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Cognitive Surplus visualised

July 19, 2010

In the 300-and-more RSS items in my aggregator this week, there are 2 great ones from Information is Beautiful, a blog gathering (and publishing its own) nice ways to visualise data.

The first one is based on a talk by Clay Shirky who, in turn, was referencing his book Cognitive Surplus. In Cognitive Surplus visualized, David McCandless just represented one of Shirky’s ideas: 200 billion hours are spent each year by US adults just watching TV whereas only 100 million hours were necessary to create Wikipedia (I guess the platform + the content) …

Cognitive Surplus visualised from Information Is Beautiful

It makes you think about either the waste television helps to produce either the potential of human brain(s) if relieved from the burden of television.

The second interesting post appeared in fact in information aesthetics, a blog where form follows data (referencing Information is Beautiful but I can’t find this post). In Top Secret America: Visualizing the National Security Buildup in the U.S., Andrew Vande Moere relates “an extensive investigative project of the Washington Post that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the September 11 attacks”. The project website contains all the ingredients for a well-documented investigation with the addition of interactive maps and flash-based interfaces allowing the user to build his/her own view on the project.

Top Secret America from the Washington Post

It’s nice to see investigative journalism combined with beautiful data visualisation and handling!

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  1. David McCandless talks at TED – Jean-Etienne's blog

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