Many Eyes is an application created in 2007 by IBM Research. The Visual Communication Lab
and the IBM Cognos software group currently run the site and refer to it as an experiment.

Anyone can join. Unregistered users may (1) view existing data sets, (2) view saved visualizations, and (3) create their own visualizations from existing data sets. Registered users can (1) submit data sets of various forms (text or tabular data), (2) apply different "visualizations" of the data and contribute the new image to a topic center for other users to use, (3) rank visualizations and submit comments to the online community conversation. In short, Many Eyes attempts to do for graphical data what YouTube does for videos; that is, to make it easy to create, share, and discuss data with other users.

Application use

Many Eyes can be used to create visualizations of nearly any type of data. Output can take the form of maps, graphs, diagrams, word trees, and more. In addition, each output is interactive, and can be adjusted to account for different variables. For example, you can choose which data to apply to different axes of a graph for a different perspective on gathered statistics.

Writers, students, and researchers can use Many Eyes to create visualizations of their own data. They may also browse the site for research purposes. Users can offer comments or look at data using different visualizations. All users on Many Eyes are encouraged to share their perspective on a data set - hence the name.

Features Available to Anyone

  1. View and discuss visualizations
  2. View and discuss data sets
  3. Create new visualizations from existing data sets

Features Available to Registered Users

  1. Rate data sets and visualizations
  2. Upload your own data
  3. Create and participate in topic centers
  4. Select items to watch
  5. Track your contributions, watch list, and topic centers
  6. See comments that others have written to you

To get started on your own, you can visit the Many Eyes tour in their "Learn More" section.


An Example of a Many Eyes data set.

Additional Resources

Eisenberg, Anne. Lines Bubbles and Bars, Oh My! New Ways to Sift Data. 30 Aug 2008. New York Times. [..]