Friday Picks: FreshMinds’ favourite visualisations of open data sources

Every Friday we bring you the FreshMinds Friday picks – tools and hacks and ideas to help you make the most of digital technologies and to understand how they are helping brands to grow and innovate. This week we’re looking at our favourite visualisations of open sources of data. There’s a world of open data out there – vast amounts of information that can be accessed by the public online and at no cost – these are three examples where that data is presented in a visually appealing way.

Metropolitan Police Crime Mapping Website

The Metropolitan Police Crime Mapping website provides access to detailed information on crime committed across the capital. By entering a postcode, you can pull up comprehensive statistics including annual crime count and crime rate sorted by crime type. But what makes this open data source truly unique is the way that they display their information. In addition to providing a text view, the data can be accessed via a map function, showing the crimes levels in each borough, which really brings it to life

 3D Rendered Tube Map

This incredible 3D map provides real-time data on the location of trains as they travel along the London Underground by using data provided by Transport for London. Once you’ve selected the lines you want to observe, you can sit back and watch as the trains hurdle towards their destination. The map, created by developer Bruno Imbrizi, is a great example of an open data source that’s not only highly informative but visually appealing too.

Google Public Data Explorer

This tool by Google provides access to a number of open data sets from organisations including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund .  Whether you’re looking to discover the broadband penetration in Europe or find out the percentage of self-employed workers in North America, Google Public Data Explorer is on hand to help. Like the Metropolitan Police, Google have realised the importance of integrating data visualisation tools into their site, providing users with the opportunity to use the data to create graphs or charts to help them explore the information. But what really sets this tool apart, is the option it gives users to upload their own data and analyse and visualise it alongside the open data provided.