Tagged With visualisation

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Windows: Tableau is a nifty tool for converting data from Excel and other sources into visualisations. Version 9.0 has been in beta testing since late last year, and the release version is about to arrive.

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Google has launched Maps Engine Pro, a new mapping tool designed to represent business data in map form. That's potentially useful if you want to visualise large volumes of data, but you'll pay for the feature.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Maybe people know vaguely what they want, such as the desire to start a business, make more money, or find work that resonates with their values, but it can be difficult to nail down the specifics. Self improvement weblog Pick the Brain advises that you should visualise what an entire day would be like once you've achieved your goal so that you can better understand what that goal entails.

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Pyramid charts look a lot more attractive than bar graphs, which presumably explains why Office's charting option includes so many of them. However, their visual appeal shouldn't blind you to the fact that they often misrepresent data.

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Windows only: Free application Tableau Public creates beautiful visualisations from your data and lets you publish them to the web, where uses can interact with your charts and graphs with live updates.

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Your habits, behaviours, and the things you consume every day create patterns over time that say a whole lot about you as a person. It's time to graph your life.

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Free size-comparison site Pective scales product images for your LCD screen to full size, allowing you to make a side-by-side comparison of your current clunker to that hot new phone you've been eyeing. You'll first be prompted for your diagonal screen size, then you simply browse and click to pull up full-size pictures. You can vote an image larger or smaller if it looks a little off, and add your own product images. There are a few handy reference points already there—nickels, compact discs, and the like—but the site would seriously benefit from a search function (which is supposedly in the works). Pective is a free web site that requires no sign-up; for geekier, you-type-the-dimensions comparison, try Sizeasy.

Pective

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Got data to graph but not much in the way of spreadsheet skills? Web app Track-n-Graph gives you all kinds of bar, line, and other graphs and chart templates to use or create, as well as a simple interface for putting in the data to create them. There's a number of handy templates on the site already, including mileage and health-related trackers, and you can collaborate on your data projects with others or embed the results in a web site. A free sign-up limits you to five data projects, with unlimited use available for $25 or a single-graph upgrade for $5. For more personal project data trackers, try Morale-O-Meter or weight watcher The Google 15.

Track-n-Graph

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iGoogle, Google's personalised start page and gadget platform, can be a great place to store things you want to glance at on a regular basis. Google Operating System points out a number of great gadgets that can take data in simple row/column formats and display them as graphs, charts, or a wealth of other visualisation techniques. Google's own Trendalyzer gadget can create some slick-looking spheres-on-an-axis charts to help you determine growing and shrinking trends, but those who prefer more easily read forms can get pie charts, bar graphs, line trackers, and other data mapped out pretty quickly. For more DIY data plotting, check out Gina's guide to rolling your own timeline and a Google URL hack for on-the-fly charts.

Data Visualization Google Gadgets

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Linux only: We've seen how visualizing your hard drive usage can help you clear the biggest space-eaters and make room for more useful information, and KDE-based Linux users have a great tool to do that. Free download Filelight scans your hard drive and displays space usage on a colored radial, with details that pop up as you mouse over each segment. Directories closest to the system root are show on the inside, and Filelight seems to have few problems analysing mounted non-Linux-format partitions, such as Windows. For those who liked the looks of Baobob but try to operate in a clean KDE environment, Filelight is an attractive space-making tool. Filelight is a free download for Linux systems only.

Filelight

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YouTube has quietly added a visual "related videos" feature that, while not as efficient as smart text searching, does help you find videos in the same realm as the one you're watching. To enable the feature (which doesn't appear on all videos), click the full-screen button on the lower right corner of the video. In the full-screen window, click the network-type button next to the play button. It functions similar to Musicovery in its methods—and probably in its potential for procrastination, so beware. For more non-standard YouTube search options, check out VDoogle and Qooqle.

YouTube Adds Cool Visualization for Browsing Related Videos