Driving Data

As summer winds along we here at the VisualCue offices are reminded of summer road trips with our parents. Seemingly endless stretches of desert, plains and rolling hills as the entire clan packed up to go and visit relatives.

While some might moan and groan about the tradition of the family road trip everyone here isn’t too proud to admit that we secretly loved them.

It got us thinking, as most things do, about the future. For example, will there ever come a day when the family road trip, while still taking place on the road, will not have that painful stop by the gas station, or even having Mom or Dad drive at all.

That’s right road trippers, today we are looking at data surrounding electric and self-driving cars!

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Memorable Data Visualizations

Memorable Data Visualizations

There is something about the science of data visualization that absolutely captures our imagination. In fact, we used the science of sight and the power of human pattern recognition to create VisualCue in the first place. We saw that there was  problem with spreadsheets and the standard graphs and charts that were used to visualize them- they weren’t very memorable or easy to understand.

So we used icons and colors to present that same information in a different way. After the very first VisualCue experiments in 2007 we discovered a very interesting side effect of our presentation layer: people remembered the data more easily after having seen it in VisualCue.

This week we stumbled across a research paper written last year that finally sheds some light on why.

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Summer Sun

As we look outside of the windows right now in our Orlando offices the weather is sunny and clear.

But remember folks- this is Florida. That nice weather outside could turn into a massive downpour in a matter of minutes.

With weather changes that fast we (of course, seeing as it’s us) figured out that the only thing that could really help us understand the weather was a real-time data visualization.

Luckily the Internet is just teeming with them! We’ve scoured the web and found some absolutely amazing real-time weather visualizations so you can make the most out of our your summer weekend!

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Augmented Data Visualization

Last Friday we wrote about augmented reality for pretty obvious reasons: seems everyone out there is playing Pokemon Go and thus are thinking about different ways that technology can interact with the world around us.

True to VisualCue form we did a little digging after we wrote about it on Friday and are happy to present the results of a weekend of research and reading into exactly how the worlds of augmented reality and data visualization are linked.

We’ll go into greater detail below but just for now let’s put the main point first: the successful blending of augmented reality and data visualization is going to depend on mitigating both visual and information overload.

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It's All Around You

Guess it started when, earlier this week here in the VisualCue offices, one of our data analysts was walking down the hall, phone in front of her face, completely absorbed in what she was doing. While we initially thought that perhaps she was just taking a video of our offices (they are amazing) we were all pretty amazed when she just walked right out the door.

Turns out she was just doing what over 65 million people have been doing lately- playing the latest augmented reality craze Pokemon Go.

Pretty soon the entire office had joined in and we were swapping stories about hunting down elusive Pokemon all around our Orlando offices and homes.

But it got us thinking about augmented reality- it’s a technology that VisualCue has used and continues to develop because we’re convinced that it will be an even more integral part of data visualization in the future.

So we asked around the office for everyone’s favorite augmented reality apps and games and got a list of amazing interactive experiences to share!

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The Do's and Don'ts of Dashboards

In the April 2016 issue of Computers in Libraries author Susan Gardner Archambault brings up a number of interesting points about the use of data visualization in one of mankind’s most storied and worthwhile inventions: the library.

When most of think about libraries we tend to think of shelves of books and people telling us to be quiet no matter how silent we were being.

This article, however, not only sheds light on the modern library but contains useful information for anyone, even those not currently contemplating starting or improving their own library, with some of the major do’s and don’ts of what goes into a good dashboard. And who better to educate us than those who work in the library?

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Data for Travelers

Ah, summer. Just thinking about it conjures up thoughts of popsicles, sports, freshly-cut grass and, of course, the family vacation. Around the VisualCue offices this week we have been talking about where this summer will find us. Some of us are staying close to home and visiting family while others are taking time to go a bit further afield.

Of course, as soon as we thought about where we wanted to go on vacation we immediately started finding some data about foreign and domestic travel and were, as usual, amazed with what we found.

So before you pack those bags for your summer getaway take a few minutes and check out some summer travel data.

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The Death of the Dashboard

VisualCue is a friendly company. Honestly. At heart we are just a bunch of data enthusiasts on a mission to help the world use information better.

But here’s the thing- as much as we might like to be friendly and get along with everyone there is an undercurrent in our mission statement. We believe that the way the world is currently using data could use a little work- if everything were perfect there would be no reason for us to even be here.

We believe that we are at the forefront of progress at VisualCue. And sometimes progressing into a brighter future means leaving some things behind. And that can be a painful conversation to have- eye opening, yes, and necessary, but nevertheless uncomfortable because it admits that we aren’t perfect at something important.

We’re here to help you with that conversation.
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The Data of Food

Maybe it’s because we haven’t had lunch yet, but today we have got food on the brain. And what happens around VisualCue whenever we can’t stop thinking about it? We scour the Internet for data visualizations.

Turns out there are a ton of visualizations out there about food! And it makes sense: everyone eats, and most of us care about eating well, so we collect data about the food we put into our bodies and visualize that data in interesting ways.

So tuck your napkin under your chin and grab those forks, this week we are looking at some of the most impressive visualizations about food!

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