Amazing Data

There’s a very old song that says, “To know him is to love him.” Needless to say, it’s practically impossible for anything to exist these days without it being available on the internet. To save you the trouble, here it is:

The point being…

Knowing something is its own reward. Having data at your fingertips has become a global obsession. And that’s the real subject of today’s “Fun Friday.”

You might have seen these animated videos which show the growth and change of things over time. They’ve become a little bit of an obsession for me. And I’ve found that no one does them better than YouTuber “Amazing Gizmo.” Here’s a sample of their work:

These are just a few of the roughly two dozen of these you’ll find on their YouTube channel.

Why are these things so dang entertaining?

I have my theory as to why. They’re fun to watch because of the animations. As you watch them you begin to anticipate the changes and there’s a little endorphin rush as they happen. When Internet Explorer comes on the scene and demolishes Netscape, you feel it. It resonates with you if you remember that moment in time when it happened. There’s also an emotional release in watching something go down in flames, which seems to happen so quickly in the electronic world.

It’s hard to say you actually learn anything from these videos, though. I suppose I became aware that starting in 1973, Soviet and former-Soviet countries launched more satellites than the US did. But it was a revelation that didn’t sit well with me. So much so, that I felt a rush as US launches finally started to catch up. Did they surpass US ones? Sorry, no spoilers here.

Do you have favorites? Have you made your own?

There’s software out there now that lets people make these “bar chart race” videos yourself, if you have access to enough data and enough time. Have you done one? I’m kind of curious to do one myself but I don’t have a really good source of data. If you’ve done one, post a link below!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.