The third Information is Beautiful challenge is out (and now has an extended deadline, until 6th Feb), and this time it’s all about Hollywood. There’s a huge set of data about films, budgets, types of story and profitability to explore and visualise too – and visualise it I have (you’ll need Flash, and I wouldn’t advise viewing on a mobile!)

After the slightly random punt I entered for the last challenge didn’t get anywhere I went back to look at the entries that had been successful. The winners and shortlisted visualisations all seemed to go for quite traditional interpretations of the data, so this time I’ve gone for a more traditional approach too. There’s a hell of a lot of data here – around 700 films – so going for simple bars a few pixels wide seemed the only way to make something that’s actually intelligible as well as being pretty from a distance. I decided to try an interactive option this time, as that would let me make something that’s fun to play with and explore rather than being flat and static.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with how it’s come out. As always, there’s more stuff I’d add if I had time; a search function to find specific films would be nice, and ideally I’d have spent more time making it more efficient, as all those movieclips in Flash can make it a little sluggish on lower spec machines. I like how it’s actually fun going from an ordered display of data that makes sense to a complete riot of lines and colours with a couple of clicks, and I’m mostly happy with the momentum scrolling and zooming as well, which feels nice and tactile.

So anyway, here’s my finished piece: FilmStrips – movies, money and metadata, visualised. Enjoy!