We’ve said a few times that 2010 is the year of data visualisation; ways in which ordinary information can be visualised in a way that is practical and informative at a glance. In the old days, we were limited to visualising only small amounts of information, due to the cost of the materials. Time is money, so only thing we’d pay for, the only thing we could practically use to track and visualise is a diary – a way in which we could visualise our time in blocks over a day, week, month, year.

Now, technology is allowing us to track and visualise almost anything. This is now leading to an explosion of data visualisation (or visualization if you’re American) tools, and now merging art with data.

Here are a few ways people have made data visualisation beautiful:

David McCandless is a guru in this area. He’s a London-based author, writer and designer who “loves pie, hates pie charts”.

Information Aesthetics is designed and maintained by Andrew Vande Moere, a Senior Lecturer at the Design Lab at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Sydney:

Here’s a collection of photos of the Boston Commons and a colour wheel based on the distribution of particular colours. User generated art.

Turn your music listening into a chart

A site that finds tweets based on particular words / terms (I hate, I love, I think) and displays them on the screen in realtime

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