A Round Up of Thought Provoking Viz from #ttdatavis

Direct from Jeff Knezovich via the Evidence-Based Policy for Development Network (EBPDN):

I’m pleased to let you know that earlier this week, at the Cartagena Data Festival in Colombia, On Think Tanks launched the 2014–15 compilation of the #ttdatavis competition. The compilation, and the competition more widely, aims to inspire think tanks and similar organisations by showcasing real world examples of impactful data visualisation. It also contains useful resources and ‘how tos’ to support think tanks to develop their own visualisations.

This year’s compilation is available as for free download as an interactive eBook (408 MB), which is also available in the iBooks store, as well as a downloadable PDF (100 MB). It includes 46 entries, which emerged from 31 think tanks spanning 19 countries around the globe.

The topics of the visualisations cover a lot of ground. The second round of our competition coincided with the COP20 climate negotiations in Peru, which meant we had quite a few focused on climate change and the environment.

Think tanks may have similar goals and objectives, but this competition clearly demonstrates the wide array of approaches think tanks have toward meeting those goals. We saw both static and interactive visualisations, to be sure.

But beyond that, some took a clear message-driven approach while others developed tools that let the user understand the data more clearly. And while some sought to tell stories about their research, others used visualisations to increase explain government actions (or proposed actions) pushing greater transparency and accountability. And others found success by combining otherwise disparate data sets.

It’s a broad collection that any think tank can find inspiration in.

Following last year’s successful competition, we made several changes to how it was organised this year. Most importantly, we divided the rounds based on the type of entry. The first round was open to static visualisations. The second round was for interactive visualisations. And the third and final round was for the best example of a data visualisation as part of a communication strategy.

We also opened up the competition to any think tank around the globe.

The final resources section includes ‘how tos’, which combine video, images and text, on three main areas: data collection, data cleaning and manipulation and data visualisation. Tools explored include Import.io, Google Drive and Google FusionTables, Excel, Tableau and CartoDB.