In what has been billed as data activism, several members of the data visualization community have united to help make sense of the recently released UK Met Office climate data from the last 200 years. After a call for the DataVis community to step up to the challenge of visualizing the data, a discussion forum was recently set up and quickly resulted in the data being extracted from its original format and made available as a MySQL database for easier manipulation. Only a few days later the visualizations are beginning to arrive. Today, Robert Kosara of EagerEyes.org posted his work, which utilizes the Protovis framework to generate an interesting interactive view of the historical temperature changes. In addition, there’s some analysis from Robert and a promise of more to come. Additionally, Flink labs has also chimed in as well with their Processing based work. Jer Thorp, of the fascinating blog blprnt, has also started working with the data and has revealed his progress on flickr. It will be interesting to see the variety and breadth of visualizations as more projects are released in the coming weeks. (on the flip side, read about what John Graham calls Data Visualization Disease) On a slightly different front, the analysis and visualization project based on the UK’s public spending, entitled “Where Does My Money Go?” has released a new prototype of their work. The project which won the UK government’s Show Us a Better Way competition in 2008, has been working to create a framework for navigating the country’s spending on a national and regional level. It’s a fascinating exploration of financial data that is probably better experienced than explained. I recommend you head over and poke around.
In light of the recent release of the (US) Open Government Directive, these visualizations are just a few examples of what could be possible once more relevant US data is made publicly available.