The intersection of science and science fiction: Future Tense podcast

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. produces an excellent weekly science podcast, called Future Tense.

I just listened to today’s episode, Future Sci-Fi, which is about the intersection of science and science fiction — how they’ve influenced each other. I’ve heard most of these anecdotes before, but nice to have them pulled together into a well-crafted narrative.

Worth a listen.

Many Eyes: Turning data into pictures

Data is a key part of many stories. IBM’s Many Eyes is a free online library of tools that give you options for visually exploring all kinds of data — even for analyzing text documents. It also lets you share and embed your visualizations.

You can upload your dataset to Many Eyes and apply various visualization types to that data — kind of like using filters on images in Photoshop. You can customize your display.

Many Eyes is a useful tool not just for publishing information, but also for analyzing information to see what the story might be, or where the anomalies are.

Here’s an interactive visualization I just created:

Earlier on Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits I wrote about how you can use some Many Eyes tools like word tree for document analysis.

Many Eyes meet the New York Times: On Oct. 27 launched its Visualization Lab, where anyone can create and share visual representations of selected datasets and information used by Times reporters.

Many Eyes is just one of the projects from IBM’s Visual Communication Lab.

Some REALLY cool news maps

National Geographic
Not surprisingly, National Geographic does an amazing job of using Google Earth to tell compelling stories and get more mileage out of its articles, photos, and other content.

Yesterday I went on a major learning/exploration binge online. I love days like that, when the information and connections all seem to be flowing. Anyway, thanks to my community here on Contentious, as well as E-Media Tidbits, Twitter, and the members-only discussion list of the Society of Environmental Journalists, I learned a ton about the journalistic and news uses of interactive maps.

This was all prep for an interview that will happen shortly. Adena Shutzberg will be interviewing me for the Directions on the News podcast. So in prep for that interview, here are several links to cool news maps that were recommended to me, and notes about why they’re cool…

Malaria Map. Adena told me she plans to discuss the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) mentioned in this Feb 25 Reuters story. The MAP map (love that!) is a Google Earth kmz file. Here’s an animation of what it looks like.

Of all the maps with news or journalistic value that were recommended to me yesterday, these made the greatest impression…

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