Congratulations to the Winner of the Graph Drawing 2011 Contest!

Last week, a few of us at Tom Sawyer Software attended the International Symposium on Graph Drawing in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The Graph Drawing Symposium is the main annual event that brings together top researchers and practitioners working in the area of graph drawing. The event is a forum where like-minded researchers gather to generate novel ideas, work together to create innovative solutions, and foster a forward-thinking community.

One of our core philosophies is to promote data visualization best practices and to provide the most compelling visualization techniques possible. At Graph Drawing, we contributed a challenge graph to the Graph Drawing Contest. For this particular topic, we challenged researchers to visually present a complex data set in the most compelling way possible by combining graph drawing algorithms and complexity reduction techniques, such as filtering and varying the graphical attributes. The graph is a composers graph with a musical theme, where the nodes represent Wikipedia articles about music composers, and the edges represent links between these articles.

A lot of great visualizations came out of this contest. Congratulations to the winner, the folks over at Meurs HRM! Check out the interactive visualization they produced for this challenge; awesome stuff.


Where Did My Tax Dollars Go?

In 2009, the IRS raked in a whopping $1,175,422,000,000 in individual taxes according to their site. So where do all our tax dollars go? The most common question is answered in interactive, compelling, and visual ways that break down how our tax dollars are spent via Google’s Data Viz challenge.

With over 40 entries, Anil Kandeangath took the crown and was awarded as the grand award winner for his app, “Where Did My Tax Dollars Go?

In the end, our jury selected Anil Kandangath’s “Where Did My Tax Dollars Go?” as our Grand Prize winner. As the jury noted, his entry is information-rich but elegantly designed, and at no point while interacting with the visualization do you lose the “big picture.” Anil’s entry is a great example of how data visualization can take boring, complicated, but critically important information and make it accessible to everyone. Congratulations, Anil. 

Check out other finalists and honorable mentions to get a different perspective on how your tax dollars are spent.

Google and Eyebeam Data Viz Challenge

Data Viz Challenge

The Challenge: Visualize how your individual federal income taxes are spent.

Google and Eyebeam have partnered with each other to challenge data visualization enthusiasts in the U.S. to create a compelling visual representation of how taxes are spent, using data from

Eleven data visualization experts will be judging the visualizations based on the following:

  • Storytelling
  • Clarity
  • Relevance
  • Utility
  • Aesthetics

The winners will be announced on tax day, April 18, and will receive $10,000, and $5000 for the top submission.

When Google is involved, you know it’s going to be huge. I’m excited to see what people come up with!