Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions (Theory In Practice, #31)
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Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions (Theory In Practice)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In this insightful book, you'll learn from the best data practitioners in the field just how wide-ranging -- and beautiful -- working with data can be. Join 39 contributors as they explain how they developed simple and elegant solutions on projects ranging from the Mars lander to a Radiohead video. With Beautiful Data, you will: Explore the opportunities and challenges inv...more
Paperback, First Edition, 384 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2009)
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Database to Dataspace, Story of Large scale DB at Facebook
"Beautiful Data" is a collection of essays on data; how people have transformed it, worked within its confines, and offers a glimpse of where we might go. Many of the essays are wonderful snippets into how some people perceive data while others fall flat. Overall its a mostly enjoyable read that helps open up your mind to new potentials.

First a disclaimer; I am not a data person. However I've been involved, fairly heavily, in the data field. In the parlance of the world, I'm a back end person....more
Sundarraj Kaushik
Beautiful Data Edited by Toby Segaran and Jeff Hammerbacher
The first chapter is a description of two projects by Yahoo. The first one captures the area throug which the user is travelling. The aim is to show the user how much of pollution the user has been subject to. The challenge was to show the exposure levels along with the movements and stopping of the user. A variety of techniques were used before finally arriving at a way of overlaying the exposure as a coloured line and showing the locat...more
Radovan Kavický
This is a collection of 20 different stories about data - gathering, planning, interpreting, storing, visualizing, etc.

The case study methodology points out the necessity of designing all phases of the data capture, processing, analysis and representation process around the goals, open questions and constraints of the client organization, or user/consumer of the data whose decisions are being informed. The thinking and design process behind these cases of beautiful data are fully described--this...more
Andrew Magee
Lots of interesting stuff, though lots of annoying and tiresome filler.
Vasil Kolev
The book has three kinds of chapters - crap, somewhat OK and amazing.

The bad chapters are hand-waving and nothing new or interesting, mostly fodder, but are easy to spot. The amazing on the other hand (like the one by Peter Norvig) give you some great insights and ideas what can be done, and show it very well.

Also, some people over-use the word 'beautiful' which makes them sound like a (very) bad love poem.
Andrew Doran
Thought-provoking collection of essays about different aspects of data. The book was a bit slow to start but soon picked up and covered a variety of thought-provoking topics. Although I feel that it just scratched the surface and the whole book isn't greater than the sum of its parts, frequent changes of subject with each chapter worked to its benefit and kept me interested.
This one's a keeper. An excellent book offering insightful surveys of what people are doing with data these days.

My favorite chapters are: "Seeing Your Life in Data", "Information Platforms and the Rise of Data Scientists", "Portable Data in Real Time", "Visualizing Urban Data", "Natural Language Corpus Data", and "Superficial Data Analysis"
A thought-provoking tour of recent data-intensive research. I found it most useful for its "aha" and "I should have thought of that" moments. I also appreciated the numerous external references to free datasets and data processing tools.
"Natural Language Corpus Data", "What Data Doesn't Do", and "Connecting Data" were my favorite articles. I also liked the idea of using Second Life for easy scientific 3D visualization in "Beautifying Data in the Real World".
Vuk Trifkovic
Always tough when you deal with edited volume, but good book overall. I expected bit more from some chapters, but good idea of what is going on overall.
great collection of academic papers and conference talk notes. the facebook/hadoop paper was especially interesting.
Loved the chapters by Nathan Yau, Peter Norvig, on Radiohead's House of Cards and on the NASA Mars Explorers!

Many of chapters were way above my head. Was interesting nonetheless
Phil Chen
Cool examples of data and data handling.
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