Visual & Media Literacy

Data Visualization 

 "Infographic thinking." This isn’t just "how to make some numbers and vector graphics look clever together." It’s a narrative language--it’s "representation plus interpretation to develop an idea,"
                                                                                                        
Francesco Franchi

David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization

 Infographics aren’t like Powerpoint presentations -- they don’t have to be one-dimensional. In the hands of a Fathom or a Felton, even a static infographic can feel immersive and interactive because of the way it offers multiple paths for discovering stories.                                                                                                                    John Pavlus

Getting Started
  1. Start using infographics in your teaching (exposing students to examples of infographics).  This also fits great with UDL and multiple means of representation…
  2. Give students data related to a concept they are learning and have them practice determining what is the most important point of the data. What is the data telling you? What would be the main question it is answering?
  3. Select an easy tool that they already use the first time they are asked to create an infographic. Remember the tool doesn’t matter, it is the learning and with infographics it just needs to be a tool that allows students to create a graphical representation using images and text. Start with a tool they know, then branch out.
  4. Critique: don’t forget to have students critique infographics from the web and their peers. What makes the great ones great? What could be added or modified with ones that are hard to follow? Teaching students to critique respectfully allows everyone to improve their craft.
  • DataMarket – Find and understand data.
  • The Data Hub – The easy way to get, use and share data.
  • Knoema – a service that offers a huge collection of data sets and maps for public use. video overview Recently, Knoema introduced a Chrome extension called World Data Finder. World Data Finder will correlate information from Knoema's data sets and maps to articles that you read online.
  • Statistics in Schools program for K-12 teachers and students from the US Census Bureau. Using current and historical data, the Census Bureau provides teachers the tools to help students understand statistical concepts and improve their data analysis skills. The program offers free online activities and other resources in geographyhistory, and sociology.
  • Data USA. MIT Media Lab, in partnership with Deloitte and the data visualization startup Datawheel, has just gone live with perhaps the most extensive tool ever created for mining and visualizing US government open data, called Data USA. Easy to navigate and visualize data
  • The GTG Visualization Tool is an interactive global data mapping of hundreds of organizations that support the education, health, well-being, and success of young women and girls globally. Users can select a country or service area and see a list of organizations serving that geographic location, as well as the services they provide and their websites. Currently, the Visualization Tool includes information for 286 organizations.  

    Find the GTG Collaborative Visualization Tool here.

  • Patchwork Nation makes open data easy.  It delivers national data with local context while remaining visually intuitive for the reader.  The interactive map helps break down national data to analyze how it impacts communities.  We put data in the hands of the user, allowing him or her to compare different data sets and explore national data county-by-county.
  • Google Public Data - Filter and animate data sets from around the world.
  • WorldMap – Explore, visualize and publish geographic information.
  • Zip Lookup The map allows you to enter any US zip code to discover demographic data about that area.
  • US Census Bureau – Measures America (people, places, economy). see below
  • Maps & Data section of the U.S. Census Bureau's website is a good place to find that data in a visual format. In the Maps & Data section of the U.S. Census Bureau's website you can explore thematic maps about the population of the United States.
    Applications for Education Census data can tell us a lot about the United States. Comparing census data sets over time can tell us a lot about how the United States has changed through the years. Seeing those changes can be challenging to students when all they have is a data table. Mapped representations the data can make it easier to recognize patterns and make meaning from census data sets. After looking at the maps ask students to investigate
  • Data360 – Telling compelling and data-driven stories.
  • Number Of – You ask, they count.
  • Gallup – Public opinion polls.
  • possible causes of changes in population profiles over time.
  • World Data Finder – is a one-click assistant for a fast data discovery and data analysis.
  • Get the Data – Ask and answer data questions.
  • Influence Explorer – Provides overviews of political influence data for politicians.\
  • datacatalogs.org – A comprehensive list of open data catalogs.
  • Freebase – An entity graph of people, places and things from Google.
  • World Bank Data – The world at a glance (key development indicators).
  • EveryBlock – Uncovers info on large cities contained in government databases.1
  • Daytum – Helps you collect, organize and communicate your everyday data.
  • Gapminder - Displays time series of development statistics for all countries.
  • Munterbund - Graphical visualization of text similarities in essays.


Evaluating Infographics
What INFOGRAPHIC EXEMPLARS can you find and recommend?
Work with a partner or small group to explore the infographic sites and examples below.


Use the Questions below to guide your thinking and discussion:

  1. Look at the examples and identify what you like/don't like about each one.
  2. What is the infographic about? What story is being told?
  3. How are colors used differently in each one? Are some colors more powerful than others?
  4. How are objects displayed on each one? Do sizes of the objects matter in showing the intended information?
  5. How could colors, sizes, and kinds of objects be used to mislead people away from the data?
  6. How do the words support or distract from the message?
  7. Make notes about what you notice and like/don't like about the infographics. Your students will be creating some throughout the year and these notes will remind you of what you visually like to see and will serve as a starting point for you.

