Posted by Cognito on Sun, Sep 26 2010

All Posts by Cognito

Dodd Frank Visualized


I believe I may be here the first to present all 848 pages of the massive Financial Reform bill, otherwise known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as a piece of word art. Check out the full graphic by clicking on the image above. It was no small undertaking because the size of the file crashed Wordle five times until I worked out to copy and paste the documents in chunks of 200 pages. To put the size of the legislation in context, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address would fit in to it over 1000 times and the Declaration of Independence would fit in to it over 250 times.

One of the reasons I am so taken with Data Visualization and keep writing about it is that the volume of information we receive on a daily basis has grown far beyond our ability to make sense of it. Solving this problem will be the key to the next level of social evolution. The major data providers are devising innovative solutions to this problem every day. But I believe that, just as Facebook and other self-publishing tools, democratized individual presence on the web, Wordle, Timetoast and others will put advanced data manipulation in the hands of individuals. The NY Times just launched VizLab, based on Many Eyes by IBM which features popular visualizations and enables users to create their own.

Blogspot, Wikipedia and Twitter enabled a new generation of content (blogs, Wiki pages and tweets) that didn't supplant but rather enriched existing formats: the novel, the essay, the whitepaper etc. The new publishing platforms like Many Eyes will drive the growth of the data visualization as another, equally valid and ubiquitous form of content. Before long, data visualizations will become as common as blog posts.

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