• How people in your area spend money

    October 28, 2010  |  Online Applications

    San Francisco spending

    The personal finance site Mint aggregates spending data from four million users. At the individual level, Mint is useful in that it brings all of your finances into one place. Zoom out and aggregate, and you have spending for a city or a state. This is what Mint Data does.
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  • Opportunities in Government 2.0

    October 27, 2010  |  Data Sources

    Vivek Wadhwa talks government data and the (financial) opportunities ripe for the picking:

    What is happening with the opening up of government data is nothing less than a silent revolution. There are literally thousands of new opportunities to improve government and to improve society—and to make a fortune while doing it. Unlike the Web 2.0 space, which is overcrowded, Gov 2.0 is uncharted territory: a new frontier to explore, grow things on, and settle on. It’s fresh soil for unlikely seedling ideas that, if they take root, could lead to very successful ventures. So I encourage entrepreneurs to stake their claims as soon as they can.

    Wait a minute. Hold up. You can do more with government data than awkward dashboards? Bring it.

    [TechCrunch via @ucdatalab]

  • Visualizing NFL statistics

    October 26, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    Visualizing NFL statistics

    Sports statistics. Always so many tables. Juice Analytics takes a more visual approach with their interactive:

    Our NFL stats "spike chart" is an easy way to see who's leading the league in passing, rushing, receiving, tackles, team offense, and team defense. By showing key metrics side by side, you get the full picture of a player or team performance—not just the highlights.

    It's pretty straightforward. Select a category on the top, such as passing or rushing, and then see how your favorite players rank in four subcategories. Each player is represented by his team logo. Roll over a logo to see a player's numbers as well as how they rank in all the subcategories, highlighted by a white square.

    Finally, use the search box to find the player of interest. Matching boxes highlight as you type.

    Such a simple idea. Well executed.

    [Juice Analytics]

  • Unemployment rates over this past year

    October 26, 2010  |  Projects

    Unemployment Rate - September 2010

    I took a look at unemployment rates about a year ago, and I got to wondering if it's changed at all over the past year. Not really. It's still stuck in the 9 to 10 percent range, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It looks like it could be a while until things get better.
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  • Iraq War logs released by Wikileaks shed new light

    October 25, 2010  |  Mapping

    Wikileaks War Logs reported by NYT

    This past Friday, Wikileaks released a second batch of reports on Iraq:

    At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

    The New York Times has reported the data in dept with a series of maps, along with a number of articles. One maps shows one of the deadliest days in 2006 in Baghdad, when there were a reported 114 episodes of violence (above).
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  • Join FlowingData fantasy basketball pool

    October 24, 2010  |  Announcements

    The basketball season is going to start soon (finally). To make the season more interesting, I'm starting a FlowingData fantasy basketball pool, and you're invited. It's a combination of data and basketball. Pure awesomeness.

    It's a $20 chip-in, and winner takes all. Want to join in on the fun? Just email me with "I'm in" in the subject header, and I'll send over the info. We need at least 10 teams, and the maximum is 20, so the earlier you reply, the better. Let the games begin!

  • How to have an idea

    October 24, 2010  |  Quicklinks

    Designer Frank Chimero describes how to have an idea with back-of-the-napkin sketches. "Creative people romanticize mistakes and process. But there is no process if you don't start. No one crumples a blank sheet of paper."

  • Privacy and the Internet

    October 22, 2010  |  Miscellaneous

    Privacy on the Internet

    Simplified. Still a helpful reminder.

    [buriednexttoyou via WeLoveDataVis]

  • Q. What schooling should I take to learn about visualization and data graphics?

    October 22, 2010  |  Ask FlowingData

    A few people have asked me this question just this past week. I usually point them to this thread in the forums. Any other suggestions?

  • Find your flight via visual interface

    October 21, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization, Online Applications

    hipmunk flight search

    Booking flights became so much easier when it all shifted online, but it hasn't changed in years. You put in your preferred dates and times and you get a long list of options. Oftentimes those listings can be a pain as you browse through all of your options. Oh the burden of choice. Hipmunk tries to make flight search easier with a visual interface.

    As usual, you enter your origin and destination but instead of plain HTML tables, you get something like the above, and you can sort the options from least to greatest amount of agony. Rectangle lengths represent flight times and are color-coded by airline. Flights with the same take off and arrival times, but priced higher are hidden to help you narrow down quicker.

    Hipmunk is still in the early stages, but a quick search shows a lot of promise.

