen since we were kids–back in the days when the internet wasn’t around. Once again, I am amazed by how many tools are available via the internet that can make something a little more exciting. So, drumroll please…some alternative data visualization tools:

1. Fusion Charts

Fusion Chart example

2. Google Chart

3. Get sideways mapping like Don Cohen

4. GeoCommons

5. ManyEyes

It took me about 10 minutes to write this post. That 10 minutes included the time that my computer crashed and I had to restart. That 10 minutes included the google searches and screenshots I took, saved to my computer, and inserted into this post. What’s the point? The point is that it is so easy to find alternative ways to visualize data. And these are free applications. So you have a set of data, you go to one of these really cool sites, and follow the step by step directions and within a half-hour you have a stunning presentation that leaves everybody thinking that you are the master of the world. Once again, thank you Al Gore!

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