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Data Visualisation - a selection of my favourites Nov 2014

Category : Data Visualisation
This month, none of the links I’m moved to share are traditional charts (not quite none … if you click through on all the links there’s one line chart).

Let’s start with … A language tree

I like this representation of the relationships between worldwide languages very much, in part because it’s likely that languages have all grown up from a single start and in part because it answers for me a question about the only language apart from English which I’ve ever studied successfully  – and which I’ve been frequently told resembles other languages that I’ve not been able to see much similarity with.

Turns out that Hungarian, while over to the right away from almost every other language, is still on a separate branch from Estonian and Finnish.

On to bigger things … Anniversary giant art

This month saw a fantastic representation of statistics in London. For every British or Colonial death in WW1, a ceramic poppy was made and positioned by the Tower so that by Remembrance Day there were 888, 246 poppies filling the moat and flowing down the walls.


Meantime, over in Germany, Berlin also marked a significant anniversary with a city-wide data visualisation project.  The LICHTGRENZE (border of lights) was an installation of 8000 lights marking the 15km route which, until 25 years ago, marked the divide between East and West.


And popular things … Colleague recommendations

At work, owing to my obvious interest in data visualisation, I often get recommendations from colleagues and there’s no recommendation more frequent than David McCandlish’s book “Information is Beautiful”, which was published in time for Christmas two years ago. The first time I saw an actual hard copy was when a client I was working with brought one into the office last year and I spent the day distracted by its data viz creativity.
Anyway, as I mentioned last month, the sequel, “Knowledge is Beautiful”, is now out – and this time I’ve ordered a copy for myself.
I say all this because a couple of weeks ago, within the space of about three hours, several colleagues all sent me a link to a web page filled with fabulously designed maps of London. 12 of them, showing ethnicity, rent, luminance, lost property …. , taken from a book put together by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, who combine geography and design to display London as the “Information Capital”. If the 12 charts demonstrated by the BBC and further 6 displayed on the Guardian data-blog are anything to go by, then this is a book that will bring delight to the souls of any Londoner with an interest in data visualisation.

About the author

Cathy Buchanan
Cathy Buchanan
Working in Operational Research for over ten years, as a consultant my goal is to help clients understand the value that data brings to their organisations. Before consultancy, I spent 5 years working in call centre design and am now very interested in promoting “the contact centre of the future”, utilising & combining multiple customer channels efficiently. My areas of specialisation are Optimisation, Simulation and Data Visualisation.

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