• Flowchart for movie time travel

    April 23, 2013  |  Infographics

    Time travel flowchart

    Mr. Dalliard provides this handy flowchart to organize time travel movies. And yes, I immediately looked for Back to the Future and backtracked.

  • Orbiting planets found by NASA Kepler mission

    April 22, 2013  |  Infographics

    The Kepler mission by NASA has discovered more than 100 planets that orbit stars. Jonathan Corum for The New York Times visualized the ones with known size and orbit using small multiples. Scroll all the way down for our solar system as a point of reference.

    Kepler's tally of planets

  • Wealth distribution in America

    April 16, 2013  |  Infographics

    This video clearly describes the distribution of wealth in America using a set of transitioning charts. The graphics are good. The explanation is better.

  • Personal space per person in various countries

    April 11, 2013  |  Infographics

    Personal space

    How much space is there per person in different countries? Andrew Bergmann for CNNMoney took a look.

    Population density measures the amount of people in a given area, generally per square kilometer or mile. It's difficult to get a clear image of what these vast spaces actually represent, so I thought that it would be interesting to flip the equation on its head and figure out how much space there is on average per person.

    The interactive shows 20 countries and each is represented by a circle sized by average square feet per person. Of course, as with population density, this data is broad with land distribution and usage to consider, but it's informative from a general viewpoint. Although the math might be slightly off in the square feet calculation. Or maybe that's just rounding.

    I'm surprised I haven't seen something like this before. See population density from the more traditional point of view here, here, and here. Oh, and here. I think the last one is my favorite.

  • Distance to Mars

    April 8, 2013  |  Infographics

    Distance to Mars

    Long distances (and big numbers) can be difficult grasp. Designers Jesse Williams and David Paliwoda took a stab at it and made it easier to understand the distance from Mars. Simple and totally fun. I'm not sure how accurate the travel time and distance are, but I'm guessing it takes differing orbits into account.

  • How a cab driver makes money

    April 3, 2013  |  Infographics

    Cabbie money

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cab drivers and chauffeurs make a median salary of $22,400 per year, or $10.79 an hour. (I believe that's not including tips.) Using about three months of fare data from a single driver, Alvin Chang for The Boston Globe showed how a driver makes a living day-to-day.

    Time runs left to right, and each column represents fares collected in a day. A driver starts each day in the red when he or she leases a cab for $125, which includes gas, and then works into the blue.

    After an animation plays out over a few seconds, you can click to zoom in and see specific fares. I expected to drag left and right once zoom, but the chart just zooms back out. I suspect the interaction is mostly there for people on mobile devices. I also wanted to scrub the vertical line that indicates time to see details for spikes or days no fares were collected.

    So there's still a bit to be desired here, but the data itself is interesting, which makes it worth a look.

  • How to be Interesting by Jessica Hagy

    March 19, 2013  |  Infographics

    How to be InterestingJessica Hagy, the one who made Venn diagrams on index cards popular, has a new book out today: How to be Interesting.

    You want to leave a mark, not a blemish. Be a hero, not a spectator. You want to be interesting. (Who doesn’t?) But sometimes it takes a nudge, a wake-up call, an intervention!—and a little help. This is where Jessica Hagy comes in. A writer and illustrator of great economy, charm, and insight, she’s created How to Be Interesting, a uniquely inspirational how-to that combines fresh and pithy lessons with deceptively simple diagrams and charts.

    The book started from this, which could probably also stand in as a guide on how to enjoy life.

  • Choosing the right seat

    March 13, 2013  |  Infographics

    Musical Chairs by Alex Cornell

    It can be tricky picking the right seat at a dinner party. So much depends on how many people there are and what shape the table is. Luckily, Alex Cornell provides a guide on where to sit and when to arrive to get the best seat of the night. The 4-person circle is your best bet.

    This is the ideal setup. You are safe sitting in any seat. Regardless how interesting everyone is, you pretty much can’t go wrong. Note: as the diameter of the table increases, so too does the importance that you sit adjacent to someone you like.

    Sorry for always sitting at the lonely end seat in the 7-person rectangle. [via kottke]

  • A dissection of movie trailers

    February 20, 2013  |  Infographics

    A dissection of movie trailers

    Shan Carter, Amanda Cox, and Mike Bostock for The New York Times, analyzed movie trailers for five best picture nominees. The horizontal axis represents time elapsed during a trailer, and the vertical axis represents when that clip occurred during the movie. The above is for Silver Linings Playbook:

    "Silver Linings Playbook" follows the standard model for trailers, according to Bill Woolery, a trailer specialist in Los Angeles who once worked on trailers for movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." While introducing the movie’s story and its characters, the trailer largely follows the order of the film itself.

    Because the order of the trailer is pretty much the order of the movie, you see a straight line with a downward slope most of the way. On the other hand, the Lincoln trailer jumps around showing a zig-zag pattern.

    In addition to the charts, the healthy dose of annotation provides interesting tidbits on the reasoning behind pace and scene choice.

