Data sharing site sifts through the substance of current events

Social networks have sprung up around unexpected applications. One of the most useful, especially in the uncertainty of the last few weeks, is, which is a social data visualization site. The premise is simple: People upload complex datasets that they feel they, and others, would like to analyze. The site then allows them to use some novel visualization tools.

Some of the best charts are available for public exploration, with no registration necessary. Here is one from the site’s home page today, dissecting the magnitude, in dollars, of various bailouts in recent history:

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Other charts allow you to dig through data in unexpected ways. This word tree helps those interested in the substance of Katie Couric’s interview of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to take in Palin’s answers sentence-by-sentence, starting with key words:

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The datasets cover the gamut, from the mundane, to the crucial, to the sublime (example of this last type: All of song writer Leonard Cohen’s lyrics). Visit the site to see your world in a new way.