The latest Release 1.0 is on Information Visualisation. An excerpt from the introduction:
Businesses and individuals alike are drowning in data, and lack robust tools with which either to see overall patterns or to dig up specific pieces of information from this glut. Information visualization offers useful techniques to help solve this problem.
Whereas most of the visual tools we use are designed for presentation of known objects or quantities, information visualization is more open-ended. It is a way of using graphical tools to see things previously unseen: structures, relationships or data obscured by other data. The techniques used make it easier to handle multi-variate and dense sets of data in a comprehensible way, and offer presentation methods customized for particular domains and densities of information.
Information visualization tools give the user a greater degree of freedom to explore underlying relationships in the data set, producing something no spreadsheet can: the gestalt of the data. They also offer novel solutions to the problem of search by presenting the user with richer ways of browsing volumes of data, and by giving them better tools for building complex queries.
As I was reading, I began to think of the Digital Dashboard work we are doing as an Information Visualisation problem. The desktop that we currently see helps us visualise the files and folders that we have. The Dashboard that we are working on must do more than just information organisation. How can we make the Dashboard visualise our digital workspace and relationships – more to the point, how can it place the events that keep happening in the right context? It is not just a matter of putting a few links and boxes, but much more deeper. We need to create a rich interactive envrionment so that, as Clay Shirky puts it, we can have a “conversation with data”.