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Posts Tagged ‘graphs’

Who’s Tweeting About Your Beat? TweetCharts Tells You

There’s a new tool for local reporters and editors, or those on specific topic or business-related beats, to figure out who the top tweeters are about their beats. Thankfully, you won’t need to hire a social media analyst to track this information down. It’s free and as easy* as crafting a phrase or hashtag you want to know about.

TweetCharts, a new site from Hubspot, does the data crunching for you. Just plug in your phrase or hashtag. It searches the past week’s tweets, and then, pops out lots of pretty charts to show your bosses you’re not just wasting your time tracking or participating in the Twitter conversation. The site explains at a glance who’s talking about the topic and generally, what they’re linking to or how engaged they are in the words you’re looking at.


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Social Media’s Long Tail of Industry Disruption

A lot is being made about how Facebook, social media and online communities are impacting / have impacted industry since it first went online, and rightfully so. Facebook and all of the sites that came after it have fundamentally changed how business is done in many different industries.

What I worry about is complacency. Instead of seeing the users of these platforms as a group that will go through life and get older, they are viewed as staid masses who are changing things that we can experience right now.

As power users and even passive users of online communities and social media grow older, and new generations who’ve never known a world without blogs, Facebook, Twitter and high-speed Internet are born, other industries will find themselves in the cross hairs of substantial change.

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News of the World and Twitter, as an infographic

As part of its ongoing coverage of the News of the World scandal involving cell phone hacking, The Guardian has produced a nifty interactive infographic that marries the reaction on Twitter to the story’s development over time.

Much like The New York Times here in the the U.S., the Guardian in the U.K. often makes use of infographics to tell stories, and give added dimensions to stories in other formats.

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Tool of the Day: Google Public Data Explorer

Last week, we talked about the Google Chart Wizard that allows you to create detailed charts and graphs. Google now has a new tool called the Public Data Explorer which combines the power of the Google Chart API with publicly available datasets. Here’s an example:

The Google Public Data Explorer uses datasets from organizations like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Office of Management and Budget from the Executive Office of the President. As you can see in the above chart, data can be filtered and animated across whatever factors are available in the dataset, and even supports geo-location. Organizations can upload their own datasets using an open source XML-based metadata format called the Dataset Publishing Language (DSPL). Example datasets and full documentation about DSPL are located at Google Code.

Visualizations of public data like this can add great context to news stories, and the embedded charts and links update automatically to share the latest data available from the dataset. The Google Public Data Explorer is a Google Labs project, so it is still a work in progress. You can give your feedback at the Google Public Data Explorer Group if you have any feature suggestions.

Tool of the Day: Google Chart Wizard

We’ve talked before about using Google Docs to help build charts and graphs using a simple spreadsheet. But with Google’s newest offering, the Google Chart Wizard, you can build even more robust and dynamic graphs through an easy to use interface with great customization options.

Google Chart Wizard

The new wizard allows you to quickly construct graphs from any set of numerical data without deciphering the mystery of the Google Charts API URL syntax. Right now, the wizard is limited to creating line charts, pie charts, bar graphs, radar charts, scatterplots, and more. Here is a quick graph I put together using a random data set:

Fall 2007 Semester Grades

The great thing about the Google Chart Wizard is the way you can present your chart once you’re done building it. You have the option of sharing the graph using a URL, or you can drop the single line of HTML code it provides you into any content management system. There is even an option to add your graph as a widget using the Google Chart API, which is a great choice for those who want a little more fine-tuned control over the graph’s presentation and functionality.

Aside from charts, you can also create QR codes, which are matrix barcodes that you can scan with your smartphone. The QR code below was generated using the URL for 10,000 Words.

10,000 Words

If you need a little inspiration to get you started, than that’s no problem either. The Google Chart Wizard also features a gallery of example graphs so you can get an idea of the sorts of visualizations you can put together using this handy tool.

Create your own graphs today at http://imagecharteditor.appspot.com.

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