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In its almost yearly tradition to help the data-addicted readers between us buying appropriate presents, here is the data-inspired wish list for the holidays.


list_iphone.jpg1. iPhone
Newcomers to this blog can recognize how hip this blog is by the novelty of the first proposed gadget.
Because: An iPhone to a data addict is like crack to a heroine addict. There is no way back. Shown above: The Financial Times app with incredibly beautiful stock market graphs.
However: You will miss the time before-the-iPhone, that is when you had to 'wait' for a time and a place to access rich data.

list_books.jpg2. The Visual Miscellaneum
Because: The book must be beautiful, if it resembles anything on its blog Information is Beautiful.
However: For those insisting such graphs are just 'eye candy', there is Stephen Few's Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis.

list_we_feel_fine.jpg3. We Feel Fine
Because: The infamous We Feel Fine is the classic example of information aesthetics. Nice detail: the book is available as a PDF version on the website.
However: Is the book as good as .... the interactive version?

Editorial Note: I do assume all these book are absolutely great and must-haves, as I haven't seen them in flesh myself. The virtue to receive free review copies and gadgets seems to be reserved to blogs like Engadget. Not an aesthetic data visualization blog.

list_ego.jpg4. Ego iPhone App
Because: Logging into all these self-indulgent online services is too time consuming.
However: We do not care about self-indulgence. Having some overview over historical trends would be nice. Sparklines anyone?
Price: $2.49


list_chumby.jpg5. Chumby One
Because: You cannot have too many information displays in the home. For instance, my own first-generation Chumby is located in the kitchen. That is: after realizing playing with an iPhone while washing the dishes is not that smart.
However: Why is there no Newsmap or Digg Arc for the Chumby?
Price: $119.5

list_wallstats.jpg6. Infographic Posters
Because: Its seems to be quite popular, selling infographic posters online. Take your pick: HistoryShots, FlowingPrints, WallStats, and the recently emerged TimePlots are all competing for that little wall space in your home or office.
However: Isn't that white wall meant to 'rest' your eyes on after straining to all those graphs online?


list_nooka.jpg7. Nooka Zaz
Because: You can subtly show off the coolness of the watch while others figure out what time it is.
However: Might be problematic when you really want to know the time.
Price: $380.

list_decal.jpg8. Infographic Vinyl Decal
Because: You stopped having available wall space after all those infographic posters. Hence, the bath tub, Fridge and kitchen backdrop must be information-enhanced.
However: You can still do it better and go all the way. For instance, tile your bathroom according to a subway map.
Price: $25-$125

list_directlife.jpg9. Philips DirectLife
Because: With this electronic pedometer, web-based statistics and LED-based reward system in one, you want to measure, store and analyze every move you make.
However: As this technology even works when placed in a trouser pocket, you could wait until a service like this becomes the next-generation iPhone app.
Price: $79 + monthly subscription.

list_kindle.jpg10. Amazon Kindle
Because: You want to tell you children you once read books in black-and-white. Think about experiencing We Feel Fine, The Visual Miscellaneum or Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis on e-paper.
However: Hmmm, think about reading We Feel Fine, The Visual Miscellaneum or Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis on e-paper.
Price: $259.

list_measure.jpg11. Measure Me Stick
Because: visualization + kids + measuring = fun
However: For that price, looks like a future DIY project.
Price: $120.

Some of this, and much more, at the infosthetics shop.

Any other suggestions?

4 COMMENTS

Just a heads up: The first printing of The Visual Miscellaneum contains several typos. Some figures are partially missing text while others lack some of their component images.

It's a fun book, but I'd hold off for the holidays and grab a corrected second printing.

Wed 09 Dec 2009 at 9:28 AM
Jim H.

There IS a way back, i've sold mine and i'm so glad, i'll find some cool data visualizations on my next devices, but less captive from an unique firm. I'll be able to use it even if my computers are running free software, too.

Wed 09 Dec 2009 at 12:13 PM

"Editorial Note: I do assume all these book are absolutely great and must-haves, as I haven't seen them in flesh myself. The virtue to receive free review copies and gadgets seems to be reserved to blogs like Engadget. Not an aesthetic data visualization blog."

You gotta ask people for em!

Tue 15 Dec 2009 at 10:18 PM

KindleDX and other sorts should't exist.
Or exclusively for unsignificant recipe books.

Thu 28 Jan 2010 at 6:25 AM
Hi
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