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Investigating data

November 2nd, 2011 by Graham Attwell

The latest in our occasional series of blogs about data.

Although in education much of the emphasis has been on viualising data as an aid to teaching and learning, or to explore network effects, the use of data can be a useful research tool. This simple visualisation below, posted by Mike Herrity on twitpic, shows the depth and length of the present economic recession and also, I suggest, the total failure of political and economic policies to deal with the recession.

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Th second visualisation also deals with politics and economics. It comes from research by the Guardian Data Blog, following the demands of the #OccupytheCity movement in London for the democratisation of the City of London. The City of London is run as a state within a state at the moment, with its own police force and governance, and with companies allowed multiple votes in elections, dependent of the number of employees. Unsurprisingly the finances of the City of London are less than transparent. however, the Guardian did mange to obtain some details about expenditure and produced the following visualisation using the free IBM ManyEyes tools.

Mike Herrity shared his picture without comment. The Guardian appealed for readers help in further investigating the city of London finances. essentially both visualisations can form part of a distributed and loosely coupled research effort, with materials openly published being able to be reused and repurposed in education and in research.

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