Data Visualisation

How would you present 1000 lines of data, each consisting of ten data points, in an accessible format?

Someone pointed out to me this interesting solution to the problem applied to a century of popularity data on the top 1000 baby names (requires Java). It cleverly combines typedown find with a dynamically recalculated and scaled chart – simple yet powerful.

OK, so most of you won’t have deep unmet baby-name-popularity-analysis needs, but I think there are lessons to be learnt here about creative ways to allow users to visualise and manipulate large quantities of data.

(None of you will be surprised to hear that “Gervase” is not in the top 1000 names for any decade this century.)

7 thoughts on “Data Visualisation

  1. As I was reading this… I was thinking of that very link! :-D

    You just described it much better than I could.

    Only thing I would have added to that App is the ability to enter the year, and see the top 10. For example 1990, and see the 10 names stacked for that year.

    It’s the only view I can’t get out of this great idea.

  2. ‘None of you will be surprised to hear that “Gervase” is not in the top 1000 names for any decade this century.’

    How can you say that?
    We are only half into the first decade. Nine more decades are expected (D.V.) in this century. Your name would stand a chance in the second decade (a.k.a. as the Mozilla decade) (2010-2020).

  3. This is SO COOL! Is there any documentation out there about how they got that UI to work?


  4. Hmm. It’s a pity the “Ask Edward Tufte” forum has shut down while he works on his new book; this seems like just the sort of thing that would be apropos there.

    And speaking of names, Gerv, what relation do you bear to the Jacobean author of how-to books with the same name?