 Online Tutorials

Block Posters is a web-based tool to which you can upload a high quality graphic then divide it into letter-sized chunks for printing. Print out each section and put them together on a poster board to make your own poster. Infographics that could be great posters to hang in a classroom if only there was an easy way to print them poster-sized. Most teachers don't have ready access to printers that can handle poster-sized paper, but do have access to standard letter-size printers.

Advice for teachers interested in having students create infographics
Ask students to redesign an existing infographic. That gives them access to all of the data, but allows them to experiment with new layouts, colors and types of charts that are different than what was used in the original design. Then students should be able to incorporate their own original data visualizations into their own reports, presentations or infographics. I’ve seen successful student assignments that ask students to design persuasive infographics about a specific topic covered in class. This requires the students to attempt to clearly show the data that supports a particular position in an attempt to convince the audience.

                                                                                                            Randy Krum. author of the blog Cool Infographics

Tools to create infographics

Piktochart infographics creator   Piktochart has free and premium options.  With the free version, there are seven free infographic templates. Each template can be customized by changing the colors, fonts, icons, and charts on each template.   Visual Guide | 7 Video Tutorials to Help You Create Classroom Posters and Infographics Using Piktochart

VennGage
Select template and then add charts, visuals and interactives to customize the design. video tutorial
Editing Maps
Editing Pictographs

Easel.ly is a tool for creating infographics. Easel.ly provides a canvas on which you can build your own infographic by dragging and dropping pre-made design elements. You can use a blank canvas or build upon one of Easel.ly's themes. If Easel.ly doesn't have enough pre-made elements for you, you can upload your own graphics to include in your infographic. Your completed infographic can be exported and saved as PNG, JPG, PDG, and SVG files. Watch the video below for an overview of Easel.ly. Tutorial video

Visual.ly Not only a good resource for finding infographics, but it now offers a create your own option
Free Infographic Creator Kit for PC

Infog.rm Creates rollovers for charts and infographics. You can now include videos in your infographics. You can insert videos from YouTube and insert videos from Vimeo. To add a map to your Infogr.am infographic just select "map" from the insert menu (on the right side of the editing screen) then double-click on the map to add data to it. When you double-click on the map a spreadsheet will open. In that spreadsheet you can enter country names and data points for those countries. Your map can display data for as many countries as you like. tutorial (second part is infog.rm)


iVisual Info Touch
is an iPad app that you can use to create relatively simple infographics. The app makes it easy to create your infographics. It is not necessary to create an account in order to use iVisual Info Touch. To get started just open the app and select a background for your infographic.  iVisual Info Touch is available in a free version and in a paid version ($2.99). The paid version includes more clip art, more backgrounds, and allows you to import and insert your own images.

Better World Flux is a free data visualization development tool that was created for the World Bank's Apps for Development Challenge. The purpose of the challenge was to encourage app developers to create products that could be used to highlight the development data hosted by the World Bank. Better World Flux allows users to create animated visualizations of development data. To use Better World Flux (no registration required) all you have to do is select a data set from the menu provided and select a country or countries from the menu provided. From there Better World Flux creates an animated data visualization for you. The visualization will change as the years on the timeline at the bottom of the visualization change. This way users can see growth and recession of a statistic over time. 

Visme. Visme is referring to itself as the "Swiss Army Knife for Visual Content." On Visme you can slideshows, banner graphics, and interactive info graphics including musical infographics . Graphs are animated! Your Visme creations can be shared online by embedding them into websites or blogs. You can also download your creations as image, PDF, or HTML5 files. 


The US Census Bureau conducts a wide range of surveys and research that spans far beyond the tallying of people and their basic demographics. With a newly redesigned website, the bureau makes it easy for users to find information they need and highlights a number of useful tools and visualizations. For example, in addition to basic data on enrollment and attainment, the education page has data from several surveys compiled into an infographic, “Education Funding: Where Do Schools Get Their Money? How Do They Spend It?” The site also shines with its selection of interactive tools and databases, ranging from simple games such asPopulation Bracketology, which asks users to choose which cities have more people, to vivid tools such asCensus Explorer, which lets users s can the country block by block and view color-coded data on age, education, income and more. Census.gov serves both as a reference tool for students and as a source of fascinating, interactive data ripe for use in classrooms.

Click Here to Visit Education Web Page

Click Here to Download Free Infographic

Click Here to Access Free Game

Click Here to Access Free Tool


Canva is a service that makes it easy to create beautiful slides, flyers, posters, infographics, and photo collages. Creating these graphics on Canva is a drag-and-drop process.  Canva offers a huge library of clip art and photographs to use in your designs. You can also upload your own images to use in your graphics. Your completed Canva projects can be downloaded as PDF and PNG files. You can also simply link to your online graphic.

