In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Center researcher Martin Wattenberg traced his fascination with how transforming data into pictures helps us understand information in new ways--and sometimes results in images of great beauty. The article chronicles his early love affair with the potential of the Internet, his groundbreaking work on the Map of the Market for SmartMoney Magazine, the birth of the IBM Research Visual Communication Lab (VCL) in 2005, and more.
To read the Globe article click here
If Wattenberg's name sounds familiar to you, maybe it's because you, like so many others, have discovered Many Eyes, the IBM-sponsored public site the VCL created where you can visualize your own data sets and discuss them with others. Below is a visualization of the first academic paper on the Many Eyes system. It uses the Wordle software invented by Center member Jonathan Feinberg
You might also have come across some of these visualizations recently on the New York Times Online site. Behind Many Eyes is the conviction that the use of public, engaging visualizations can lead the wisdom of the crowds to unlock the meaning of complex data sets.