View MacBookPro Travelogue in a larger map
This map show the route that a new MacBook Pro made from a factory in China to Arizona. Colleague Alan Levine customized a google map. Each push pin (that looks like a MacBook Pro) is a page from a travel diary written by his new laptop. It's worth a few minutes to get a good laugh.
I can just imagine Alan tracking his new computer's journey using the UPS Tracker feature. Think about how having a visual representation of the trip, rather than a stream of time/date stamps and zip codes makes it easier to understand. What's even better is that the software, google maps is free.
It got me thinking again about low-cost data visualization tools. What's out that? What can the tools do? And, in a nutshell, what are some visual information tips?
I didn't have to look any further than the Idealware site and a recent report, "A Consumer's Guide To Low-Cost Data Visualization Tools" to get the answers. The report includes a summary of design principles, some common visual formats, as well as a review and comparison of free/low cost tools. This report is one of many free reports on nonprofit software that Idealware has published over the years.
Idealware has recently launched a fundraising campaign for its Research Fund to cover part of the costs of producing similar reports. I donated with the hope that down the road the next version of data visualization tools report will include low cost or free social networking analysis tools.