15 Free Infographic Design Kits (PSD, AI, and EPS Files) | Free and Useful Online Resources for Designers and Developers Here are some of them: Circular | Chart Button Labels | Colorful Charts | Vector Pack | Chart Icons Pack | Vector Pack 2 | 3D Arrows | Vector Pack 3 | Vector Pack 4 (You can do a search for free infographics kits)


Thinglink Make Your Images Interactive Give photos new life with sound, voice, video, social, and other fun links. Upload image and put tags parts of image to other sites or docs How to Embed Interactive ThingLink Images Into Blog or Website
65 Ways to Use ThingLink

Stipple is a new service that allows you to create interactive images. The service launched in closed beta during the summer. Since the summer Stipple has left beta and has added a free iPhone app for creating interactive images on the go. Using Stipple you can upload an image and tag it with pinmarks. Within each pinmark you can include videos, links, text, audio files, and more images. Stipple also gives you the option to track where your images are viewed and shared by others. The video


Map a List turns Google Spreadsheet information into Google Maps placemarks. The finished product is a Google Map of the information you've selected from your Google Spreadsheets. To create a map from your spreadsheets you need to register for a Map a List account and give it access to your Google Docs account. Map a List then walks you through each step of selecting a spreadsheet, defining the parameters for your map, and choosing placemarks. Just like in Google Maps you can customize the placemark icons that are used in your Map a List displays. Your maps can be shared publicly or privately. Your maps can be downloaded as KML files to use in Google Earth.

Dio
turn your photos into interactive experiences to share. Just upload a picture, then tag it with interactive hotspots
to add photos, text, and videos. You can even create an interactive album by linking to
other images.


SlideRocket infographic templates
Includes interactive and animated templates


Two Graphics Editing Programs that can be Used for Creating Infographics from a blank Page

  • Splashup
  • Sumo Paint
  • Inkspace  It has a simple and intuitive interface and besides being able to create your own inforgraphics, it also allows you to import your visualisations and combine them with other visuals to create your own. ( It requires download )
StatPlanet This one here allows users to create map visualisations and share them with others. It can be used either within a browser or download the software.

StatWorld contains more than 400 world maps of data on topics in economics, education, health, environment, the digital divide, and much more. You can explore the maps by selecting a data set and then a display format. You can also choose to display the data for all countries or only the countries that you wish to compare.
Applications for Education StatWorld could be a good tool to have students use to compare the economic development of countries and regions. Have students compare data sets from multiple categories and ask them to try to develop cause and effect relationships between the data sets. For example, can they find a connection between the duration of compulsory education and GDP per capita?


Create an infographic from social media sites
Icon Archive Search through more than 297000 free icons. Browse icon sets by category, artist, popularity, date.

The Noun Project is a great collection of clipart of universal icons.

Venngage is a new site that is ideal for creating infographics.

Tableau This works just on Windows. It allows users to create interactive visualisations with colourful and unique themes. They can also share them with others or embed them in their websites. It is very easy to use

5 Simple Tools for Creating Infographics Ideas using, maps, Venn diagrams, word clouds, graphic organizers, and periodic tables

Quick and easy tool for creating data visualizations Silk.co's updated tools for creating data visualizations. you can upload data in a spreadsheet, manually enter data, or use one of data sets that Silk provides in their gallery. Once you've uploaded data or selected it you can use it to create fourteen different visualizations. video tutorial

Venn

Hohli is an easy-to-use free online application that lets you create venn diagrams in just a few seconds.
Make Sweet is a fun free online tool that allows you to quickly create a neat-looking 3D venn diagram consisting of two circles. The best part of it is that you can also create fun image based venn diagrams for a more popular visual effect

Spreadsheet Integration
  • Google Fusion Tables - A spreadsheet application that makes it easy to create visualizations of data sets. At a basic level it can be used to visualize existing data sets with one click. At a deeper level, you can compare your own data sets and create visualizations of those comparisons. The types of visualizations include tables, maps, charts and graphs.
    Google Fusion Tables

    Video Overview
    |tutorials

  • Map a List a tool to turn Google Spreadsheet into Google Maps placemarks. To create a map from your spreasheet you need to register for a Mapa a List account and give it access to your Google Docs account. Map a list walks you through each step. Within Google spreadsheets there are many gadgets that can be used to create cisualization of data. To explore the gadgets , go to the "Insert" drop-down menu then select gadgets.

  • Spreadsheet Mapper Google Spreadsheet script that will allow you to create KML files based on your spreadsheet data. Spreadsheet Mapper 3 allows you to map up to 1,000 placemarks based on your spreadsheet data. And because Spreadsheet Mapper 3 is a part of Google Docs you can share your spreadsheets and maps for collaborative editing. Click here for complete directions on how to use Spreadsheet Mapper 3.

