Ready access to large amounts of data and improvements in computing power have led to more research in the visual portrayal of quantitative information. This page lists web sites that allow users to visualize data.
David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that reveal unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut -- and it may just change the way we see the world.
See more of McCandless' work on his Information Is Beautiful site.
Data from the census or other sources can also be combined with spatial data and analysed within a Geographical Information System (GIS) such as ArcGIS.
For a detailed guide on obtaining spatial data files and relevant software, see the GIS Library Services libguide.