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What is Data Visualization?
"Data visualization is the use of tools to represent data in the form of charts, maps, tag clouds, animations, or any graphical means that make content easier to understand. Graphic representations of data are popular because they open up the way we think about data, reveal hidden patterns, and highlight connections among elements. Because current web applications allow anyone with access to data to enter information and easily create a virtualization of it, students, informal learners, and the purely curious can now easily create visualizations that might reveal trends that were not obvious from the numbers alone. For scholars, particularly those whose conclusions depend on interpretation of complex statistics, data visualization offers the promise of easier communication and a wider audience for their findings."
--From the abstract to the Educause document, 7 Things You Should Know About Data Visualization II
Data Visualization Tools
2010 Census Population Profile Maps
"These maps present a graphic overview of selected demographic information from the 2010 Census of Population and Housing. In addition to a population density map, each page includes a pie chart showing percent of total population by race, a population pyramid, and a bar chart illustrating housing occupancy rates. The map series consists of one page-sized map for each state in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as a national map."
Create "simple and interactive charts online."
Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health: U.S. Data Maps
"These statistically tested US data maps provide a visual display of the nation, comparing each individual state's performance to the national average on key Child Health Indicators in the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) and MCHB Core Outcomes and Indicators in the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN)."
A web-service displaying time series of development statistics for all countries. For help, scroll down in the box just below "Wealth & Health of Nations."
Google Public Data Explorer Beta
"Students, journalists, policy makers and everyone else can play with the tool to create visualizations of public data, link to them, or embed them in their own webpages."
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Data Mapper
Create maps and other charts of selected key indicators from the World Economic Outlook.
A free program from IBM that allows you to create charts, graphs, maps, and other visualizations from datasets you import or from datasets imported by other users.
Social Explorer (Free Edition)
A simple way to make maps from census data. "A scaled-down version of Social Explorer is freely available to the general public. You may access it by going to the maps or reports section on the site. There you will find hundreds of maps and reports from the 2000 Census, as well as a limited set of additional data."