Data visualization now helps us interpret the world
Forget a bar graph, or a pie chart how about a time lapsed representation of rental bike use in New York City which could detail the ebb and flow of cyclists travelling from work to home, or a real time indication of how different city events made people move from one side of the city from another. Or General Electric’s visualization project that helps the company quantify how people use their radiography tools like CT Scans and MRIs.
The advances in programming mean that we can visualize more data in more interactive ways. Languages and tools like WebGL are only starting to be used to make the Internet more interactive.
Data and how it is shared has turn what was a private business conversation, into a valuable marketing tool and a way for the public to consume data in an impactful illustrative way. Readers no longer have to wade through tables of numbers; we can be shown moving graphical statements.
Science is advancing faster than ever before
In science as with business, experimentation is the root of all learning and knowledge. For scientists working around the globe, big data has rose to prominence long before anywhere else. In fact even the World Wide Web (as it used to be called) was invented to help the processing of data coming from the CERN, or the Large Hadron Collider.
The giant particle collider produces terabytes of data and the idea behind the World Wide Web, was that the global partners what built the Large Hadron Collider would all need access to the data so all of the scientists working with the data around the world would be able to work on projects simultaneously.
Everything from biology to astronomy is performed on a technically enormous scale. Today database developers and data analysts playing as important roles in the completion of theoretical and practical science as researchers are. Allowing the data they collect to be interpreted and worked with – even doing so is a science in itself.
In astronomy it would be impossible to collect and interpret the cosmos’ ultraviolet light without the use of big data, these are things we can’t see – we can only “see” them with tools that produce data.
Future generations will know more about us than ever conceived
With every cell phone and key stroke we’re producing a digital record of our lives. Anthropologists of the future will know what we’ve done, where we’ve done it and who we did it with to a degree that is astonishing compared to even 15-years ago..
Even today people are using GPS tools integrated into heart rate monitors to track and quantify physical activity. Other people are using digital tools to improve their productivity or track their spending habits.
It is possible today and will increasingly become possible to put metrics on everything you do and at the end of the day it will be Big Data that lets you understand that data and how you interact with the rest of the world.
Have you seen an interesting data visualization, share it with us on Twitter @RandstadCanada.