World in need of water: interactive visualization and game

Screenshot of my latest visualization: World in need of water

The world is in need of water: nature, human, animals… we all need water to survive. For World Water day, March 22 2011, I created this interactive visualization and infotainment game.

The interactive map and scatterplot enable you to explore several datasets, which tell a story about the world in need of water. Inspired by the Wii you can play a game with up to 4 players in one room. Have fun, create insights and gain knowledge at the same time.

Note: you may experience performance issues when Chrome or Safari is not your browser.

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Data Alchemist visualization takes the win!

Snapshot from news items on

Visualization challenge winner announced on

Great news after returning from my holidays: I took the win in a visualization challenge! My interactive visualization of the ecological footprint and biocapacity was part of a challenge where participants were asked to visualize “the value of nature”.

The judging panel appreciated my interactive visualization for:

  • easy understanding: comprehensive and fun information exploration,
  • originality and style: easy navigation and  compare features.

Continue reading

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Ecological footprint and biocapacity

Ecological footprint and biocapacity

Screenshot of interactive data visualization: ecological footprint and biocapacity

Much of the discussion on finite global resources has focused on the depletion of non-renewable resources, such as petroleum. It is increasingly evident that renewable resources, and the ecosystem services they provide, are also at great or even greater risk. Explore how the world uses renewable resources.

  • See the 2007 natural resource capacity and use and reserve/deficit,
  • switch views from person to nation or to a specific resource,
  • compare different countries to each other.

This interactive visualization is the result of my latest project. Check the live version and let me know your comments.

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Apps for Amsterdam: open data virus spreads to Europe

Winner Apps4Edmonton: DinerInspect assist you in selecting a clean restaurant.

Finally the open data virus spreads to the open minded city of Amsterdam. The city announced Apps for Amsterdam. This an application development contest based on Washington’s Apps for Democracy.

The contest is a popular way to quickly involve many designers and developers an challenge them to create new and fresh ideas for the benefit of the society by using open data. Already back in 2008 the city of Washington D.C. published the winners of Apps for democracy. A golden medal winner is, which shows information (crime rates, demography, public transport, etc.) on the place where you (want to) live in Washington.

Last year two Canadian cities made their copies of the contest with Apps4Ottowa and Apps4Edmonton. Ottowa’s winner will be published on February 15th. Winner in Edmonton is DinerInspect. This application allows users to search for a restaurant and check whether you still want to go there for dinner after seeing the number of violations resulting from inspections.

So now it’s time for the Netherlands to join United States and Canada. On February 16th it is kick off time for Amsterdam’s contest.  Want to join or follow the contest? Check the official website.

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Easy interactive data visualization with Choosel

Snapshot of Choosel: create interactive visualizations in a couple of clicks.

Looking for an easy way for visual data analysis? Take a moment to meet Choosel. Last week I discovered Choosel, a tool for visual data exploration. Upload your data set and within a couple of mouse clicks you have a guided analysis with bar charts, scatterplots and/or map charts, which allows you to drill down through the data and create new insights.

Choosel is open source framework and available under the Apache License 2.0. It’s demo looks and feels very much like Spotfire and Tableau, the two popular commercial data exploration tools. But since Choosel was released only recently, it is still under development and not as functional as the commercial software.

What I like about Choosel, is the focus on making it easy to use for a novice in data analysis. It was tested on complete dummies in data analysis. They were given assignments to fulfill with Choosel tot check how intuitive the tool is.

This focus is not so surprising. Because Choosel was developed by Lars Grammel at University of Victoria, Canada. He is working within the CHISEL group, which amongst others focuses on usability and computer interaction.

Want to see Choosel? Watch the videos on the developers site and check out the demo.

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Animation: when Facebook beats Google

When Facebook beats Google in corporate publicty

Animation chart: when Facebook beats Google in corporate publicity.

Facebook keeps growing in financial value, number of users and corporate publicity. It’s popularity seems to overwhelm the interest in Google. But what about the facts?

In this new project I did create an animated chart which displays various information items on Google versus Facebook. Clearly 2008 is for Google, celebrating it’s 10th anniversary and introducing Google Chrome. Facebook’s spectacular users growth boosts corporate publicity in 2009.

Watch the animation and create your own insights on Google versus Facebook

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