FINVIZ is a suite of free financial tools that takes advantage of modern visualization ideas. The infoviz and interaction designs are certainly worth a blog post. Here’s a look at their efforts…
1. Sector Visualization. This visualization is a treemap implemented using the Google Maps API. It shows how well sectors and companies (stocks) within those sectors are doing. The attention to detail is exceptional. The company name stays the same size on zoom, and is dual encoded using a background image. The gain/loss is shown using shades of green/red, and is also dual encoded using text. On mouseover details are provided in a side panel.
2. Stock Charts. When you create a portfolio of stocks, a number of views of that portfolio. One is a small multiples view which allows easy comparison without overlay as one has to do with Google Finance and Yahoo Finance charts. Again, attention to detail is wonderful. The current price is highlighted, the trend lines are nicely colored, and the volume bar chart is part of the background.
3. Trends. They use Sparklines for trend indicators. Well, they may just be icons (not encoded by actual data), but I’ll delude myself nonetheless.
4. News. They aggregate the news items for all the stocks in a portfolio onto one page. Very nicely done. Only shows the day, month, year, when they change. Overlays chart when mouseover of price (notice the little icon to indicate this next to the word price…attention to detail).
5. Profiles. Again, just very nicely done, showing all of the profiles on the same page.
6. Relative Volume Indicator. A second vertical axis is added.
Any set of images may be loaded into the google maps api which handles loading and zoom.
I don’t know for certain how they implemented this map…I could be entirely wrong about the google maps usage, and it could have been done entirely in flash, for example.
But we did something similar with our Wikipedia map using Google Maps API by generating the images at multiple levels of zoom then loading them into the api. See http://scimaps.org/maps/wikipedia/20080103/