  • Batcheo Create a spreadsheet with an address column (and any other columns of info), copy and paste it at batchgeo.com, and click “Map Now” and you get a beautiful google map showing all the addresses! Tons of options to customize, and much of it for free! No need to even log in! tutorial 1 tutorial 2

  • Touchgraph Visualize spreadsheets in a graphic organizer format. Upload a spreadsheet and this application will transform into a graphic organizer to help see interrelationships. 
  • ChartsBin create mapped data visualizations. It's also a place to find data visualizations created and shared by others. The gallery of data visualizations include categories for education data, environmental data, and lots of economic data. All of the visualizations in ChartsBin can be embedded into blog posts and webpages. To create your own visualizations on ChartsBin you do have to provide your own data sets. You can upload data sets that you have stored on your computer. Once your data is uploaded you can customize the visualization of your data. The video  offers a short overview of the process (the video does not have sound). 
  • Charts - Graphs
  • Gapminder (Tutorial video ) A tool that allows the user to present a huge amount of world data visually, in moving, interactive graphs. video presention at TED  Gapminder has a page for educators on which they can find thematic animations, graphs, quizzes, model lessons, and a PDF guide to using Gapminder. For teachers working in schools with slow Internet connections or very strict filtering, Gapminder has a desktop application that you can download and install for Mac or Windows computers. This video demonstrates Gapminder desktop.

  • Many Eyes Data visualization tool provides the structure to present data 16 different ways. Helps to discover correlations between data sets. How to use video

  • Chart Chooser

  • Circos - great tool for creating infographics - present data within a circle

  • Debategraph is in a category all its own. It visualizes arguments,

  • Infog.rm Creates rollovers for charts and infographics.

  • Graphmaster  - Graph Master is a program is a one-of-a-kind program that allows students to create three different interactive, printable graphs on one screen based on data collected in a survey or poll of their classmates. What makes Graph Master so useful, however, is the fact that after students make their graphs, the program asks them eight multiple choice questions about their graphs using the inputted data.

  • Create a Graph Graphs and charts are great because they communicate information visually. For this reason, graphs are often used in newspapers, magazines and businesses around the world. Sometimes, complicated information is difficult to understand and needs an illustration. Other times, a graph or chart helps impress people by getting your point across quickly and visually. Here you will find four different graphs and charts for you to consider to use.. (gr. 2-8)

  • ChartGizmo - an incredible chart builder for any type of data that can be typed or uploaded to this tool. is a nice tool for creating a variety of charts for online display.

  • Useful Charts - A wonderful collection of charts on any number of subjects.

  • iCharts - A site for creating an online interactive chart, either from scratch or a spreadsheet.

  • Hohli Online Charts Builder Using the Hohli Online Charts Builder you can create bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, Venn diagrams, scatter plots, and radar charts. Your chart will be generated as you enter information so that you can see how each piece of information influences the chart. When you're satisfied with your chart just click on it to save it to your computer or to grab the embed code to use on your blog or website. Because the charts update as each new piece of data is added, students will be able to see how each data set they add affects their chart's display.

  • AmCharts is a set of JavaScript (HTML5) and flash charts for your websites and Web-based products. An ideal tool to generate charts for your interactive infographics.

  • Google Chart Tools Provides several tools for making data more comprehensible.
  • Choose  a Graph Find the right chart type for your needs. Then download as Excel or PowerPoint templates and insert your data.
  • Graphviz Website  Graphviz is graph visualization software. It has several main graph layout programs with web, interactive graphical interfaces, auxiliary tools, libraries and language bindings.

  • Rich Chart Live 

    RCL is a great new site where you can create animated/flash based charts. What separates this online tool from others is its simple user interface and it's unique interactive design. Plus, it has a feature to import existing data, so if you have an excel spreadsheet you can easily upload it too. Another great feature is the ability to either export to Flash/PP or your blog/website.


  • Hohli An intuitive, simple online chart maker. It’s incredibly easy to pick your chart type, add some data, vary the sizes and colors and see the finished chart. The finished charts are also very well designed and look great!

  • The Global Economy.com is a nice resource developed for high school and undergraduate students. It  provides guides to understanding the economies of individual countries and the global economy in aggregate. It offers a database of articles about the economies of individual countries. You can select any country from the list of more than 200 to find basic economic indicators about that country. The country profiles include not just the data associated with economic indicators, but also explanations of the indicators, and graphs of the data in comparison with other countries. For visual comparisons of economic indicator data There is an easy-to-use comparison tool. On the comparison page you can select a set of data and the countries that you want to compare. The comparison is then shown in the form of a graph.

  • Visuals Engine provides six customizable templates for creating choice boards, story boards, schedules, and achievement charts. To use the Visuals Engine just choose a template then choose images or upload images for each box on your chart. You can type text to accompany each image on your charts. When you've finished editing you can print your chart or save it as a PDF.

  • Lucid Chart - A nice site for creating a variety of different charts and diagrams. Also, it is a very easy site to use with a drag-n-drop interface. Best of all, Lucid Chart has an educational portal which allows chart creation free for education.

