David McCandless is justifiably famous for his work at Information is Beautiful but as his bio on the TED website says, his “genius is not so much in finding jazzy new ways to show data [...] but in finding fresh ways to combine datasets to let them ping and prod each other.”
With free tools such as Many Eyes and Tableau it’s becoming easier and easier to visualise data (though making it look beautiful is another matter).
The real challenge now is in finding and curating data to tell a new, compelling story.
An interesting take on skimming and browsing behaviours online, the Times Skimmer is now live on the main New York Times website. In the final release they’ve added the typeface Cheltenham—familiar to readers of their print edition—to the app using Typekit along with sponsorship from Blackberry, adding the commercial aspect noticeably absent in the test version I wrote about earlier. It’s a polished evolution of the idea, very well executed.