In the same category as Mark’s and Simon’s posts on data visualization, look at this visualization of this raw text. I assume Slate created the visualization by hand but it’s not hard to imagine it being programmatically generating from semi-structured text. (Note: GSm takes no position on political issues.)
The GSm founding community has strong representation from people interested in the next generation of tools for structuring, manipulating and analysing dialogue and debate at different scales. Complementing these are, of course, tools that will help us work directly with the data, in order to tease out and explain hypotheses and claims that can be fed into such debates.
Gapminder is one such tool, which has been attracting a lot of attention for its compelling visualizations of time-series data.
Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels. […]
…the Trendalyzer software […] unveils the beauty of statistical time series by converting boring numbers into enjoyable, animated and interactive graphics. […] Since the Trendalyzer development was taken over by Google the Gapminder Foundation maintain the same aim and uses Trendalyzer and its resources to produce videos and web service showing major global development trends with animated statistics. Such a 3 to10 minute video is called a GapCast and they are published as free web casts with the aim of promoting a fact based world view. A GapCast converts statistical time series into moving graphics in ways that allows evidence based trends to be told as simple story lines. The time series used will be made freely available in the web service called Gapminder World that enable end users to further explore the underlying statistics in Trendalyzer graphics.
Gapminder’s director Hans Roslings gives dynamic presentations with the tool, eg. at TED:
OK, now imagine that we can link easily into a specific point or clip in Gapminder World or Motion Chart as an evidence point, an anchor for a claim that is made within one of the other GSm discourse tools. Or that when I enter that clip in the movie player, or turn on an overlay for Community Debate: How has this data been used in arguments?, it highlights that there is apparent consensus, or a huge debate raging…