The NYT enters further into the world of user generated content and social networking with its Visualization Lab. With your free NYT registration you can now play with datasets that they provide.
I like this for a number of reasons.
- These tools are easy to use. The NYT is allowing its readers to succeed, and succeeding feels good. Making people feel smart and good seems like a smart way to get people to come back to the site.
- It is an experiment with crowdsourcing. With enough data and people, something groundbreaking might result from people playing with this. It’ll be even more interesting when people can extract their own data from the newspaper’s archives.
- Pretty pictures!
Seattle Public Library has their “Making Visible the Invisible” installation of circ data on display. I know some library out there can take it a step further and export data from the ILS and give patrons some online tools with which to manipulate it. 3-2-1-go!