  • Pretty Graph - A simple site to use to make a wide variety of graphs, such as: line charts, histograms , and more. Also, a user can embed into a site, share with others users via email, or save as template.

  • A Graphic Interpretation Students use data provided in a Times article to create a graph or chart
    Teacher Instructions|Student Sheet

  • Activity Sheet: A Graph Is Worth a Thousand Words, or At Least 50
    Students write a textual explanation of a graph clipped from The Times
    Teacher Instructions |
    Student Sheet

  • Google Graphs  You can now search for a mathematical function and have an interactive graph generated at the top of your search results. You can zoom in on the graph and explore each function in detail.Similaries to Wolfram Alpha.
Unique Tools: maps, census data, animations, pictures
  • Icon Archive Search through more than 297000 free icons. Browse icon sets by category, artist, popularity, date.
  • Historical Infographic Students will use chronological sequencing to demonstrate the relationship between events and developments in different periods and places.
  • Venngage is a new site that is ideal for creating infographics.
  • MappingWorlds the site offers users a new way to look at the world by resizing countries on the map in relation to a series of global issues. 
  • Thematic Mapping Engine provides users with a very simple way to create Google Earth kmz files. Thematic Mapping draws on data provided by the United Nations to create maps depicting all types of development data and environmental science data. Users select a statistical indicator category, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. If you're using a Windows computer you can preview your files before downloading them.
  • UN Stat Planet Map allows you to create useful mapped displays of UN development indicators data. There are ten data categories from which you can choose. Within each category there are further refinements possible. You can customize the map to present sharper contrasts between the data indicators, change the indicator symbols, and alter the map legend. To visual the change in data over time, use the time slider at the bottom of the map. Your maps and the data that they represent can be downloaded as PNG and JPEG files for printing.
  • Patchwork Nation makes open data easy.  It delivers national data with local context while remaining visually intuitive for the reader.  The interactive map helps break down national data to analyze how it impacts communities.  We put data in the hands of the user, allowing him or her to compare different data sets and explore national data county-by-county.
  • The US Census Bureau conducts a wide range of surveys and research that spans far beyond the tallying of people and their basic demographics. With a newly redesigned website, the bureau makes it easy for users to find information they need and highlights a number of useful tools and visualizations. For example, in addition to basic data on enrollment and attainment, the education page has data from several surveys compiled into an infographic, “Education Funding: Where Do Schools Get Their Money? How Do They Spend It?” The site also shines with its selection of interactive tools and databases, ranging from simple games such asPopulation Bracketology, which asks users to choose which cities have more people, to vivid tools such asCensus Explorer, which lets users s can the country block by block and view color-coded data on age, education, income and more. Census.gov serves both as a reference tool for students and as a source of fascinating, interactive data ripe for use in classrooms.

    Click Here to Visit Education Web Page

    Click Here to Download Free Infographic

    Click Here to Access Free Game

    Click Here to Access Free Tool

  • 5 Simple Tools for Creating Infographics Ideas using, maps, Venn diagrams, word clouds, graphic organizers, and periodic tables
  • MapStory is a free tool for creating mapped displays of data sets. Data sets that are time based, the travels of Genghis Khan for example, can be set to play out in a timeline style on your map. Creating a MapStory might look complicated at first glance, but it's actually quite easy to create a map. To get started select a data set or sets that you want to display on your map. You can choose data sets from the MapStory gallery or upload your own. The notes option in MapStory lets you create individual events to add to your map and timeline. Lines and polygons can also be added to your projects through the notes feature in MapStory.
  • Free Infographic Creator Kit for PC
  • Timelapse is an incredible visual satellite timeline powered by Google.  Timelapse is about as close as you can get to a time machine, if that time machine hovered above the earth and gave you a bird’s eye view of development and change. Students can choose from some highlighted Timelapse views including: Las Vegas, Dubai, Shanghai, Oil Sands, Mendenhall Glacier, Wyoming Coal, Columbia Glacier, and Lake Urmia.  Alternatively, students can use the search box to view a satellite timelapse of any place in the world. Students can change the speed of the timelapse, pause the satellite imagery, and zoom in or zoom out.  The imagery begins in 1984 and goes through 2012.
    Timelapse The site itself sparks lots of questions.  Depending on the location, students may inquire into climate change, history, development, expansion, human impact on land, satellites, etc. Timelapse could also be used in science classes and history classes. This is a great tool for students to use to analyze and evaluate visual data.
  • Google Data Explorer The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings.
  • GeoCommons provides excellent tools for creating and sharing map-based data visualizations. Users can select a from twelve base maps to build upon. Use GeoCommons to create visualizations in which they attempt to show correlations between physical geography datasets and human geography datasets.After choosing a base map users can select from more than 49,000 public data sets or upload their own data sets. Map creators can add more than one data set to their maps. To complete the visualizations users can specify colors, shades, shapes, and apply numerous filters to determine what is or is not displayed from their chosen data sets. Completed maps can be shared as KML files or embedded into blogs and websites. These two videos  provide an introduction to creating maps with GeoCommons. video 1 | video 2

  • If it Were My Home is a country comparison tool where students can compare living conditions in their own country to those of another.

