Tools to Visualize Data

I was doing some research on tools to create interesting visualizations of data and ran across this very interesting visualization from tracking infant mortality rate versus per capita income for a variety of countries over time—with country population thrown in for good measure. That’s 5—yes, count them 5—”dimensions” of data. It takes the form a motion chart. (See the live visualization. Hit the Play button in the lower left to get the full effect.)


The interesting thing about this is that the technology used to do this is available as part of Google’s Visualization API, a JavaScript library that is available for integration with your own data sources and on your own websites. The motion chart is probably the most complex one, but there are visualizations resembling gas gauges, bar graphs, line charts, and a handful of miscellaneous ones like “piles of money”.

Here’s a live example of the gas gauge one:

Your Cognitive Activity

The data for these gauges is being supplied by a data source (in this case embedded in the code of the page, but it could just as easily be coming from a database, external web service, etc.). These could also be controlled by code on the page for some dynamic effects.

See full catalog of the visualizations available in the gallery.

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