Started in 2007, Many Eyes has been around for a while but if you’re looking for tools with data sets and the ability to render visualizations, it’s a definite resource to know about. With a social element to it, you can use data sets others have uploaded or contribute your own. After you’ve chosen the data set to work with, you can choose a number of different visualizations to display your data.
As examples, Many Eyes has a few featured visualizations that help convey the sites’ potential. You’ll need Java to be able to load and interact with the visualizations, though you could view a still image of the rendering if you’re running without Java.
You can view the Top 100 Websites visualization in a tree map diagram.
In another example, there is a bar chart of the 2010 Movie Gross Income.
The visualizations can come in a number of different formats so you can find the perfect way to represent the data:
- Phrase Net
- Word Tree
- Tag Cloud
- Word Cloud Generator
- Bar Chart
- Block Historgram
- Bubble Chart
- Network Diagram
- Matrix Chart
- Pie Chart
- Country Map
- World Map
- Line Graph
- Stack Graph
Browsing the already created visualizations can be informative but the more interesting part of Many Eyes is using your own data and creating your own visualizations. You can choose a data set somebody else has already submitted or import your own with a limit of 5MB. You can review the data format rules but essentially it’s tab-delimited data you paste into their form. Upon answering a CAPTCHA, the data will be shown in a table so you can verify it matches what you intended.
To take Many Eyes for a spin, I figured I could use the NFL schedule information to show which teams have played which other teams.
To make sure I was entering the data correctly, I entered the first 10 weeks of the 2010 season. It’s a little less chaotic than the full season. You can drag the nodes around, zoom in, or pan to other parts of the visualization. You can also click on a node to have the other connected nodes highlighted.
With the full season data set loaded in, you can view the NFL Season 2010 Match-Ups Network Diagram I made after moving the dots around. By clicking on Chicago, we can see the Bears play 13 unique opponents this season and who they are. It would nice if the lines became thicker for opponents faced more than once or if it could color code the line for who was at home (I did enter the data with that information).
You can do better than just link to the resource or include a screenshot of the visualization, you can also embed it.
You can learn more about Many Eyes from the official IBM alphaworks site or if you’re ready to get started with the data, head on over to the Many Eyes site.