How Much Junk Orbits Around the Earth?

Posted to Maps  |  Nathan Yau

You might not realize it, but there’s a lot of junk that orbits around the Earth. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks anything in orbit that’s bigger than a softball and then disseminates that information in the form of an orbit descriptor called a Two Line Element (TLE). Matthew Kozak visualizes this data on an interactive 3D globe. It’s implemented in Processing, and maybe best of all, the source code is available.

[Thanks, @Dan]

Favorites

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.