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The History of the Australian Web [interactionconsortium.com] is a permanent public record of the major trends in the most popular online properties and services of the Australian Internet as they have evolved, and continue to evolve, from 2001 to 2008.

This project is a first attempt to address the gap existing in keeping a public record of the larger and longer-term trends in the Australian online economy, and is a first step toward creating an ongoing picture of the broader landscape and longer-term trends in Australian Internet usage.

The bubble color denotes the category of the websites. Bubble sizes and X and Y-axes of the scatterplot can be configured by the user, ranging from Page Views and Audience Size to Site Name and Time Spent. A timeline allows for animating the graphs according to time.

Thnkx Andrea.



The one thing I don't like are the categories. Wikipedia in 'government'? Really? Gamespot and IGN in 'IT'? Other than that, pretty impressive.

Sat 15 Aug 2009 at 2:04 AM

Looks very nice and is inviting to 'play around' with the data. Reminded me of the OECD Explorer [stats.oecd.org]. I like the fact that the user has the freedom in coupling variables to each of the dimensions (x,y,size) so they can try if variables correlate, or find interesting outlyers (like bebo.com that seems to have a high number of pageviews relative to the number of unique visitors).

The problem I had was to get insight in the behavior through time. Playing the animation gives a nice show of moving colored bubbles but I had a hard time gaining any insight from it, especially in bubble-layout. Maybe things would improve if you could choose the timeline as one of the axis (x or y). Or if, like in Rossling's Gapminder World [gapminder.org], bubbles leave traces to indicate their development through time thus giving insight in 'the rise and fall' of websites.

I was surprised to see that when choosing the same variable for both the x and y axis, the bubbles did not form a straight line...

Mon 17 Aug 2009 at 9:43 PM

Is it built using flare?
The data range is very big and roughly exponentially distributed so it looks like they have used logarithmic scale for reasons of legability. Hans Rosling does the same thing in the Gapminder presentations.
There are no logarithmic surfaces. All two dimensional surfaces are linear and will be interpreted as such as Jacques Bertin showed already some 40 years ago.
To use a logarithmic scale means that you visualize the logarithm of the actual value. Not only is this not stated but there are no reasons to be interested in the logarithm of these values.
This makes the visualization a misrepresentation of the values it claims to show. The same goes for Roslings healt/wealth chart that shows the worlds countries as a linear continuum when in reality the distribution of course is wildly non-linear and uneven.

The size scaling is also strange.
And the whitening of the intersections between bubbles, although aesthethicly pleasing, gives the greatest visual value(white against the black background) to non-data.
Sorry to be so negative. There are good points too as Erik wrote.


Tue 18 Aug 2009 at 1:42 AM
Jörgen Abrahamsson

Just a silly question: it's not the first time I see the bubble animation, but I have no idea what to call it when I describe it in words to someone who has not seen it. Do you have any idea what it is generically called?

Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 3:36 AM

@Hugues: Not sure, maybe: 'animated scatterplot'? Not very descriptive to everyone I'm afraid...

Mon 31 Aug 2009 at 11:53 PM
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