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APIs and Data Visualization

by Shyamali Ghosh

“Using your proprietary data in news stories is the best possible kind of promotion for your paid data products because it shows clearly how valuable and useful your datasets are.” Words of wisdom from Infocommerce Group. Data visualizations, particularly maps displaying data, are the latest fashion. These maps are only really interesting, though, when the underlying data is unique or compelling.

The good news is that unique, useful data sets are increasingly common. Publishers from Springer to USA Today have their own APIs that let programmers incorporate data into products, giving end users access to volumes of data on an array of subjects. Other types of companies—for example Trulia real estate analytics and TomTom GPS software—are following suit, gathering data that can offer uncommon insight into their particular niches. This data is most often presented in graphic form, on a map or in another type of visualization, to allow the end user to understand it easily.

The Lead411 data we used to create the map for last year’s Data on Fire post is a good example of this growing data trend. The data is unique, including all funding events nationwide, not just public data. This type of data ecosystem enriches not just the end-users of data-driven products, but also the data providers.

posted by Shyamali Ghosh on January 27, 2014

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