20 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization

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Data is boring, information is interesting! I’ve always used this statement whenever the issue of data is being discussed. No one is really interested in looking at a large number of data rows, or even a small one. As humans, we tend to better understand a particular issue when it is presented to us in a visual way, and in this roundup you will find 20 sites using data visualization that deliver information to the user in an effective and inspiring way.

1. BreathingEarth.net

A real-time simulation displaying the CO2 emissions, birth and death rates of every country.


2. NewsMap.jp

A web application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of Google News.


3. DoodleBuzz.com

Create typographic maps of current news stories by doodling on a blank canvas.


4. OurSignal.com

An overview of currently popular items on social news sites such as delicious, reddit, and digg.


5. digg labs

5 visualizations of Digg community’s activities.

swarm by digg labs

6. 3Dlicio.us by Alberto Tellez

View Delicious bookmarks on a 3D globe.

3Dlicio.us by Alberto Tellez

7. HealthMap.org

A visualization of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on health.


8. VisibleTweets.com

A visualization of Twitter messages, with 3 options of animating the tweets.


9. TwitterVision.com

A real-time geographic visualization of posts to Twitter. Make sure to check the 3D version.


10. FlickrVision.com

Maps live traffic to Flickr. Similar to TwitterVision, the visualization can be viewed in 3D.


11. TagGalaxy.com

A planetary visualization of Flickr tags. Photos are displayed on a 3D globe by clicking the sun.


12. DaylightMap.com

Shows the pattern of night and day with many options such as a near real-time cloud cover.


13. IRIS Seismic Monitor

Displays in near real-time global earthquakes.

IRIS Seismic Monitor

14. WikipediaVision by Laszlo Kozma

A visualization of edits to Wikipedia (almost) in real-time.

WikipediaVision by Laszlo Kozma

15. Ptable.com

One of the best, if not the best, periodic table of elements.


16. Lexipedia.com

A powerful language tool that visualizes the meaning of a word.


17. BankOfImagination.com

Explore, create, and share imaginations.


18. WeFeelFine.org

A visualization of human emotions harvested from blog posts.


19. Time Machine by Etsy

Go back in time and watch sold items fly by.

Time Machine by Etsy

20. ClickWatch by CodeFromThe70s

An inspiring visualization of real-time HTTP traffic.

ClickWatch by CodeFromThe70s

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  1. Posts about Mashable as of May 29, 2009 » The Daily Parr
    May 29th, 2009 at 6:37 am

    […] beta invites from Mashable last night. And here comes my little write up of what you can expect 20 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization – singlefunction.com 05/29/2009 Data is boring, information is interesting! I’ve always used this […]

  2. Brad C
    May 29th, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Ow wow, these are very cool. I’ve never seen some of those twitter visualizations before. Thanks for rounding all these up for this post.

  3. CSS Brigit | 20 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization
    May 29th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    20 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization…

    Data is boring, information is interesting! A roundup of 20 sites using data visualization that deliver information to the user in an effective and inspiring way.

  4. Webmasterish
    May 29th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for the feedback Brad!

  5. m.dot
    May 29th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I called your post, a Data Orgasm on Twitter.

    Thank you for this.


  6. links for 2009-05-29 « Mandarine
    May 29th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    […] 20 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization | SingleFunction (tags: visualization information inspiration) […]

  7. Sue
    May 30th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Wow, great round up!!!!
    Thank you.

  8. unregistered
    May 30th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Sorry, but none of the above holds to the standards of infographics.
    All of them look nice at first glance, but you have to digg for the message. Some of them remind me of steganoinfographics.
    Have a look at Edward Tufte or all the others….

  9. links for 2009-05-30 « doug – off the record
    May 31st, 2009 at 12:05 am

    […] May 30, 2009Google Wave: A Complete Guide May 30, 2009Sourcetone Interactive Radio May 30, 200920 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization | SingleFunction May 30, 2009Spymaster — For your eyes only. May 30, 2009Coding a Clean Web 2.0 Style Web Design […]

  10. aline
    May 31st, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Awesome !!!!
    You make it really easy for us to view all the good sites, its a pleasure looking into your round ups!

  11. art2code
    May 31st, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Nice list!
    Thank you

  12. George
    May 31st, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I LOVE IT!!!
    Thank you

  13. POS
    May 31st, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Very nice, thank you. I think the next step for the internet is to be able to organize massive amounts of information and turning it into something usable like the above sites.

  14. Wasim
    June 1st, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Hi – These are terrific – here’s an interactive visualization of data breach incidents around the world http://www.voltage.com/solutions/data-breach – data supplied by datalossdb.org – part of the open Security Foundation

  15. Daily Tech Links - June 2, 2009 - Sanjeev Agarwal
    June 2nd, 2009 at 4:34 am

    […] General – 20 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization […]

  16. chusty
    June 2nd, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Wow, great round up!!!!
    Thank you.

  17. Alberto Téllez
    June 2nd, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Thanx for including my Delicious Mashup (always beta).
    It’s an honor to have it picked by your expert eyes 😉

    Keep up the good work!


  18. Webmasterish
    June 2nd, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    @m.dot Coolest tweet I’ve heard!

    @Alberto Glad you dropped by!

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    June 4th, 2009 at 1:15 am

    […] 6. 20 Inspiring Uses of Data Visualization. great use of visuals to show data results and concepts. http://singlefunction.com/20-inspiring-uses-of-data-visualization/ […]

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  21. Mel Ich
    June 4th, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Maybe that´s interesting too

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  23. web design
    June 6th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Very nice collection of web designs.

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  25. tibipop
    July 3rd, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Wow, great!!!!
    Thank you.
    interesting map USA, the geography of jobs

  26. Calgary Graphic Design
    July 6th, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Great collection. Particularly like the Twitter visualization. Too cool!

  27. Linkliste für den Infografik Part « septemberupgrade
    October 5th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    […] 20 Möglichkeiten der Datenvisualisierung http://singlefunction.com/20-inspiring-uses-of-data-visualization/ […]

  28. Thomas
    November 9th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Amazing list. Thanks.

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    April 20th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

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    April 20th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

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  32. sagnelson
    July 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    My Gosh. How pointless and navel gazing are most of these? Does social media add anything but noise to life?

  33. Kirsty
    October 6th, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Another cool use of dataviz is in the political sphere – notably how Obama used data visualization to convince America that his campaign was worth supporting. You can see his visualization here: http://bimehq.com/data-visualization/win-political-debates-data-visualization/

  34. Muqeet Soomro
    November 24th, 2010 at 1:15 am

    great data … I like it thanks

  35. Trevor Caesar
    December 5th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Take a look at this time zone data. You’ll like it if you like this post. Cheers.

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    December 20th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

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  37. fliesenaufkleber
    March 29th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    great collection, inspired me! Nr. 11 is my favorite.

  38. myleggings
    May 9th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    great post of cool visualizations! but… the healthmap scared me.

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  40. Sonnenschirm
    June 3rd, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    was really very interesting!

  41. Hubschrauber
    July 18th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    great collection of data visualization

  42. Martin
    September 22nd, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Thanks for the great list. Here is one as well: World Time Zone Map on http://www.globaltiming.com. Thanks guys 🙂

  43. Carbonfolie
    October 7th, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Good collection of vizualiziations.
    I like Nr.1 the most. This looks amazing!

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  50. Angela Smith
    February 25th, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Your website is just awesome.I loved it.Have a look at this website-http://ernestoolivares.com/tools-for-data-visualization/