Visualizing nonlinear stories

Oct 9, 2017

Many stories don’t follow a linear format. There are flashbacks, or multiple timelines run simultaneously. Story Curves is a research project that tries to visualize the back and forth.

Story curves visualize the nonlinear narrative of a movie by showing the order in which events are told in the movie and comparing them to their actual chronological order, resulting in possibly meandering visual patterns in the curve.

The main part is that top timeline, which shows story order on the y-axis and movie running time on the x-axis. So if you were to visualize a movie that was linear, you’d see a straight line running from the top left corner to the bottom right. For nonlinear movies, like The Usual Suspects, you get a line that fluctuates.

In case the format looks familiar, you might recognize it from The New York Times. They used it to show the nonlinearity of movie trailers, and that piece motivated the Story Curves work. [via @eagereyes]


Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

How to Spot Visualization Lies

Many charts don’t tell the truth. This is a simple guide to spotting them.