Visualizing data is like photography

Visualizing data is like photography. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you manipulate the lens used to present the data from a certain angle.

[…] After a few minutes of rendering, the new plot appeared, and I was a bit taken aback by what I saw. The blob had turned into a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life.

(via Visualizing Friendships –

It would be interesting to see if this data could show communities like the PLoS One map of Great Britain. As it stands, it’s very pretty, but I can’t see much more than areas of high Facebook use…

(via Flowing Data)