Many Eyes, a "shared visualization and discovery" service. We talked about the usefulness or otherwise of 3D graphics on the Web earlier this week (and most people agree that 3D is becoming increasingly relevant), so this is I suppose another rich way to present data and content on the Web. The aim of Many Eyes, according to the press release, is to "explore different visual representations of large amounts of data and share it with others to help them collectively make better sense of the information."IBM has just released a new product called
Essentially Many Eyes is a mashup machine for visualizing data! A tour of the site is offered here. Users can upload their own datasets, and/or work with existing datasets on the site.
As the headline for this graph notes, eating large fries gives you more calories than a Big Mac. In the above example, you can select other data types on the left (Total Fat, Saturated Fat, etc) and the graph changes. Also you can re-size the graphs easily. The actual visualization rendering in the browser is done using Java.
Conversations (i.e. comments) are encouraged on the site, to help make sense of the data. So given enough interest, there's sure to be some "collective intelligence" happening on Many Eyes over time. As far as the above graph goes, right now the only comment is: "I guess the best thing to order is the plain hamburger with small fries. You'll get an authentic McD's experience and not die." Which is actually pretty useful advice :-)
Tim O'Reilly also posted on this, including this great comment from one of the developers Martin Wattenberg: "In Many Eyes our goal is to "democratize" visualization by offering it as a simple service." Fernanda Viegas is the other developer.
Many Eyes is available as a service on IBM's alphaWorks Services website, so it is still an "alpha" app. But even now I can see Many Eyes having many uses, across both business and consumer applications. I'm generally excited about the richer forms of content delivery and manipulation we're seeing on the Web these days, so Many Eyes is a promising service.