Monday, January 17, 2011

ChartPorn (it's not what you think)

Don't be fooled by this web sites title...there isn't much salacious about ChartPorn.org unless you consider graphic design and data visualization sexy endeavors.  But it is a fascinating site showcasing research performed by citizen scientists and the intriguing graphics use to explain the findings.  It's also an example of how a little creativity can make scientific discovery relatable and truly bring it to life.

Below I've listed a few you might be interested in:
  • Do-it-Yourself Climate Change Analysis - Although this chart illustrates the impacts of climate change on the global environment, it was created as part of a web-based tutorial on creating interesting graphics using publicly avaiable data sets.  So not only can you produce a similar graph the blog walks you through every step! 
  • Baltimore Trash Migration - This author collected trash around his neighborhood, identified where it was created (e.g., which store a reciept was from) and plotted it on a map.  Also a quick example of local research one can do with little or no training at all.
  • Map of North American Accents - Although this author has a PhD in Linguistics, he created this chart on his own time of all the accents in North America and their connections to each other.  Also a good example of someone using their current expertise but applying it toward their own research interests (not just their employers).
Feel free to click over and wander around a bit.   Hopefully you'll have as much fun perusing the site as I have.  Maybe you'll be inspired to create your own charts too!

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