ReadWriteWeb and Tableau are pleased to announce the winner of the Tableau User Generated Graph Contest: Rina Bongsu-Petersen and her interpretation of U.S. obesity data (see below).

The judges - Marshall Kirkpatrick, ReadWriteWeb's co-editor; Stephen Few, a leading data visualization expert; and Jock Mackinlay, Tableau's director of visual analysis - found the entry to be not just a powerful tool, but also an indicator of how easy-to-use data visualization is changing the world.

"This entry was able to provide strong analysis with a view of the data that fits the subject, and the result is an incredible story anyone can discover," Mackinlay said. "People will look at it, immediately select their state and see relevant results."

Kirkpatrick sees the contest in a broader context:

"Judging this event, seeing data visualization projects from around the world, was a whole lot of fun. I believe that data is a key platform for the future, and stories drawn from data could become one of the next big forms of DIY publishing. Just like blogging changed the world by making text publishing easier than at any other point in history, then YouTube enabled almost anyone to become a video publisher, and then social networks made it simple to put all kinds of content online - so too will other types of content get brought to life by simple publishing tools that will change the world.

"It was an honor to get to judge what I'm sure will be just the first of many of these kinds of contests. Look out Internet, data visualization is leaving the confines of experts and becoming another tool that any of us can use to change the world."

Rina received more than $3,500 in prizes, including a free trip to Web 2.0 in San Francisco from May 3-6.

Editors Note: This post is part of a series ReadWriteWeb produced in partnership with Tableau Software where we examined interesting data sets relevant to technology trends today. Tableau Public is a free service that lets anyone publish interactive data to the Web in interesting and compelling graphs. Download Tableau Public and you can create interactive graphs, dashboards, maps and tables from virtually any data and embed them on your website or blog in minutes. Once on the Web, anyone can interact with your graph and the data. They can re-embed your work, download the data, or create their own visualizations. Check out Tableau's gallery to see some of the cool graphs bloggers have created. Or learn how to do it yourself in this five minute video.