Swivel: Open Source Analytics — Geek Recreation (eg: $/gallon Gasoline versus $/pound Coffee)

For all you data geeks out there, Swivel is the new heaven on earth… and for everyone else, it’s just really cool. The Swivel website is one of the most inventive “Web 2.0 concept” implementations to date.  Here’s is a quick chart I whipped up in just a few minutes, comparing retail gasoline and coffee prices in the U.S.:

U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Since 2000 vs. Retail coffee prices importing to US (monthly) Price (USD) Per Pound

DOWNSIDE:  The usability of the site isn’t always as good as one would expect, and the “bling” function for graphs (aka, “chart junk” a la Edward Tufte) is somewhat limited. Source data isn’t always attributed, no function for peer validation of data sources.

UPSIDE: Are you kidding me? The glass is 85% full. It’s growing like gangbusters and sure to improve. If the site functionality doesn’t let you do what you want to do,  you can always just download the charts and play with the source data yourself… if you’re into that sort of thing. 

– -<>–


Blog Entry on “Black Gold” Oil Documentary
(couldn’t get image to load as chart background)

BBC Article (1.17.01) featuring an Oil vs Coffee graph:

Swivel Data:  Cost of Misc Liquids per Gallon


About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on June 18, 2007, in Analytics, Cool Companies, Diversions, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for the post and for the feedback on Swivel’s usability, bling, and data attribution and validation. If you have any other feedback or ideas, please drop me a line or use the Feedback link on the site — I would love to hear from you.

    Thank you,

    Dmitry Dimov
    Product Chief & Cofounder

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