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world clock

the world clock.

geohash offers short URLs which encode a latitude/longitude pair, so that referencing them in emails, forums, and websites is more convenient.


DBpedia is a community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and to make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows you to ask sophisticated queries against Wikipedia and to link other datasets on the Web to Wikipedia data.

us political blogmap It seems that there is an explosion of data visualization work being done on the political process and the Presidential election in the US of A. I just landed on PresidentialWatch08 a site for all you political junkie/blogospheria/dataviz fans. They’ve got a lovely map of influential political blogs and news sites. The project seems to be run by a web analytics company, linkfluence.

Anyone planning anything similar in Canada?

[via infosthetics]

From Wired:

Sources at Google have disclosed that the humble domain,, will soon provide a home for terabytes of open-source scientific datasets. The storage will be free to scientists and access to the data will be free for all. The project, known as Palimpsest and first previewed to the scientific community at the Science Foo camp at the Googleplex last August, missed its original launch date this week, but will debut soon.

Building on the company’s acquisition of the data visualization technology, Trendalyzer, from the oft-lauded, TED presenting Gapminder team, Google will also be offering algorithms for the examination and probing of the information. The new site will have YouTube-style annotating and commenting features.

[Via Open Access News]

Listen to Jon Udell talking to: “Greg Whisenant, founder of, wants every city to make its crime data usefully available to citizens in the same kinds of ways that famously does.”

Ecologo is an excellent example of a Government of Canada consumer data and information service that facilitates the making of informed decisions on how and what to consume.

I discovered it this morning while reading an article about greening computers in the Globe and Mail. I pay attention to electronic waste on my personal blog but think Ecologo is also relevant here as it is a program that provides data on green consumer product certification to Canadians using a rigorous review system. There is also a tinge of national pride here when I read the following even though I know that Canada as a green country is a myth, nonetheless Ecologo was:

launched by the Canadian federal government in 1988, EcoLogo is North America’s oldest environmental standard and certification organization (and the second oldest in the world). It is the only North American standard accredited by the Global Ecolabeling Network as meeting the international ISO 14024 standard for Type I (third-party certified, multi-attribute) environmental labels.

Environment Canada has always been excellent at developing sustainability and other quality of life criteria and monitoring measures. It is one of those interesting departments that is both science and policy, and they stick to good science in their methods to communicate, evaluate and disseminate – budgets permitting of course!

EcoLogoM certification criteria documents (CCDs) are developed in an open, public and transparent process, with a broad base of stakeholder participation including user groups (e.g. procurement associations, institutional purchasers and consumer protection organizations), product producers (e.g. industry members and associations), government / regulators, general science-based representatives (e.g. academics, life cycle experts and other scientists), environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), and other environmental advocates. The criteria address multiple environmental attributes related to human health and environmental considerations throughout the life cycle of the product. Currently, there are 122 Certification Criteria Documents addressing over 250 product types.

You can look up just about anything and discover products in their impressive list. I like that there is a rigorous system in place that is about making informed choices. This is what data are for! They also have an excellent purchaser’s tool box organized by product, category or company.

Hmm! Wonder if we could ever develop a criteria to evaluate organizations on their access, preservation and dissemination of data? What would be the key criteria in such an evaluation? Would an organization get a Free and Open Knowledge certificate (the acronym is terrible! we need Michael Lenczner‘s help here!)? A CivicAccess gold, silver or bronze stamp of data democracy and liberation?

Open Database License (Draft):

This is a beta release, or a draft version of the licence, for comment and criticism by communities interested in licensing databases using copyleft, open content, and related licensing schemes. Distribution of this draft licence does not create an attorney-client relationship. This information is provided ‘as is‘, and this site makes no warranties on the information provided. Any damages resulting from its use are disclaimed.

From (thanks to James Duncan).

Everyscape is about liberating public data from public institutions and finding new ways to make these accessible and useful. So far we have been doing a good job talking about data access, some members on the list are doing some interesting work with postal code files and electoral boundaries, and some of us are writing on this blog to share new technologies, ideas, projects and issues. For the most part and so far cool technology and science examples are from the US and not many derive from home – Canada. Sigh! And alas this one is no different.

Everyscape is really interesting to me as it merges panoramic photographs and a building’s blueprint, a type of data and communication form I learned to draw and read in college, but is generally illegible/inaccessible to most not involved in building things. When I look at a blue print I see the 3 dimensions of a structure and its composition but it is hard to get a sense of space and the place. That’s why architects start with maquetes and sketches. Blue prints happen after that process to communicate to engineers, builders, and workmen (some workwomen) who will actualize the space. This software builds a 3d space from the plane views of the blue print – building’s map – and panoramic photos.

Within each photograph, a user can swivel through a full sphere of motion. To move users from within one panoramic photograph to the next, Everyscape’s servers estimate the locations of the cameras in each photograph and use that information to build sparse 3-D geometry that forms the building blocks for an animated 3-D transition.

The technology is not about getting somewhere it is about being somewhere. When I viewed the MIT hallway 3 MoK video, I was reminded of my architectural walking tours of old Chicago buildings, how my eye navigated the contours, paused at detail, moved through boring stuff quickly to get to a more interesting space.Everscape in MIT Technology Review

This may be a disruptive technology to the 3D viz scientists and 3d modeller geomaticians as google earth was to cartographers and GISers. Mostly though, I like the fact that it seems to make space and place data more accessible, usable, understandable and immersive. Hopefully there will be some interesting public applications!

It is not what you think! It’s a visualization poling tool that shows what people think about a particular politician’s quote during an election, in this case the elections in Australia. Online opinion polls are always tricky, as they are driven by how the question is framed, the media outlet that poses it, they often miss the opinions of the non connected which are often those in rural and remote areas or of lower income or particularly less connected demographic groups. Nonetheless it is an interesting way to get a sense of what a select sub section of a population – connected, urban, msn news reader, literate with new media savvyness – thinks.

Passion PulsePassion Pulse Map

Via my Favorite: Information Aesthetics

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