Data Visualization

If pictures are worth a thousand words, a graphical data visualization might be worth a thousand lectures!  I was introduced to a wonderful teaching tool at the Blackboard World 2012 conference this summer that allows users to overlay raw data onto a map or other types of graphical representations.  For instance, below are a couple of interactive maps showing “worldwide alcohol consumption” per capita by country and “dominant religious self-descriptor” by state.  Click on the map to see the interactive features and the legend.

Alcohol Consumption WorldwideMany Eyes Dominant Religious Self-Descriptor Many Eyes

IBM makes this tool available for free.  You can use existing visualizations, create your own using existing data sets, or import your own data sets.  Click here to explore a list of some of the most highly rated visualizations.

Please comment below if you can think of a unique way to use this tool in your discipline or classroom.