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Top Ten Best Visualization Tools for Social Media, Blogosphere, Internet & News

Art, maps,imagery and graphs add context and a visual component to numbers, locations, and information. With as much influx of data we contend with on a daily basis, visualization tools allows our brains to take a rest while perceiving content in a different light. In essence, visualization allows us to stop and smell the pixels, in spite of the fact we might learn a few things along the way.

Visualization is a technique to graphically represent sets of data that makes it easier to read and understand. Tools for visualization exist in search, social networks, online communities, mobile apps and desktop applications.

Check out of some of the most unique visualization tools available today and don't forget to vote for your favorite in our Best Visualization Tools POLL at the end of the blog.

 

1- ZenNews

Zensify is a new lifestreaming app for the iPhone that allows you to update, discover and keep track of what's important to you across a multiple networks. ZenNews is Zensify' news aggregator. More than a simple collector of news for RSS feeds, Zensify's 'Smart Analytics' algorithm provides a cutting-edge analysis of the latest breaking news stories from sources in real-time using Zensify's "tag cloud" visualization technology. All articles are available to read as click-thrus and include some of most acclaimed news sources such as the The Guardian, AlJazeera, CNN, NY Times and dozens more.

2- Heatmaps

Heatmap sites like CrazyEgg tracks where visitors spend time on Web sites by utilizing software that creates a heatmap. The heatmap captures users' clicks on each page and presents a visual summary from the "most clicked (red) to the less clicked (shades of blue). CrazyEgg offers free and paid services. With plans up to $99 per month, subscribers can obtain live reporting that shares what's happening in real-time on your Web site and where your clients and prospective customers might be spending the majority of their time. ClickHeat and Clickdensity are two other heatmap tools you might want to consider as well.

CrazyEggCrazyEgg

3- Visualization of the Internet

Perhaps a little more abstract,The Opte Project  has created a visual representation of space that is a described as a "one-dimensional, metaphysical universe" depiction. The data represented and collected here serves a multitude of purposes; including a modeling of the Internet, analyzing wasted IP space, IP space distribution, detecting the result of natural disasters, weather, war, and aesthetics and art (I did preface that this visualization tool is definitely more abstract than the others). Today the images have been used free of charge across the globe and is part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Boston Museum of Science. It has been used in countless books, media and movies.

Visualizing the InternetVisualizing the Internet


 
Comments
Nov 2, 2009
by Anonymous

heatmaps

Thanks for this - very useful! In reference to the heatmaps section, i have just found a new tool that also offers real time videos of browsers sessions on your website. check out www.clicktale.com.

Nov 7, 2009
by Ron Callari
Ron Callari's picture

Facebook & Twitter

Since social networks are all about being social, the visualizations on Twitter and Facebook are  a unique opportunity to acknowledge your friends and followers to show your appreciation of them for being part and parcel of your social networks. It's also a means to communicate to others just how active you are in the social media space.  Numbers are one thing, but what is it that we say about "one picture being worth a thousand words."

Ron Callari is a freelance journalist and editorial cartoonist. His slighlty off-center published work includes trends, social media, politics, travel, humor and political articles.

Follow Ron on the InventorSpot and Twitter.