Next up (my notes 1) at Public 2.0 Simon Rogers of the Guardian appeared to know my calling. His first slide was of Florence Nightingale, clearly Florence led by example in research and use of data to effect social awareness, political and welfare change.
For Simon - data is about curating. Data journalism is a norm.
The following excellent resources were highlighted:
Touching on public health Simon sees and utilizes bigger datasets that can then pick out smaller things - poverty and deprivation.
Simon's presentation reminded me of the way populations for study in public health are built up from agreed areas, these can in turn be presented in geographic information systems. While free data tools have changed markedly in the range of their functionality he said that good design really matters. Given my own fascination with visualization, computer graphics I've often wondered about the seductive quality of the visual. In the 70s the computer generated animations on Horizon of Voyager tripping off to the outer solar system and beyond had me hooked. Simon stressed that it is about stories and words not just pictures. Looking at the themes the Guardian covers while the images created are very striking, especially in interactive form it is the issues, the people and stories that give the data voice.
Questions for Simon included the provenance of data.
(my notes 1)
Some additional visualization links (suggestions, advice on broken links appreciated):