  • A visual exploration of US gun murders

    February 4, 2013  |  Infographics

    Gun murders with a shotgun

    Information visualization firm Periscopic just published a thoughtful interactive piece on gun murders in the United States, in 2010. It starts with the individuals: when they were killed, coupled with the years they potentially lost. Each arc represents a person, with lived years in orange and the difference in potential years in white. A mouseover on each arc shows more details about that person.
    Continue Reading

  • Billionaires of the world ranked and charted

    January 23, 2013  |  Infographics

    Billionaires ranked

    How wealthy are the richest people in the world? How do they compare to each other, and how does their net worth change over time? Bloomberg just put up an interactive tool to answer such questions, and it's updated daily with new data.
    Continue Reading

  • Flowchart: Gandalf problem solving

    January 11, 2013  |  Infographics

    Gandolf problem solving

    The Lotr Project breaks down the thought process in the magical mind.

  • Women as academic authors over the years

    January 7, 2013  |  Infographics

    Women as academic authors

    The Chronicle of Higher Education has a look at the percentage of academic papers published by women, over the past five centuries.

    The articles and authors described in this data were drawn from the corpus of JSTOR, a digital archive of scholarly papers, by researchers at the Eigenfactor Project at the University of Washington. About two million articles, representing 1765 fields and sub-fields, were examined, spanning a period from 1665 to 2011. The data are presented here for three time periods, the latest one ending in 2010, and a view that combines all periods.

    Percentage of female authors is on the horizontal, and each bubble is a subfield sized by total number of authors. The graphic starts with publishing for all years, but be sure to click on the tabs for each time span to see changes.

    The data is based on the archive of about two million articles from JSTOR, and a hierarchical map equation method is used to determine subfields.

    The gender classification they used for names seems like it could be nifty for some applications. Gender is inferred by comparing names against the ones kept by the U.S. Social Security Administration, which includes gender. If a name was used for female at least 95 percent of the time, it was classified as a female name, and the same was done with male. Anything ambiguous was not included in the study.

  • NFL video screens compared

    December 27, 2012  |  Infographics

    Texan video screen

    On news of the Houston Texans getting ready to build the largest video screens in professional sports, Reddit user dbeat compared the sizes of current NFL screens to the future giant. It's just slightly bigger than the one in my living room. [via Deadspin]

  • Evolution of Batman logo, 1940-2012

    December 24, 2012  |  Infographics

    Batman evolution

    Available in print. See also: a video version. Still no confirmation for whether or not if Batman in fact does smell or if Robin laid an egg.

  • Your tax rate in 2012, and past rates since 1913

    December 20, 2012  |  Infographics

    Your effective tax rate

    What is your effective tax rate now versus years past? Ritchie King made an interactive to show you.

    Having not been alive in the '50s or '60s, let alone filing taxes, I was struck by the high top income tax rate—exactly double the highest tax rate today. It made me wonder: what would my income tax be if I had earned the equivalent of what I earn now several decades ago—or even in 1913, when the current federal income tax program was first introduced? What would the history of income taxes look like through the collective eyes of people in my exact financial situation over the past 100 years?

    Just enter your taxable income and filing status, and you get a time series of what your tax rate would've been years ago. It's kind of fun to mouse right to left to see your inflation-adjusted income.

    See also the New York Times piece from last month, which makes for an interesting contrast. Similar data was used, but the views are quite different.

  • An infographical look at Walking Dead kills over three seasons

    December 7, 2012  |  Infographics

    Walking Dead kills

    Andrew Barr and Richard Johnson for the National Post took a detailed look at the who, what, and when of Walking Dead kills.

    While AMC lets The Walking Dead gang take a short mid-season break — the Post's Andrew Barr
    and Richard Johnson look at a few of the key statistics of two-and-a-half season's worth of undead mayhem. They find noteworthy — the gradual increase in the body count, the increasingly creative means of Zombie dispatch, and the fact that every character seems to have developed a clear enjoyment for putting the ambulatory cadavers down for good.

    They also included weapons used, ranging from handgun to tree branch. See the full version here. Somewhere there's a piece of paper with a ton of tally marks on it.

    [Thanks, Thomas]

  • xkcd: Calendar of meaningful dates

    November 27, 2012  |  Infographics

    Using the Google ngrams corpus, xkcd sized the days of the year based on usage volume. Lots of firsts of the month and September 11th.

  • Futures in literature from the past

    November 21, 2012  |  Infographics

    Future from the past

    After seeing a timeline on future events as described in novels, designer Giorgia Lupi put it in visual form.

    Basing on speculative fiction captions collected by Jane Hu, the visualization analyses 62 foretold future events. For each event the visualization highlights typology (are they mainly social, scientific, technological, political?), year of the prediction, genre of the book and age of the author, while dividing them into positive, neutral or negative events. In the end, good news: in 802,701 the world will exist and everything will be more or less ok.

    The vertical bars represent how far in the past a future was described, icons in the middle represent type of event, and the rows underneath provide descriptions of said events.

    The sheer amount of fiction makes this a fun one to look at. Although, I wish Lupi spaced events by time instead of just listing them in chronological order. I mean, it's a giant graphic already. Might as well go all the way with the timeline framework.

  • Exploration of Hewlett grants

    November 14, 2012  |  Infographics

    Hewlett foundation

    Since 2000, the Hewlett Foundation has made over 7,000 grants summing $3.86 billion, to support communities around the world. Periscopic broke it down by area and amount. Each section is a heat map with years on the horizontal and amount on the vertical. The darker the shade of green, the more grants given that year for the corresponding amount. Click on a rectangle, and you can see the details of any individual grant. [Thanks, Kim]

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