  • StatSilk Search for interactive maps that compare economic, social and human development and create your own maps
  • StatWorld contains more than 400 world maps of data on topics in economics, education, health, environment, the digital divide, and much more. You can explore the maps by selecting a data set and then a display format. You can also choose to display the data for all countries or only the countries that you wish to compare.


    Applications for Education
    StatWorld could be a good tool to have students use to compare the economic development of countries and regions. Have students compare data sets from multiple categories and ask them to try to develop cause and effect relationships between the data sets. For example, can they find a connection between the duration of compulsory education and GDP per capita?

  • BatchGoo Fast way to create google maps from your data. It accepts addresses, intersections, cities, states, and postal codes. We do the hard work of figuring out where all your data lives in the real world. You can sort the placemarks on the maps, e.g., perhaps you want only to show cities by population. Can upload easily to a Website also.  video

  • Heat Map Tool is an  online service for creating mapped  representations of your data. A heat map allows you to quickly visualize spatial data using a range of colors, and when combined with the power of the Google Maps API, visualizing location information has never been easier
  • Google Maps Mania Terrific site for finding maps that zero in on economic and political issues, e.g., states and countries poverty levels or worldwide slavery.

  • Animaps is a service that was built for the purpose of allowing users to create animated Google Maps. The basics of creating maps in Animaps is very similar the process for creating maps in Google Maps. The main benefit of using Animaps over Google Maps is that you can create a tour of your placemarks that plays through according to the timing that you specify. Another benefit is that you can build in colored shapes to expand and contract to demonstrate patterns. You can also import images to your map from Flickr, Picassa, and Facebook.

  • Target Map is a service that allows anyone to create mapped displays of data sets. Users of Target Map can importa and map their own data sets, use data sets from other users, use data sets found online, or manually input data onto a map.

  • IndieMapper Make thematic maps from geographic data

  • Flowing Data infographics and demo examples how to create ones

  • World Map developed by the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. You can build some great mapped data visualizations on the service You can use the more than 1800 data sets that are stored in the service or you can upload your own data sets. The majority of the data sets in the World Map library have abstracts explaining a bit about the purpose and scope of the data. There are five default base maps that you can choose to build upon. Alternatively, you can choose to create your map completely from scratch and upload your own base layer to build upon. Maps that you create on World Map can be embedded into a website, printed, or viewed in Google Earth. Watch Video


  • ikiMap is a free service for creating custom maps online. The service allows you to build custom maps on top of Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Open Street Maps. You can also use a completely blank canvas and upload a map. The maps that you create on ikiMap can be shared publicly or privately. Your maps can be constructed collaboratively on ikiMap.
    To create a custom map on
    ikiMap you do have to register on the site and confirm your registration in an email. Each placemark you add can contain text, images, links, and embedded videos. ikiMap provides easy-to-use tools for drawing shapes. Upload feature to import data sets and KML files. You can download your maps from ikiMap as KML files to use in other applications. An online alternative to Google Maps that offers a little more in terms of customization features.

  • Knoema is a huge collection of data sets and maps for public use. Knoema offers data maps and charts for almost every country in the world. There are dozens of data categories to pick from. Some of the data categories that you will find include GPD Per Capita, Government Debt, Migration, Housing, Energy Consumption, and Agricultural Production. To find a data map or chart on Knoema to use with your students first select a data set then choose a country from the drop-down menu tied to each data set. Each data set, map, and chart can be exported downloaded and or embedded into a blog post or webpage.

  • Surging Seas, produced by ClimateCentral.org, is an interactive map of the potential impact on the United States of rising sea levels. The map allows you to click along coastal areas on the east coast and west coast to see how high the sea level could rise. The Surging Seas maps also project the number of people, homes, and land area that could be affected if the projections are correct.

  • What About Me? is a free infographic generator from Intel. The purpose of What About Me? is to create infographics based on your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube activities. The infographic created includes parts of your recent Facebook posts, when and what you post about on all three networks, and What About Me? even evaluates the average tone of your messages (mine are neither angry nor overly happy in tone). When your infographic is complete, you can download it from What About Me? It could be a good tool for getting students to look at their social media footprints. This could be particularly important for high school students applying to college as well as for students looking for jobs.

  • MDG Maps Could be a useful tool for students of georgarphy, political science and global economics. Data maps are good for providing students with a ameans to visually compare data sets. I can see MDG as being a resource for students to quickly compare development indicators of countries in a regions or continent. Use the comparisons students make as the jumping-off point for research into the causes and solutions of development inequalities between countries
  • Worldmapper: The world as you've never seen it before
    A collection of world maps. where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are nearly 600 maps. Maps 1- 366 are also available as PDF posters  World Mapper offers a unique way to look at data sets. World Mapper hosts a large collection of over maps displaying all types of scientific, economic, historical, and demographic data. World Mapper uses density-equalizing maps to display each country and continent differently based on each data set. For example the birthrate map displays countries with a higher birthrates as larger than normal (standard projection) when compared to countries with a lower birthrate which displayed smaller than normal. 

