viernes, 30 de diciembre de 2011

Steve Doig’s best of CAR Conference: 13 free tools to analyze, display data

The annual Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference that concluded in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday was extraordinarily rich in useful free tool for all sorts of data analysis and visualization, thanks to invitations accepted by computer scientists from Google, MIT, Stanford and the like.
Here are links to 13 of these free tools that I found to be particularly useful for data analysis in journalism:
  1. Exhibit: This link goes to a page with a collection of links from MIT’s Simile project. Exhibit is a JavaScript program that will let you take data that is in tabular form (rows and columns) and see it in a variety of formats: sortable and filterable table, map, time line, etc. Look at the Examples to get an idea of what can be done. Note also the DataPress link, which goes to a WordPress add-in that will let you put Exhibit visualizations on your blog. Using Exhibit requires some knowledge of html, though it’s not hard to simply copy its code and tweak it. Dido is a prototype for a user-interface that will let you specify your Exhibit without having to get into the code.
  2. TimeFlow: This JavaScript program will take tables that have a time element and create interactive time lines that can be filtered and colored by multiple variables. It’s purely an analysis tool, not designed for Web presentation. I can see it as being useful for investigative projects.
  3. ManyEyes: This site lets you upload data and visualize it using a wide variety of interesting displays: maps, word trees, tag clouds, tree maps, bubble charts, matrix charts, network diagrams, etc. Check out the more than 84,000 such visualizations that people have created for ideas of what to do with your own data.
  4. Gapminder: This site was created by Swedish scientist Hans Rosling, who wanted to make it easy for people to explore the effects of literally hundreds of variables on the world’s nations. Basically, these are multivariate x-y scatter plots that are animated across time. What’s cool, wholly aside from playing with the variables already attached to the site, is that Google recently bought it and added a way for users to upload their own time-stamped data

Wall Street Journal Tableau Public growth rate of entrepreneurial companies
The Wall Street Journal used Tableau Public to create this visualization that compares the performance of 100 of the largest publicly traded software companies across more than three decades.



No hay comentarios: