Category: Data Visualization

Web Tools to Enhance Learning

Here’s a new mindmap containing my recently organized collection of great sites and tools for learning and teaching.  The collections are: Google Sites and Apps Video Collections Synchronous Communication Tools Asynchronous Communication Tools Mindmapping Tools Data Visualization Scheduling, Appointments, and Information Collecting Mindmap: Web Tools to Enhance Learning To see more digital mindmaps, go to Resources: Mindmaps. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses ESIL: A Learning Lens for the Digital Age Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Understand in learning objectives – it’s...

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David McCandless: Data Detective

I just finished watching the TED Talk by David McCandless called “The Beauty of Data Visualization” and it is stunningly awesome! In the talk, he discusses the importance of understanding the relativeness of data when it is reported in the news.  “Visualizing information is a form of knowledge compression” where we squeeze enormous amount of information and understanding into a small space.  McCandless was not trained in graphic design, but “”being exposed to all this media over the years had instilled a kind of dormant design literacy in me.”  He says he is something of a “data detective” (see...

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Mathematical Algorithms and the AlloSphere

What is “The AlloSphere” ? Watch the 7-minute TED video to see.  What you all might be interested in is what they do with the Allosphere. Ann Kuchera-Morin: We map complex mathematical algorithms that unfold in time and space visually and sonically. Our scientist colleagues are finding new patterns in the information and our engineering colleagues are making one of the largest dynamically varying computers in the world for this kind of data exploration. This reminded me of the city of Auroville , which I visited in India.  Both involve large spheres.  Both involve a strange collection of collaborators.  Only the AlloSphere is lot more high tech and focused on science instead of the human spirit. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens ESIL: A Learning Lens for the Digital Age Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Reimagining Calculus Keynote Adjuncts shouldn’t have to fix a broken...

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Density Equalizing Maps (Worldmapper)

Some of the really stunning visuals that Neil Turok used in his TED Prize talk were graphics from the website Worldmapper. The idea is that you start with a standard area map of the world, and then create cartograms (or density-equalizing maps) – resizing each territory to relate it with the variable being mapped. Here is a standard Land Area Map of the world: Here is the map of Women’s Income: John Pritchard, from the Geography Department at the University of Sheffield, was kind enough to give an overview of the process involved in the creation of these maps for this blog post: A cartogram can be thought of as part map, part pie-chart. It attempts to keep areas (such as countries) in roughly the same place, whilst changing their size to reflect the value of a variable, for example, population. A world cartogram of population would show, for example, China and India as larger than their land area size, and Australia as smaller. An algorithm that creates a cartogram from a map, preserving recognisable shapes whilst resizing countries, has been something of a‘holy grail’ of the cartogram world. The solution we use forWorldmapper, from Mark Newman and Michael Gastner at the University ofMichigan, is inspired by the diffusion of gas molecules. If you imagine the example of human population, the algorithm would have the effect of allowing the...

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We (the world) feel better

Most of the time I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of technology and the Internet and “what’s out there” but sometimes I am completely blown away by something I find. Tonight is one of those nights. I am sitting at the computer, posting assignments for my fall classes while simultaneously browsing/watching/listening to stuff on the Internet (this is why I have so much viewing space). Keep in mind that I have been at it for several hours and it is now 1 a.m. (for those of you that think that instructors don’t do any work in the summer). I was perusing the new Ted Talks and watched this talk by Jonathan Harris about two of his websites, We Feel Fine and Universe. To truly understand just how amazing these sites are, you really have to watch the talk, browsing will probably not do them justice. The We Feel Fine website is constructed using up-to-the-hour blog data and computer programs that scan blogs for specific phrases about feelings. The software is absolutely stunning. For example, in the interaction below I discovered that at the current moment (in the world) there are 7,544 people feeling “special” and 128,155 people feeling “better.” You can also find really specific blogs… like from all the people 30 years of age in 40 degree celsius weather in Montenegro in 2007 (for example)....

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