    World Mapper makes hundreds of the maps available PDF files that can be used to create posters for your classroom (click here for a land area map). World Mapper also makes available, as pdf files, the data sets used in the creation of each map. 
  • Mapmaker interactive at national geographic site

  • UN Stat Planet Map allows you to create useful mapped displays of UN development indicators data. There are ten data categories from which you can choose. Within each category there are further refinements possible. You can customize the map to present sharper contrasts between the data indicators, change the indicator symbols, and alter the map legend. To visual the change in data over time, use the time slider at the bottom of the map. Your maps and the data that they represent can be downloaded as PNG and JPEG files for printing.
  • Flare Website Flare is an ActionScript library for creating visualizations that run in the Adobe Flash Player. From basic charts and graphs to complex interactive graphics, the toolkit supports data management, visual encoding, animation, and interaction techniques.

  • UUorld - AMAZING! Immersive mapping environment, high-quality data, and critical analysis tools. Explain the world in maps. Depict data geographically and over time. WATCH the intro. video at the site.

  • Vidmap, lets users create maps that work in tandem with online video, displaying the location that appears in the video on an adjacent dynamic map.

    The process to create a map is surprisingly easy: upload a video to Vidmap or use one already hosted on YouTube and click the map to create drag and drop markers. The result is a map that has an added layer of dimensionality and visual interest.

  • Spotzi Website  Spotzi is a world map reflecting different themes such as Agriculture, Climatology, Meteorology, Business, Health & Diseases, Transport and Communication, Environment and Conservation, Military, Geology and Biology
  • UMapper  Quickly create, edit and annotate maps with this web based tool. Mapping services to choose from include: Bing, Google, Yahoo and Openstreet. Maps can be tagged, routes created, and media embedded within the map (audio & image). Once a map is complete it can be shared or embedded.
  • Batcheo Create a spreadsheet with an address column (and any other columns of info), copy and paste it at batchgeo.com, and click “Map Now” and you get a beautiful google map showing all the addresses! Tons of options to customize, and much of it for free! No need to even log in! tutorial 1 tutorial 2
  • IMF's Data Mapper If you're in need of a good visual representation of the World's economic outlook, check out the IMF's Data Mapper. The IMF Data Mapper allows you to see the current, past, and predicted distribution of wealth around the world. Use the slider tabs on the IMF Data Mapper to change the map's display.

  • Scribble Maps Edit and make notations on Google Maps with this web based mapping tool. Features include: text, image & markers. Final product can be saved and shared with an embed code.

  • Umapper UMapper is a mapping tool for educators. It allows its users to create and manage interactive maps and geogames online. These maps can be shared with others or be embedded in blogs and websites

  • MapTiler This a tool that allows users to create overlay of standard maps like Google Maps, and Yahoo Maps and can also be visualized in 3D form.

  • Build A Map This is another cool tool for teachers to create maps. Build A Map is powered by Google Maps and provides a wide range of tools to easily build interactive online maps.

  • World Map This one here is being developed by Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University and allows users to easily build their own mapping portal and publish it to the world or to just a few collaborators.

  • Map Faire This is a cool tool for teachers to create awesome maps and share them with their students. Map Faire has a simple and student friendly interface and is very easy to use.

    If It Were My Home A Google Map tool that allows you to compare the size of the BP Oil Spill to your community. If It Were My HomeIf It Were My Home will also show you a size comparison of a selected country centered over your hometown. now offers a feature for quickly comparing ten key statistics about life in different countries. To view the comparisons just select two countries from the lists and click compare. 
  • ChartsBin create mapped data visualizations. It's also a place to find data visualizations created and shared by others. The gallery of data visualizations include categories for education data, environmental data, and lots of economic data. All of the visualizations in ChartsBin can be embedded into blog posts and webpages. To create your own visualizations on ChartsBin you do have to provide your own data sets. You can upload data sets that you have stored on your computer. Once your data is uploaded you can customize the visualization of your data. The video  offers a short overview of the process (the video does not have sound). 
  • Animaps Animaps extends the My Maps feature of Google Maps by letting you create maps with markers that move, images and text that pop up on cue, and lines and shapes that change over time.
  • Target Map is a new service that allows anyone to create mapped displays of data sets. Users of Target Map can importa and map their own data sets, use data sets from other users, use data sets found online, or manually input data onto a map.

