Monday, August 29, 2011

Data: Elastic lists of Nobel Prize winners

This site displays the underlying data about the Nobel prize winners by querying the database visually. The queries are very flexible to execute. Selecting a metadata value (filtering the result set) restricts the available metadata values only to those occurring in the results. No situation where zero results are obtained, is never occurred. The queries are also done visually. There is no restriction on the direction which the query is filtered.

The visualization uses a concept called elastic lists. Here, the item sizes in the list are dynamically adjusted in accordance with the proportion of the Nobel prize winners in the corresponding field. For example, if more men received Nobel prize than women, the item size of men is proportionally larger than that of women. It also highlights certain items in a filter, which are dominant in proportion compared to the global distribution as shown below. For example, though the number of men who won Nobel prize are more than women, the number of female winners is very high compared to the global distribution. Hence, the women tab is highlighted with a light color. The number of winners in the corresponding criteria is also display in the item tab of the list.

They also use small bar charts to display the respective metadata value, across time points. They use to fetch data. The click on the final image takes user to the Autobiography of the corresponding Nobel prize winner.