The Fortune 500, 1955 to 2010
Since 1955, Fortune Magazine has published a list of America's 500 largest companies. What companies have risen to the top? Which ones have fallen? Ben Fry, of Fathom Information Design, visualizes the companies of past and present and how their rankings, revenue, and profit have changed.
The interactive piece lets you select companies, which highlights an individual time series as well as provides a sense of distribution over time with the light gray marks. As you switch between measures and turn inflation adjustment on and off, smooth transitions let you keep track of what you're interested in.
Because this is more of a proof of concept that Fry sketched during a train ride, there are a few kinks. For example, it's hard to see the individual values for a single company, because the dots are too small for the time series. You just end up selecting another company. You're supposed to be able to press the left and right arrow keys to move back and forth, but it doesn't work for me. It's easy to see though how, with a bit more development, this could be useful for other data and how a bunch of numbers can be made easily digestible.