Monday, November 21, 2011

The Economist has Us Drowning in Numbers - Again

The Economist has yet another excellent video on the 'deluge of data'. This time we are drowning in numbers. The short take is that there are more and more numbers – so much so that we need to learn new names to track the numbers: Giga, Tera, Peta, Exa, Zetta and Yotta - the last being a number with 24 zeros.

The video, however, makes no recommendations as to how we are to understand those numbers, come to grips with what they mean and to use them in productive manners. But then that is what this website is for.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sound As An Element in Visualizations

When I consider the word 'visualization', deep down I want this word to mean something much broader than merely interacting with one's eye-balls. I would like your full body to be involved. There should be touching and whole body movement. After all interacting with the computer should be healthy and not just about sitting there. At some stage in the future there should be smelling and tasting involved as well.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Magazine = iPad That Does Not Work

This video will show you why static, printed images will become 'quaint' within a generation.

Jean-Louis Constanza posted this video of his daughter playing with an iPad and leafing through several magazines. He titled the video A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work and describes its implications:
Technology codes our minds, changes our OS. Apple products have done this extensively. The video shows how magazines are now useless and impossible to understand, for digital natives. It shows real life clip of a 1-year old, growing among touch screens and print. And how the latter becomes irrelevant. Medium is message. Humble tribute to Steve Jobs, by the most important person : a baby. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Muriel Cooper: A Genius in 3D Visualization

Muriel Cooper (1928-1995) set up a group at MIT called the Visible Language Workshop. She was a graphic designer so you might think the title should have been the Graphic Design Workshop, but her life seems to be all about double-clicking into processes and procedures and coming up not only with new designs but new ways of thinking.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jaanga weB3D Road Map: Complex and Contrary

3D holographic image from

The Jaanga weB3D released last week is an initial proof of concept or demonstration of ideas that I have been working on for about 15 years. There's a lot more in the offing, but let's start with what there is now.

What has been shown? Five selected, disparate features include:
  • Low latency response to huge amounts of real-time data
  • It just works: no plug-in, no install, no user intervention required
  • Multivariate analysis in full six degrees of freedom 3D
  • No rocket science. No servers: All code entry-level client-side JavaScript
  • Entirely free, open source software (FOSS)

Future directions include applying the tools to alternate data sets. This means not just to other exchanges or markets but to entirely alternate data sets such as weather and other biophysical phenomena, or sports and other human activities and, perhaps, also non-real-time data that is so sufficiently massive that historical tools could not process such data elegantly.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jaanga weB3D Pre-Release Launched

Screen capture of portion of Jaanga weB3D
Jaanga weB3D is now available for your inspection, comments and suggestions.

You can say its name as "web 3D. or "we be 3D". Your choice.

Please note that this is the high end, top-of-the line version of Jaanga and requires a high-end, fast computer. You will a latest browser that supports WebGL such as Firefox 4 or a recent update of Google Chrome. Internet Explorer will not work without installing a special plug-in from Google.

Jaanga web3D begins to show some of the features that this web site promotes as the future of complex data visualization:
  • Data is updated in near real-time.
  • Variables are viewed as three axes with color and shape adding two more
  • Time is incorporated as the 4th dimension.
  • Views can be manipulated with six degrees of freedom. 
  • A heads-up display provides real-time updates as you mouse over data points.
This is only the beginning.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jaanga geeDoc: S&P 500 Motion Chart


At last, every symbol of the Standard & Poor 500 index displayed in a single motion chart - Jaanga geeDoc SP500.

You can view the instant instant replay of the last 15 to 20 minutes of trading simply by dragging the slider bar at the bottom of the screen.

The S&P 500 is the reference standard of market indices, so it feels appropriate to use this index as the reference standard for Jaanga development. The standard that needs to be achieved is to display as many of the activities as possible of 500 different organizations in as close to real-time as possible while still open to as much technical augmentation and human interaction as possible.

Putting it another way, you must forget how you do it on paper. The current way of proceeding is to look at an entire market (or whatever data set) but only to be able to see one symbol at a time. It's like having some weird camera pointed towards many people walking up and down a sidewalk that can only show you one person at a time.

