Tag Archives: data

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.

 

Physical…Digital…It’s All Important

The Internet Archive is well known for its achievement in digitizing large amounts of content and providing free access online. This past weekend, David Streitfeld wrote an article for the New York Times about the Internet Archive entitled, “In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books.” The article, however, did not focus on the Archive’s 15 plus years of contributions to digital collections. Instead, it highlighted digital librarian and founder Brewster Kahle‘s physical collection of books — which he hopes one day reaches 10 million.

Check out The Librarian (1947), which can be found via the Internet Archive.

Internet Archive is also hiring! Check out their job postings.

Data-Driven

This past weekend, the New York Times wrote a spotlight on Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn. While the article is primarily a profile of Mr. Hoffman’s life, career path, and subsequent fortune, the end of the article hits on some of his core beliefs that lend insight into the future of the Internet and information as we know it today. Hoffman made his career cultivating the social media power of developing professional connections, but he believes we are on the verge of yet another change. We are embarking on an advancement that will impact us the same way that social media changed the Internet and the very essence of how people communicate. The change will be “data-driven” and we will begin to see new start-ups working with data in innovative ways with websites able to “aggregate a huge volume of information.” As librarians, educated and trained to handle, organize, and curate large amounts of information, we fit perfectly into this new landscape. Without renaming the title of “librarian,” how do we begin to redefine the field as a group of data managers, analysts, and researchers?

 

Rusli, E. M. A King of Connections Is Tech’s Go-To Guy. The New York Times. http://tinyurl.com/ceudn22