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Archive for the ‘Visualization’ Category

Visualizations of  large data sets are hot, hot, hot these days! As is everything else related to data crunching. In a New York Times article from 2009, Steve Lohr (and a Google exec) whispered the word statistics into the ears of new graduates. Today, there is new demand for statistics classes on college campuses everywhere. From the Times:

“I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians,” said Hal Varian, chief economist at Google. “And I’m not kidding.”

The rising stature of statisticians, who can earn $125,000 at top companies in their first year after getting a doctorate, is a byproduct of the recent explosion of digital data.

(Update: Steve Lohr’s article on Feb. 11, 2012 called The Age of Big Data, also in the NY Times.)

A class at Columbia University recently mapped trip data for 10,000 taxi rides in Manhattan in a 24 hour period. The result is what they call a ‘breathing’ map of Manhattan. The video is set to music by Rob Viola.

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Place names on USGS topographic quadrangles offer insights into local history, but I rarely see anyone making use of the information contained in the names. This map is an exception. I missed this last fall when it apparently made the blog rounds, but here it is in case you missed it too.

US Stream Names Map by D. Watkins

Read more about this map on Derek Watkins blog.

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Like the Smells of New York City or the Sound Map of Toronto. Those maps that capture experiential qualities of places. Currently, the London Museum is featuring a small exhibition of hand-drawn maps solicited from Londoners in a call on the Londonist website in February of this year. There’s a nice blog post on it here.

Loos of London by Paula Simoes

Of the 11 maps in the exhibition, “Loos of London” has captured a lot of attention. There’s an extensive post on the map and its creator, Paula Simoes, here.

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The SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT has produced some interesting maps using US and UK phone call and text data, and they suggest new ways to think about regional identity. Aaron Saenz, of the technology blog Singularity Hub, asks if these regions make more sense than our current delineation of states. Certainly for politics, marketing, and perhaps public policy, among other things, there are implications for the kinds of connections that these maps reveal. Best of all, the SENSEable City Lab is making their call and SMS data available here for you to make your own visualizations!

Who do you call or text? Image from Saenz, Singularity Hub, & MIT

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