The Jaanga camera wants to show you everybody - all the stocks - so you can see just how everybody moves together. Everybody avoids that hole in the pavement. They all stop when the light turns red. Real-time data behaves the same way. The era of looking at one item at a time must come to an end. We must begin to see markets and other data as moving swarms. This is the only way to readily identify outliers or black swan events.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

About Jaanga: John Tukey + Exploratory Data Analysis = Awesomeness

John Tukey - courtesy Wikipedia

John Wilder Tukey (June 16, 1915 – July 26, 2000) was an American statistician.

I am not a statistician and, as yet, have only the vaguest notion of the history and development of statistics and the visualization of data. Therefore there may well be even more wonderful figures in the world of statistics to honor. But for the moment John Tukey provides me with more than enough delight and inspiration.

Why is Tukey so cool?

Tukey invents the computer terms: "bits" and "software". Actually there's a byte more than that.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jaanga gDocs: Easy Start to Viewing 50 Stocks at Once

A major objective of the Jaanga web site is to provide you with easy-to-use tools for viewing large quantities of numbers. Certainly some of the techniques presented here may be complex or time-consuming, but there should always also be some quite accessible methods.As they say:
Space travel won't take off until everyone does rocket science in backyards.

The accompanying chart can be use to monitor up to fifty stock symbols and indices. The sample file displays all thirty stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average - all editable, zoomable and clickable. There may be some rocket science here, but it's just serving to make the technology more accessible.

Monday, February 7, 2011

About Jaanga: Tufte is so Old School, Tufte is so New Cool

We can say that Edward Tufte is the world's chief curator on the visual display of quantitative information. As says. Tufte wants you to "show people as much data as possible with as little ornamentation as possible". Tufte has been doing this sunce 1975 and there's probably no one better at doing this than Tufte.

But what is the "this" that Tufte does?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jaanga gDocs: Entire US Stock Market in Single Chart

6,670 Symbols - Every US stock in one chart - Image captured 01-27-2011
Admittedly this chart has too many data points too close together to be of much analytical use, nevertheless this image is remarkable for two reasons.

1. The first element is that any time you load the underlying Google Docs spreadsheet, Google Docs automatically retrieves and updates the data from Nasdaq. Nasdaq publishes data for every stock listed on the NYSE, AMEX and Nasdaq itself. As of today's writing that is 6,670 symbols. The data includes symbol, price, market capitalization, full company name, industry & sector, year of IPO, latest price as well as a link to the Nasdaq web page with latest data. That's over 53,000 fresh data-points that arrive at your desktop within seconds of your asking. And it works every time.

Jaanga hCharts: Timely Update

Screen Capture from Jaanga hCharts 3.02 showing new Trails feature.

A minor update of the Jaanga hCharts applet is now available.

As always there are minor improvements and bug fixes everywhere.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

About Jaanga: The Deluge of Data

Image from the Economist's Special Report on managing information

If you look at the About Jaanga page it says. "The thesis of this web site is that if the world is to prevail over the deluge of data then entirely new methods of displaying that data must be established."

So what is this "Deluge of Data"?

It's been around for some time. The Boston Globe says five centuries: Information overload, the early years.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Processing the Deluge of Data Using Google Docs

Image captured 01-18-2011 - 3200+ stocks on NASDAQ - Apple highlighted

The thesis of this web site is that if the world is to prevail over the deluge of data then entirely new methods of displaying that data must be established.

Some of these methods may require huge data centers and exotic transmission methods. If, however, such methods are to be widely implemented and provide insight to large numbers of people, then at least at some level, the methods must be made accessible and understandable using readily available and inexpensive tools.

I am extremely happy to report that you can create highly insightful charts using Google Docs Spreadsheets that process many thousands of data points in near real-time.

Just as exciting is that the spreadsheets are not demos but display actual usable data. The data is is not delayed, the data arrives in a matter of seconds or so after the actual transaction.

The link below allows you to access three spreadsheets that in total provide you with the current movements of the 6,600+ stock on the three major US exchanges. You can just view a chart but you are really encouraged open up the spreadsheets and use these to create your own charts.

Link to source code: Jaanga GDocs on GitHub