I came across Fast Company’s article on the 5 best free Tools for Making Slick Infographics this morning. I played around with the tools and here is what I came up with:
I started with Wordle and punched in the RSS feed for my blog to see what words I use most often and then to see if I could make an interesting image out of it. Wordle is a really, really fun tool to play around with and you can create some interesting graphics…here is an information graphic of the words that I use on my blog…
Then I tried Many Eyes. This is a much more sophisticated platform that looked like it required too much thinking for me, so I copied a visualization that someone else did in an interactive mode so that you could play with it yourself:
Google Public Data Explorer
Then I tried the Google Public Data Explorer. Again it is a pretty sophisticated tool with a lot of data already available to play around with and the ability to take a look at you own datasets. Here is a screenshot:
Huhli and Visual.ly
Finally, I tried Huhli, which wasn’t intuitive enough for me and then took a look at Visual.ly, which looks promising but isn’t yet available. I signed up for their e-mail and took a look at their video (below) which seems to promise a lot…if it is half as good as the video seems to promise, it will be a great tool.
My net of all this playing around is that there are some really helpful tools being developed for people to communicate visually and I look forward to seeing what people do with them. I particularly liked the simplicity and power of Wordle and the promise of Visual.ly, but Many Eyes and Google Public Information Explorer seem like pretty solid analytic tools and seem to offer a lot of value.