Statistics

My top 10 data visualisation links

I have only recently come to realise just how much I love (and need) to recreate arguments and processes visually. I love flow charts and venn diagrams. As a kid, I used to pore over those cross-section books and Usborne historical adventures. Now, as an adult, here are my top 10 favourite links to do with data visualisation:

  1. Hans Rosling’s dynamic charting tool Gapminder which visualises change over time on various statistics to do with development around the world
  2. The Shape of Song which maps the theme and variations in music
  3. Blaise Aguera y Arcas at TED on Photosynth/Seadragon a mindblowing tool for harvesting online photos to receate 3D images
  4. Chris Jordan’s art (also featured at TED) which helps get a handle on the massive-ness of some shocking statistics
  5. The World Freedom Atlas (I had to include something geographic!)
  6. The blogs infosthetics and a beautiful www
  7. VizThink’s live online drawing tool
  8. Wordle, which turns content analysis into art
  9. The periodic table of data visualisation strategies for ideas about how to visualise stuff
  10. Indexed for entertaining and thoughful graphical interpretations of life

why we need Christian statisticians

Because what we choose to measure defines what we think is worth monitoring and managing as a society.

Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.  Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

Robert Kennedy, 1968, University of Kansas