Visualising data

I spent this morning with the staff at Ellesmere College, just south of Chrischurch at one of their teacher only days. I was presenting some ideas about how ICTs can be used to assist in the development of thinking in our students, and referenced the ways in which we can now use technology to help visualise data. In that context I showed them this wonderful site called the History of the Australian web, which allows you to ‘see’ the development of the web in Australia from 2001. The x and y axis can be altered by clicking on the various options along each edge, and the bar across the top references the timeline. Hovering over each ‘bubble’ shows which website it represents, along with other data about that website. Double click on any of the ‘bubble’s and you can then trace their progress over the 8 year period.

What a long way we’ve come since we converted data in tables into graphs in spreadsheets. I’m kinda looking forward to seeing more of this kind of thing, particularly where it is created from real-time data as it is generated.

2 thoughts on “Visualising data

  1. You’ve probably mentioned this stuff before Derek, but for others following your blog check out the Motion Chart gadget developed by Hans Rosling’s team… “Motion Chart is a free gadget in Google Spreadsheet (an online spreadsheet similar to excel). In motion chart you can convert your data-series into a Gapminder-like graph and put it on your web-page or blog. All you need is a free Google-account.”

    For more info on the motion chart visit:

    Rosling’s work of course features in full-flight on TED talks – his enthusiasm for his statistics barely over-shadowed by the colossal importance of the data he’s sharing… check out:

  2. Thanks for the heads up on this Andrew – certainly an excellent example of what’s available the data visualisation space.

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