Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UN World Digital Library

Check out the UN World Digital Library, http://www.wdl.org/en/

Just found the following article by Steve Kolowich on The Chronicle's Wired Campus, see source attribution below:

"United Nations Opens World Digital Library"
"In the latest and perhaps broadest effort to provide instant
access to scholarly resources, the United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization today inaugurated its World
Digital Library, a Web site that allows visitors to browse
through a trove of artifacts spanning the history of
civilization. The site, four years in the making, brings
together historical manuscripts along with secondary literature
describing them-translated into seven different languages. The
library includes scanned documents from 27 libraries in 19
countries so far, including a manuscript from ancient Japan that
is believed to be the first novel ever. James H. Billington, the
U.S. librarian of Congress, who heads the project, says all
countries are welcome to contribute. The idea is to use Web
technology to put all of mankind's most precious artifacts in a
single, shared repository." -Steve Kolowich
Quote from
retrieved April 21, 2009

Googlelabs, Newstimeline, Information and Epistemology

One of my favorite e-mail alerts, Information Aesthetics, led me today to Googlelabs' Newstimeline http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com/

which, according to Information Aesthetics,
"organizes news stories and other information by date ..."

Only problem, the first link I see on the page when I go to http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com/ is

"Dancing With the Stars': Mark Ballas now officially my favorite pro..."

Apr 14, 2009, 02:15 PM | by Mandi Bierly

Nothing against Mark Ballas or Mandi Bierly, but THIS IS NEWS??????

To paraphrase from the Bible in a way that may bring down the wrath of God (or maybe not, maybe she will just put something in her blog about it):

"What is news, that thou are mindful of it?"

Am reminded of T.S. Eliot's line:

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in information?"

As an armchair epistemologist, the choices in Newstimeline are fascinating.
As a librarian, I see here, yet again, the need for increased media and information literacy.

Also for me, this was a discovery of Google Labs, and I will rejoice in that. Check it out! http://www.googlelabs.com/

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Social Data Visualization

"The new website Verifiable [verifiable.com] is yet another contender in the now seemingly crowded social data visualization area, which include other free services like Many Eyes, Swivel, iCharts, Trendrr, Widgenie, Track-n-Graph and Timetric. The goal of Verifiable is to "democratize data" as it allows to easily upload data, visualize it, join it with other data, and allows "the world" to interact with it.

Verifiable seems to be unique for its "clean, low-chartjunk philosophy" and its many included functionalities, including the ability to add one-click small multiples, access the data "behind" the visualization, interactively rechart it using different criteria, or to join the resulting visualizations with any other piece of data for comparison."

Quote from Information Aesthetics no_reply@infosthetics.com, received April 19, 2009.

To explore Verifiable go to http://verifiable.com/

Let us know what social data visualization sites work best for you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wikiality from Colbert's Nation

Greetings, So this aired long ago but it is still priceless. Please see Colbert's video on wikiality. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/72347/july-31-2006/the-word---wikiality tinyurl http://tinyurl.com/6dxqd3

While I don't always agree with everything Colbert says, (I am a lot more liberal than he poses to be) this video has food for thought. And evaluating sources is where it is at these days, So please enjoy and evaluate.

Monday, April 6, 2009

OECD Updates Web Tool for Analyzing Regional Statistics

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), "recently announced a new OECD eXplorer [stats.oecd.org], a very powerful web-tool for analyzing regional statistics. The new online geographic visualization is unique because of its focus on regional and states (versus national) statistical data, its large amount of features (from the choice of the color scale to deciding a percentile or uniform distribution) and its slick visual design. The data is based on OECD Regional Database, containing 30 indicators measuring demography, economic and labour market performance, education, healthcare, environmental outputs and knowledge-based activities. As Hans Rosling lectured before, the economic performance and social indicators can vary within countries every bit as much as they do between countries."

Quote is from one of my favorite alert services, Information Aesthetics

Tiny url for link just above is http://tinyurl.com/cgpvuv

For easy access to OECD eXplorer, go to http://stats.oecd.org/OECDregionalstatistics/
Access requires Adobe Flash 10

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Global Economic Forecast Update from the World Bank

Greetings, in responding to a student query today, I came upon an updated report from the World Bank on Global Economic Prospects, which was issued on March 31, 2009

Global Economic Prospects 2009
Forecast Update
March 30, 2009
World Bank


tinyurl for this site: http://tinyurl.com/cfm4pg