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Data Representation and Visualization Tools

With the advent of web 2.0 and engaging dynamic interactive media on the internet we enter into a new
instructional world exploring unique aids to vision and the means to impart greater insight into concepts. Through
these tools we see how dynamic graphics can help us complement traditional approaches to teaching.

Words, Language, Research Related

Visual Thesaurus
Visuwords ( it is a free type of visual
thesaurus. This tool allows you to navigate the thesaurus visually. By
typing in a word, you can see a graphical map of its synonyms, and then
navigate to one of them to see its synonymous and so on and so forth.
er/) takes any text a user chooses (it can
process an amazing amount of copy -up to
200,000 characters, or about 100 pages) and
parses it for likely vocabulary words, organizing them in several fascinating ways
and showing linguistic and contextual links to other terms.
Search-Cube Allows you to enter a search topic and then presents a
cube with images of the pages relating to the term. It shows previews of up to ninetysix websites, videos and images. You can roll your mouse over any of the sites and
get a summary of that site.
KartOO ( is a visual search engine that employs several
different visualization methods. In the following search for The Sopranos, the
left side reveals folders with additional related topics, while the right presents a
cloud of potential links to follow. Upon mousing over one of these links, the left
side is replaced with a preview, while the right side shows how
the link relates to other topics.

Wordle ( a tool for generating word clouds from text that you provide. The word clouds
give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. The more occurrences of that
word in the text, the larger the word will appear. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color

Time Magazine uses visual hills (spikes) to emphasize the density of
American population in its map.
Tool with Google Earth
Here is a great method for visualizing data with Google Earth. This time
he has produced a great free tool called the KMLFactBook
( The KMLFactbook utilizes data available
from the CIA World Factbook
( to let you pick and choose geographicalbased data about the world and see 2D and 3D
graphs of the data by country on either a 2D Google
Map or use the 3D Google Earth plugin. You can
also generate a KML file to view the data directly
within Google Earth. There is a massive amount of
data here to use and gain some interesting
perspectives. You can also upload your own
datasets to generate other visualizations using
simple spreadsheet formats.

Statistical Data
Hans Rosling TED Talk Hans Rosling unveils new data visuals that untangle the complex risk factors of one
of the world's deadliest (and most misunderstood) diseases:
HIV. He argues that preventing transmissions -- not drug
treatments -- is the key to ending the epidemic. The key to this
talk is how he utilizes data visualization.

You can create your own timelines with Xtimeline ( and Simile (

Charts, Graphs, and Diagrams

IBM Many Eyes
Many Eyes( is a
collaborative visualization toolset--using your own data or data
already available in ManyEyes, you can visualize your data using 1 of
16 different types of visualizations. Share your visualizations or
comment on others'.
Using Many Eyes requires registration. Some examples
( are simply amazing.


Swivel( creates pie charts, diagrams and histograms on the

fly. It also provides a Swivel API( you can
use to improve already existing visualization methods.

Gliffy ( is a free web-based diagram editor. It enables you to
create and share flowcharts, network diagrams, floorplans, user interface
designs and other drawings online.

Science and math

An amazing set of links to datasets and sites that offer visualizations related to

A collection of physics related visualizations and simulations

Virtual Algebra tiles and other math visuals from NLVM

Shodor Interactivate -

Fine Arts
Amaztype ( is a typographic book search,
collects the information from Amazon and presents it in the form of
keyword youve provided. To get more information about a given
book, simply click on it.

The tool uses Flickr API to present the uploaded images in realtime. The images form the clock which shows the current time.
Check out Flickrtime

Graphics Teaching Tool

The Graphics Teaching Tool (GTT is a Java-based product
designed to address the need for graphics concepts literacy by offering
a pedagogically driven environment for non-CS majors in courses from
business to multimedia to Web design. The design of the GTT is being
guided by research in the learning sciences, specifically research on
students' mental models and the classroom use of constructivist
educational technology. The GTT offers a hands-on interactive tool for
explicitly teaching underlying computer graphics concepts to a non-CSmajor audience.