Information Visualization

Google Trends API coming soon

By | All Blog Posts, Google, Hacks, Web Software | No Comments

Google is planning to release an application programming interface for its Google Trends program, according to Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google. She also said the company would make it possible to download data from Google Trends into spreadsheets. Mayer said she couldn’t provide a time frame for either action.

Google trends has become an valuable tool for me in comparing the popularity of everything from HDTV sets, websites, software, and presidential candidates to vacation spots. I can’t wait to see what kind of mash-ups the web community creates.

7 Email Visualizations for Thunderbird

By | All Blog Posts, Email, Hacks, Information Visualiation, Web Design, Web Software | 6 Comments

Now that I have all my old email in one place, my next project will be to create some visualizations to start analyzing it. What do I mean? I’m talking about graphs, charts, tables, heatmaps, grids, networks, etc that illustrate patterns in the email. For example – I have roughly 40,000 emails (closer to 20,000 or so were sent by an actual human, and fewer still were sent only to me – but I don’t know for sure and thats part of the problem). My goal is to have a set of Thunderbird plug ins that will allow me see patterns like these. These are 7 visualizations I think Thunderbird (or Gmail) needs. If I get a lot of interest, I might actually build them so let me know what you think in the comments (no registration needed but I do moderate so it might not show up right away). Read More

How corporate policy works (joke)

By | All Blog Posts, Email, Humor, Imagination, Observations, Poetry, Thoughts | One Comment

Here is an oldie but a goodie. This story made it’s rounds years ago as an email forward. I’m sure everyone has seen it before but maybe you forgot it – enjoy:



In the beginning was The Plan.
And then came the assumptions.
And the assumptions were without merit.
And The Plan was without substance.

And darkness was upon the face of the workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying, “It is
a crock of shit, and it stinketh.”

And the workers went unto their supervisors and said,
“It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odor thereof.”

And the supervisors went unto their managers, saying, “It is
a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that
none may abide by it.”

And the managers went unto their directors, saying,
“It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong.”

And the directors went unto the VPs, saying unto them,
“It promotes growth and it is very powerful.”

And the VPs went unto the Prez, saying unto him, “This plan
will actively promote the growth and vigor of the company,
with powerful effects.”

And the Prez looked upon the plan, and saw that it was good.
And The Plan became Policy.
This is how shit happens!


Let me share my personal take on this… Read More

Google more popular than sex (at least according to google)

By | All Blog Posts, Google, Information Visualiation, Observations, The Future, Web Design, Web Software | 2 Comments

I was playing with Google Trends yesterday. With a few keystrokes you can satisfy your need for both useless trivia interesting facts and the data to back it up. Where else can you discover that basset hounds are more popular in Hungary, that Hillary Clinton is finally more popular than her husband, or that in spring of 2007, google became more popular than sex:
Here are some more fasinating trends (at least to me). Read More