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Today, a story on Techmeme caught our eye. It was entitled " We Need a Wikipedia for data ," and the article, written by X-Googler Bret Taylor, discussed the difficulty of finding open data sets on the internet, something which could spur innovation, allowing programmers to build new applications the likes of which have never been seen before. What was interesting about this story, in addition to, obviously, the concept of a Data Wiki itself, was the amazing and insightful commentary around this concept, not just on the blog, but all over the net, something which led to the discovery of some pretty good data sources that are already available. In Bret's story, he mentioned some of the common data sources currently available, like the US Census Bureau's map data and the Reuters corpus , but his commenters came up with a few more.
From navigating the Web in entirely new ways to seeing where in the world twitters are coming from, data visualization tools are changing the way we view content. We found the following 16 apps both visually stunning and delightfully useful. Visualize Your Network with Fidg’t Fidg’t is a desktop application that aims to let you visualize your network and its predisposition for different types of things like music and photos. Currently, the service has integrated with Flickr and last.fm, so for example, Fidg’t might show you if your network is attracted or repelled by Coldplay, or if it has a predisposition to taking photos of their weekend partying. As the service expands to support other networks (they suggest integrations with Facebook, digg, del.icio.us, and several others are in the works), this one could become very interesting.
Data presentation can be beautiful, elegant and descriptive. There is a variety of conventional ways to visualize data – tables, histograms, pie charts and bar graphs are being used every day, in every project and on every possible occasion. However, to convey a message to your readers effectively, sometimes you need more than just a simple pie chart of your results. In fact, there are much better, profound, creative and absolutely fascinating ways to visualize data .