Monday, March 19, 2007

Many Eyes is Addictive Data Visualizing Tool (it's social too)

Many Eyes, a product of the IBM Visual Communication Lab, is a wicked cool tool for seeing all kinds of data in a new way. Many Eyes says their goal is "to "democratize" visualization and to enable a new social kind of data analysis". In practice this means that all data uploaded to this site are public and all visualizations are public and can be commented on (like a blog).

Many Eyes is user-friendly and addictive. I kept loading new forms of data to try different views. I loaded school district demographics over time, speeches made by Margaret Spellings, and rap lyrics from Ice Cube and TuPac.

Imagine the potential in a K-12 setting where students could be challenged to collect data (primary collection or secondary) and then these data would be shared across the world. their classmates could comment, but so too could an expert in the field they are studying. This tool not only creates opportunities to see the world in a new way (literally), but also to collaborate and understand the world more deeply (or see it in a new way metaphorically).

Check out these examples I created:

Example #1: District demographics over time. Click the image here and drill-down (using the plus signs) to the demographics by school, ethnicity, and gender.

Example #2: A tree map of two years of demographic data reveals change in color. Check out the hover over Ajax features.

Example #3: Tag Cloud of recent testimony from Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Any idea what Spellings intends to focus on? Could you imagine students using this to compare the language in two poems, rap lyrics, books on the same subject in two different decades, speeches...or anything else? Imagine how engaged students would be to see the text they are analyzing come alive.

1 comment:

Corinne said...

Well said.