Monday, March 05, 2007

Many Eyes are Better than Two

I just discovered a very intriguing site via The site is called Many Eyes and announces itself thusly:

"Welcome to the alpha version of Many Eyes! View your data, ask questions, and share your discoveries. Harness the collective intelligence of the net for insight and analysis."

Naturally, that does nothing to explain what it is. What it is is a community of data-philes who share and visualize information. For instance, someone uploads data about the unemployment rates in the U.S. by state. Now the data is available for everyone and anyone can go create a visualization of the data using Many Eye's intuitive interface. For instance I could easily create a bubble chart from the data where the states with the higher rates have larger bubbles.

Basically you choose your data set (by browsing what's there or searching), click a chart type, preview it, then publish it. You can tweak certain parts of the chart as well.

If you'd rather just browse though, there's plenty to see. The chart below shows companies by NAICS (industry classification) code in a very cool treemap. You can right-click on each section to blow it up and see the sub industries with in the main industry.

It would be nice to see this kind of community-based analysis show up in other places. I think some of the major news agencies might benefit from checking out some of the stuff people are coming up with on sites like Many Eyes.

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