    [Hipmunk via Matt]

  • Average age of Congress over time

    October 21, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    Average age of Congress

    I don't know about you, but I tend to associate Congress with an older generation. Just how hold are the folks who make up the Senate and House of Representatives? Alex Lowe, Kurt Wilberding, and Ana Rivas report for The Wall Street Journal with this interactive timeline and histograms.
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  • Visualize This: Sexual health data from national survey

    October 20, 2010  |  Visualize This

    It's been a while since I ran one of these, so you must be dying to do some visualizing. For those new around here, Visualize This is a little fun practice we like to run around here to exercise our visualization skills. I post a small dataset, and then you can try visualizing it. Do you have what it takes?

    Deadline: October 27, 2010

    For this round, we'll take a look at results from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior conducted by Indiana University. They asked over 5,000 participants if they've engaged in certain behaviors in the past year. They also asked age and gender.
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  • Mad Men office floor plan

    October 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    Mad Men Office Floor Plan-resized

    I've never seen an episode, but if my Twitter stream has taught me anything, it's that many of you will enjoy this floor plan of the Mad Men office by @CerpinTaxt. Accurate?

    [Kratkocasnik via Vulture]

  • Animated graphic on why you should shut off your work computer

    October 19, 2010  |  Infographics

    Turn it off video

    Millions of people leave their work computer on every day, thus wasting lots and lots of energy through the night when no one is there. In this animated infographic, Nigel Upchurch describes what it means when you leave your computer on. As with most of these types of things, the numbers are a bit simplistic. Nevertheless, it's interesting to watch and well-designed. And well, it kind of makes me want to make sure I turn off my computer at night.
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  • Why Swivel shut down

    October 19, 2010  |  News

    Robert Kosara asked former Swivel co-founders Brian Mulloy and Dmitry Dimov about their thoughts on why Swivel shut down recently. Only the blog remains. In case you're unfamiliar, Swivel was a service that let people upload data and share basic charts and graphs.

    Mulloy and Dimov left Swivel a while back and are currently working on different startups, so it was actually news to them too. But in the end it seems it came down to context for the data.
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  • True size of Africa

    October 18, 2010  |  Mapping

    True size of Africa

    Online maps that we use for directions use the Mercator projection, and this tends to dictate how we perceive the size of countries and continents. If you look at the world map on Google, for example, Africa doesn't look that much bigger compared to China or the United States. In reality though, it's a lot bigger. Kai Krause scales countries by their area in square kilometers and then fits them into a Africa's borders for some perspective.

    This one's for you, cartographers. What do you think?

    [True Size of Africa via Good | Thanks, Cay]

  • Last week in the forums

    October 17, 2010  |  Forums

    In case you're on the market for a data sciencey type job, there were a number of them posted to the forums this past week, along with some other schtuff.

    SEM infographics freelance — Working is picking up and I need help covering all my client requests for SEM infographics...

    Designer needed for animated cartogram — I am a financial publisher in need of a designer to create a cartogram of world GDP growth by nation...

    Data Visualization and Charting Business Manager — Bloomberg is looking for a passionate, experienced individual to join the Charts, Technical Analysis and Graphics Business...

    Data Visualization Genius — Young, fast-growing digital media startup seeks data visualization or UI expert...

    Interaction Designer — Do you believe, in a freshman-year kind of way, that design just might save the world?

    P.S. I changed the "Finding a Job" forum to "Job Board" since that's basically what it's used for. Are you an employer looking for a qualified data person? Post it to the board. It's free.

  • Scrapers dig deep for data on the Web

    October 17, 2010  |  Quicklinks

    In their continuation of what online marketers know about you, the Wall Street Journal reports on groups scraping pages and services to reveal identities and link pseudonyms to real names. "Social networks are becoming the new public records." My rule of thumb: if I put anything on the Web, I'm assuming it's public.

  • Evolution of Batman logos

    October 15, 2010  |  Miscellaneous

    evolution of batman logos

    I'm not sure who made the static version above, but here is an equivalently amusing animated version below. The Dark Knight likes to keep things fresh. [CollegeHumor]
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  • Conversation with Obama: track and ask questions on Twitter

    October 14, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    Conversation with Obama

    President Obama will be answering questions live at a youth town hall today at 4pm EST, with livestreaming on MTV, BET, and CMT. He'll be taking questions from the audience and possibly from Twitter. If you want to keep track of the conversation, the folks at Stamen have got your back with their visual Twitter tracker:

    The visualization is online here, and builds on work that was previously battle-tested at the 2010 Video Music Awards. The idea is that you post messages to twitter with the #ask hashtag, followed by the issue you're interested in asking the President about. If it's a good one, he may answer it on the air.

    Like the VMA visualization, topics are tracked and ordered by popularity. But instead of showing celebrities, this one shows issues that people on Twitter care about. A bar chart on the bottom left shows trends over time.
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