Posts Tagged ‘visualization’

Data Visualization Prevents Curation Bias in Social Media

19 Jan

A lot of social media analysts are predicting that curation will help solve the issue of social media overload. Curation has been touted as “the chosen” social media buzzword du jour and the new form of search that will prove more useful than Google’s spammed result pages. Rather than paying attention to just anyone and everyone, we will defer to the nine percent of people who actively search for content, and  listen to them on networks like Twitter or Quora.

How does this paint a very different perception of reality? After all, we will be listening to very select sources and filtering out the inconvenient users of social media who may just so happen to disagree with us. We then listen to these same sources over and over. What happens when we happen to encounter someone who either contradicts our life paradigm or is simply too unfamiliar with our priorities to even make conversation?

Visualizing social media data allows us to make sense of massive amounts of raw data in a very clear way. Rather than relying on someone to sift through the noise to find the useful nuggets of information, data visualization gives us a holistic view so that we can make sense of a lot information within seconds.  It also prevents us from shielding our eyes to the inconvenient truths provided by those who just so happen to be outside our social streams.

Rio Akasaka, a first year Master’s student in Human Computer Interaction at Stanford and Infochimps user, created a good use case of how data visualization can help us make sense of what occurs via social media. Rio first downloaded an Infochimps data set of tweets pertaining to the Haiti earthquake that occurred a year ago. Using the Google Maps API, he plotted these tweets on a map to show when they occurred are where they came from.

You can actually see this data visualization in action here and learn more about how Rio created it here.

How would it alter someone’s perception to see only curated stories about the Haiti earthquake or the aftermath of the Gabriel Gifford shooting versus a bird’s eye version Rio’s visualization provides?


300,000 Largest Websites Visualized with Favicons

25 Aug

An interesting visualization over at shows the favicons of the 300,000 biggest websites on the Internet (according to Alexa), with the size of the favicons corresponding to sites with the most traffic.

The data has been gathered through a “large-scale scan of the top million websites,” performed in “early 2010″ using the Nmap Security Scanner, a powerful network scanning tool used by many online security professionals.

The smallest icons, explain the folks from Nmap, correspond to sites with approximately 0.0001% reach, and rescaled to 16×16 pixels. The largest icon belongs to Google, and it’s 11,936 x 11,936 pixels large; for comparison, Mashable’s favicon (located below and to the left of Facebook) is 640 × 640 pixels large. Of course, to explain Google’s icon in its full size, you need to check out the zoom-enabled, interactive version.

The visualization is also available as a humongous poster, available here.

[via Gizmodo]

Reviews: Facebook, Google, Internet, Mashable

More About: Alexa, favicon, visualization, website

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