Category Archives: data visualization

Altmetrics for librarians

About 6 years ago a new area of tools was developed that helps collect and measure mentions of research articles online. Altmetrics helps to gather information about research and enables expansion of the understanding of the awareness and potential value of the research. ┬áThe field is known as altmetrics and it supplements the typical information found with citation analysis that form the basis for impact factors. There are a few companies with products and services providing altmetrics. I am working with the Altmetric for Institutions product from Altmetric – a Digital Science company┬ábased in London, UK .

Librarians in research institutions would find this set of tools of interest and can read my paper or watch a presentation I gave about it at the VALA2016 conference in Melbourne, Australia in February 2016. This is the link for it:

Visualization of relative popularity of Internet sites

Saw a Tweet about a very interesting site I recommend looking at: “Infographic of the Day: The 288,945 Most Popular Sites on the Internet”. I am always interested in how information can be shown in more ‘visual’ ways instead of a list of alphanumerics, even if that data is put into a fancy table format. Take a look at the infographic done by Nmap and see what you think.

Popular Internet Sites

This tool is interactive and enables you to search for a particular site, but you must put in the entire site URL for the search to work. Putting in the name of the app (i.e. Foursquare) will yield a ‘not found’ result. Also, it will take a while to navigate around and find the site you searched for relative to the most popular sites. Still, it is an interesting visual way to represent what most times is a boring list of data.

Data Visualization – another way to look at information

Long lists of search results can be overwhelming and may not necessarily give you a ‘big picture’ of your topic of interest. Data visualization tools enable another way to look at information and are particularly valuable to those of us who can manage text, but often think in visual terms. Thanks to a Tweet by Matt Sawyer (@mattuk on Twitter), there is an interesting post on the site showing examples of a number of data visualization tools with links to more information.

One interesting example cited is a depiction of videos from the TED conference on a ‘videosphere‘ by Bestiario that has 3D navigation capabilities. Go ahead and link to this and the other cited tools and I think it will spark some interesting thoughts about the potential uses for information navigation that extend far beyond that provided by library systems and other tools we use in organizations today.

Videosphere of TED conference

Videosphere of TED conference