Google Spreadsheets + Gadgets = Quality Infoviz

NPR recently published a visualization of weekly drought statistics (via FlowingData) since mid-2010 through 2011, studying the terrible–and lingering–conditions in Texas. To the untrained eye, the animated map looks like a product of some large enterprise reporting software package.

Tracking the Texas Drought via NPR

Nope! It’s all available for free from Google. This is not news for some of you, but Google Spreadsheets offers a series of gadgets in addition to the standard HQ charts & graphs. Such options were typically available either through products like Tableau and Crystal Reports, as well as to designers and developers via JavaScript and Illustrator. Now with a little time and experimentation, infoviz novices can catch up and appear just as sophisticated as those with larger budgets & expertise.

 

Vote Now: Pinterest Challenge

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Vote this week for your favorite new librarianship pinterest account. Syracuse University’s iSchool created the library-related challenge to connect the movement of new librarianship to this new and exciting social media tool. All of the boards display the visual power of Pinterest while advocating for libraries and librarians! You’ll see pins of library stacks, book arts, QR Codes, memes, library groups, infographics, conference reviews, and library advocacy videos.

Voting closes this Friday!

Our favorite new finding was a pin on  Small Demons:

(via Small Demon)

More on Big Data

Within the past week, Forbes has flooded the Internet with stories on big data.  The Big Deal on Big Data by Rajeev Batra and Robin Vasan covers how the cloud is impacting big data and it’s relationship to user experience. They use Farmville and Draw Something as examples! Irfan Khan warns us not to be too concerned over the conspiracy theories about information armageddon in The Big Lie About Big Data. Companies are becoming more and more attune to managing the flood of data, but it takes skilled people who can manage large amounts of information. Three Smart Takes on Big Data Analytics once again talks up how the cloud is enabling the big data revolution. They also posted this video Realizing The Value In Big Data Analytics:

(via Forbes)