you have data that you would like to share on your website, consider
using some of these resources:
Treemaps are easy to understand once you see them, but most people
are an unfamiliar with this powerful data visualization technique.
I think of treemaps as "pie charts on (natural) steroids."
Rather than slices, they present an array of colored boxes inside
boxes. The size of the box represents a value, and color is used
to display either numbers or categories. I've used treemaps to display
US budget data in powerful ways. They also come in handy to show
demographics of residents at chronic hospitals, for instance. Any
medium-to-large dataset with a natural hierarchy such as directories
and subdirectories, agencies and line items, or even a made-up hierarchy,
such as "first group into men and women, and then group into
age groups" is a good candidate for a treemap.
You may download free treemap software by the original authors,
at the University of Maryland Human Computer Interaction Lab at
the URL above. It uses Java, so should run on almost any operating
I created a video (not high production quality) that briefly demonstrates
an interactive treemap. The video shows the relative budget of the
national sustainable farming information center program called Appropriate
Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), compared with other
far more well-funded programs. (And which program did Congress zero
out? Sustainable farming information, of course.)
Many Eyes http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/page/Tutorial.html
"Shared visualization and discovery."
IBM's Many Eyes offers a rich set of free tools, including
zoomable maps of the world and the US, standard line graphs, stacked
line graphs, and line graphs for categories (which can be hierarchical);
bar charts, block histograms, bubble charts, and matrix charts;
scatterplots and network diagrams; pie charts, treemaps, word clouds.
This is a wonderful tool. Certainly it's the cheapest way
to put interactive treemaps online.
Image Optimizers http://picresize.com/ http://www.netmechanic.com/GIFBot/optimize-graphic.htm http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/imageoptimizer/ http://sitereportcard.com/imagereducer.php
Do not be afraid to draw your own graphics and pay an artist to
illustrate them for you. Sometimes you'll get a far better
result using pen and paper than trying to fit klutzy graphic tools
into the picture you have in mind. You can always scan the resulting
image at your local copy shop. Just be aware that you may need to
optimize your resulting image file size. PicResize actually changes
the dimensions of your image (making a 400x200 pixel image into
100x50 pixels, for instance). The other two will keep your image
the same dimensions, but will reduce the download size. Do not upload
your scanned graphics without checking on the size of your graphic:
the smaller, the better.
SIMILE is MIT's "Studies In Media & Information
Literacy Education" program. They offer free data visualization
tools that may require the brief help of a skilled web developer
Inxight offers some wonderful data visualization resources. They
are very expensive ($50k+), and for that reason, I've never
had the chance to use them. I just admire from a distance.
Edward Tufte http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/ http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/courses
If you're at all serious about presenting data – on the web,
or on paper, or even on the side of your van, make sure to read
Edward Tufte's book: The Visual Display
of Quantitative Information. If you're inspired by this book,
continue to his other books, including Envisioning
Information, Visual Explanations,
and Data Analysis for Politics and Policy.
Consider taking one of his one-day seminars. (The course fee includes
payment for four of his most popular books.)
Marjorie Roswell is a web developer
and the founder of Roswell Infographics.
Consult your doctor before using any of the
treatments found within this site.