Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Potential Perils of Visualization

James Fallows recently shared a video providing a visualization of the flow of money connected to Kiva, as Fallows describes "an organization that matches lenders, mainly in rich countries, with microfinance organizations and entrepreneurs and students mainly in poor countries".  The video is a great example of how a good visualization can effectively communicate information and be invaluable in "selling" ideas.  I recommend taking a look at the post and video here.

Fallows also suggests that the visualization can be reminiscent of "war-game counterparts involving a different sort of intercontinental ballistic device".  While I agree that this visualization can conjure up images of mass destruction, I think we should keep things in perspective.  After all, at least the visualization itself wasn't destructive.

What do I mean by this?  Ask Kermit the Frog.  As you can see in the video below, he has seen firsthand the potential perils of visualization gone awry.

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