On my way to Tallinn earlier this week I took advantage of my Riga layover and visited Tech Hub Riga. There, I got to chat with Uldis Leiterts (@uldis), the co-founder of infogr.am, and check out their upcoming beta release.
Click here for a sneak peek.It’s live now and you can check it out, too.
You could think of infogr.am as an instagram for data. Or you could think of it as an extremely easy-to-use tool for data journalists, bloggers, educators, and countless others who would like to make data sexy. The Latvian team behind infogr.am is building tools to make it easy to create customized inforgraphics on the web, and share or embed them anywhere. The ultimate vision is to be the next generation software for data visualization with a strong community and ecosystem behind it – a competitor to Adobe or Autodesk, but with the spirit of Evernote or 6Wunderkinder.
In almost typical Baltic startup fashion, infogr.am is taking advantage of several accelerator programs. Earlier this year they joined HackFwd, and this week they just started the Startup Sauna program. When I jokingly asked if they did Garage 48, too, the answer was “sort of”. Leiterts was part of the Mighty Fingers team at the Garage 48 hackathon where the Mighty Fingers project was born.
While on the topic of acceleration, I asked about going to Silicon Valley, and the answer was “No, thanks.” This team doesn’t feel the itch for a spiritual journey to the Valley, and I have to admit, it’s nice to see so much optimistic spirit for Europe. Leiterts sees infogr.am as a European company, with plenty of friends and mentors all over the continent, and plans to put down strong roots in the Baltics.
The early version of infogr.am has been getting a positive response from data journalists. There is great potential for news websites in the ability to visualize breaking news immediately. When infogr.am published an infographic with live data during a referendum, it received over 800,000 visits. This kind of clicking must be music to publishers’ ears. But unless you have a kick-ass team like the New York Times, with the current tools it can take days to put together a good quality interactive chart. Let’s see if infogr.am can shake this space up a little.