Flyspy visualization of airline ticket data via Techcrunch

FlyspytechcrunchA visual mashup of airplane tickets.  This is why I am so excited about great visualization.  Huge amounts of data, HUGE AMOUNTS, are easily understandable with the right visual.  Not only is your visual memory unlimited, but millions of data points are easily understandable to a 12 year old with the right visual.  Patterns are apparent, lumpy lines are best according to Tufte, at a glance.

A good example of this was highlighted on TechCrunch today by Nik Cubrilovic in Flyspy Brings The New Web To Airline Ticketing.  First the good news from the post:

Flyspy reverse engineers some of the mystique associated with the airline industry and makes it extremely transparent.

and

The search result, which returns very quickly, will present me with a graph of flight prices over the next 30 days so that I can quickly look at which days are the cheapest to fly. To book a flight I just click on the point in the graph. Simple.

and

Overall a very cool service that epitomizes what the new web is about. Flyspy should go public in a few months – you will hear more about it here and probably feel the distruption.

Now for the bad news.  You can’t trademark or patent a visual as far as I know.  And this is fundamentally a line graph.  So there must be some other differentiation.  There are definitely a few investment problems with mash ups.  So I love it, but I wouldn’t invest in it without some form of protection.  I definitely wish them the best.