I was blown away this morning when I watched two short movies about data exploration software called TinkerPlots. The software is marketed to schools for kids grades 4-8. I love the idea that kids in school can get their hands dirty visually exploring data. And I’m even more excited that they have this tool available to them. Why has TinkerPlots flown under our radar for so long? It’s been around for at least 4 years.
The designers of this software deserve praise for creating software that gets out of the way (a Stephen Few-ism, I think) and lets the user explore the data using simple commands. I will happily shell out the $89 to play with TinkerPlots.
Unfortunately, the Tinkerplot website makes it a bit difficult to see examples of the software in action. You can see some quicktime movies showing TinkerPlots at work here and here. Here’s a listing of all TinkerPlot movies.
This software isn’t nearly as sophisticated as some of the software mentioned on Stephen’s site. But, as da Vinci said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Is anyone out there using TinkerPlots?