I grumbled about the “drowning in data” cliché in a recent blog post and asked for an alternative metaphor. Now Gary Flake has come to the rescue in his TED Talk about Pivot, a data visualization framework that looks pretty neat (but is Explorer-only for now). Says Flake,
We talk about the curse of information overload. We talk about drowning in data. What if we can actually turn that upside downand turn the web upside down, so that instead of one thing to the next, we get used to the habit of being able to go from many things to many things,and then being able to see the patterns that were otherwise hidden?
Earlier in the talk, he had used a swimming metaphor instead of a drowning one:
… viewing data in this way, is a lot like swimming in a living information info-graphic.
There’s more about Pivot and its underlying technology Seadragon here.