  • Better World Flux allows users to create animated visualizations of development data. To use Better World Flux (no registration required) all you have to do is select a data set from the menu provided and select a country or countries from the menu provided. From there Better World Flux creates an animated data visualization for you. The visualization will change as the years on the timeline at the bottom of the visualization change. This way users can see growth and recession of a statistic over time.
  • Social Explorer   provides easy access to census demographics about the United States from 1940 to 2000. The free public edition offers a collection of interactive demographic maps of census data that can be viewed, queried, and manipulated. Students can visually analyze and understand the demography of the U.S., their regions, and their neighborhoods, creating their own queries and parameters.

    Tools include zoom-in capability, selection of variables, the option to create a slideshow enabling comparative dataset mapping, and printing.
  • Storify  It is an application that allows  users to create engaging stories out of tweets . You can also  create stories using social media and turn what people post on social media into compelling stories .
  • Map a List is a free tool that you can use to turn Google Spreadsheet information into Google Maps placemarks. To create a map from your spreadsheets you need to register for a Map a List account and give it access to your Google Docs account. Map a List then walks you through each step of selecting a spreadsheet, defining the parameters for your map, and choosing placemarks. Within Google Spreadsheets there are many "Gadgets" that can be used to create visualizations of data. To explore the gadgets that will work with your data, go to the "insert" drop-down menu then select "gadgets."

  • The UN Stat Planet Map allows you to create useful mapped displays of UN development indicators data. There are ten data categories from which you can choose. Within each category there are further refinements possible. You can customize the map to present sharper contrasts between the data indicators, change the indicator symbols, and alter the map legend. To visual the change in data over time, use the time slider at the bottom of the map. Your maps and the data that they represent can be downloaded as PNG and JPEG files for printing.

  • GeoCommons provides excellent tools for creating and sharing map-based data visualizations. Users can select a from twelve base maps to build upon. After choosing a base map users can select from more than 49,000 public data sets or upload their own data sets. Map creators can add more than one data set to their maps.

  • Visual Ranking Tool by Intel The Visual Ranking Tool makes the process of ranking items and comparing lists easy. With a simple click and drag, students move items to any position in a list. Working in teams, they collaborate and negotiate their reasoning. The comment feature of the tool gives them a place to record this rationale.

  • Seeing Reason Tool by Intel With the Seeing Reason Tool students create visual maps of the factors and relationships in a cause-and-effect investigation.
  • City Data is a free directory of statistics about US Cities. The type of data sets that you will find on City Data includes all the typical information you'd expect to find like housing prices, demographic data, and job data. City Data also provides information about things like cell phone coverage, quality and availability of public transportation, and air quality. The data is arranged in list form, in graph, and chart form. Beyond the statistics available on City Data, all of which you could find on other websites, there is a great discussion board.

  • Exhibit 2.0 Exhibit lets you easily create web pages with advanced text search and filtering functionalities, with interactive maps, timelines, and other visualizations. No need for complex database and server-side technologies.
  • Showing Evidence Tool by Intel The tool provides a visual framework to make claims, identify evidence, evaluate the quality of that evidence, explain how the evidence supports or weakens claims, and reach conclusions based on the evidence. 

  • GeoCommons Maker!  "Professional cartography is now in your hands. Maker! was designed by cartographers with an eye for detail. Style your map with shaded thematics, proportional symbols, and more. Maker! makes the tough statistical and cartographic decisions for you. Anyone can build complex, data-rich maps."

  • Ushahidi is a nonprofit, open-source software company that develops a Web platform that makes it easy for people in any part of the world to disseminate and collect information about a crisis. Users can submit reports by text message, e-mail, or Web postings, and the software aggregates and organizes the data into a map or timeline. In addition to its crisis-mapping software, the company has also  launched a product called Swift River that uses machine-learning algorithms to extract and organize accurate information from the flood of e-mails, text messages, blog posts, and tweets that can seem overwhelming in the first days of a crisis.

  • Visual Schedules - best for younger students.

  • Inkscape is a free vector graphic software available for many platforms. This is the ideal free option for the creation of your overall infographic. Simple and intuitive, you should have no problems importing your visualizations and combining them with other visuals to create your masterpiece.
  • aiSee reads a textual graph specification and automatically calculates a customizable graph layout. This layout is then displayed, and can be interactively explored, printed and exported to various graphic formats.
  • See concept map page

 "Infographic thinking" doesn’t let designers to interpret a narrative visually; it lets them invite the viewer [to] join in the process of interpretation, too. It’s what makes infographic design a language, not a formula or a fad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Francesco Franchi

Resources of infographics to explore and analyze

Think - Pair - Share activity for exploring infographics

  • Google Images - Do a search on Google Images for a topic, e.g., "pollution infographic"
  • Google Data Explorer ​The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings.
  • Information is Beautiful - good simple examples of infographics from McCandless’s Blog (TED Video)
  • Tax dollars in 2013

Making Information Beautiful 

Gapminder: Hans Rosling's new insights on poverty

With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world. 

 

 <-- MIT SENSEable City Lab, which explores the "real-time city" by studying the way sensors and electronics relate to the built environment. Watch some examples of dynamic infographics controlled by live sensors.

 
 
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