We’ll have a full class period on Monday to look at the use of data visualization in online journalism.
A good place to begin is by reading Anne Eisenberg’s article from the New York Times about the site called Many-Eyes, a free site organized by I.B.M. for displaying and sharing data.
As we saw in the last seconds of class on Monday, I worked on a small data visualization, taking some stats I found in a recent article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The newspaper had a story that mentioned the decrease of fans from the Indians’ home-opener to Game 2. Unfortunately, it didn’t follow any kind of online journalism work ethic when it posted the following – without even a text box:
The attendance in the second games of the home schedule for the Indians since 2000: April 14, 2000, vs. Rangers, 40,543; April 4, 2001, vs. White Sox, 32,763; April 9, 2002, vs. Twins, 23,760; April 9, 2003, vs. White Sox, 14,481; April 14, 2004, vs. Twins, 14,237; April 13, 2005, vs. White Sox, 14,410; April 8, 2006, vs. Twins, 25,107; April 11, 2007, vs. Angels 16,375-x; April 2, 2008, vs. White Sox, 17,645; April 11, 2009, vs. Blue Jays, 20,895; April 14, 2010, vs. Rangers, 10,071; April 2, 2011, White Sox, 9,853.
x-In 2007, the Indians opened their home schedule in Milwaukee because of poor weather conditions in Cleveland.
However, I thought that would make for a good data visualization, so I logged into my account on Many-Eyes and uploaded the stats. This is what I got:
So here’s the plan. Please, in the next week, find some data that we can manipulate in class. Bring that data with you on Monday, and also sign up for an account on Many-Eyes.com.
It’s not only data that works in these visualizations, either. It’s text. Perhaps you have a transcript of an Obama speech you’d like to try this out with.