Visualization

Showing the stories in data through statistics, design, aesthetics, and code.

A study of the geographic forms in cartography

Cartographer Geraldine Sarmiento from Mapzen explores the drawing forms in cartography, such as lines, bridges, and buildings. What is the visual language of cartography? Let’s explore this question through the…

Mapping happiness

Gallup surveyed Americans about their well-being across various factors. National Geographic gets into some of the geographic breakdowns. While Gallup’s survey doesn’t attempt to explain why individuals feel the way…

Statistical diversity in US newsrooms

If a news organization wants to talk about the world in a fair way, it needs points of view from a group of people who are representative of said world.…

Map of Santa Rosa fires

Using both satellite images and ground surveys, The New York Times maps the damage due to the fires in Santa Rosa. Crazy. I live a couple of hours away from…

US electricity sources map

This interactive map from CarbonBrief shows how America generates electricity. Each circle represents a power source, color represents type, and size represents output. See also a more edited version from…

Darkness mapped in Puerto Rico

Three weeks in, much of Puerto Rico is still without power. Denise Lu and Chris Alcantara for The Washington Post map the lights at night, based on satellite composite data…

Frequency trails chart explainer

Frequency trails, or currently better known as joyplots, is a visualization method to show multiple distributions at once. Taken individually, each distribution is shown as a density curve, and they…

Math to fix gerrymandering, explained in comic

Gerrymandering doesn’t sound like an especially sexy topic, but it’s an important one to pay attention to. District lines are drawn in roundabout ways sometimes to favor a party. This…

Visualizing nonlinear stories

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.…

Logos drawn from memory

Signs asked 150 people to draw famous logos — Apple, Starbucks, Burger King, etc. — from memory, and they compiled the results. It’s a relatively small sample size and drawing…

LaVar Ball trolling to the top, through a tweet count lens

I didn’t know who LaVar Ball was, and suddenly, it was non-stop sports news about the Ball family. If you’re unfamiliar, LaVar Ball is the father of a now professional…

Triangulate a picture

Triangulate, a fun tool made by Michael Freeman, lets you upload a picture and it randomly assigns points to output something that looks pixelated but with triangles. Give it a…

How fake data goes viral

BuzzFeed describes how an article on Daily Mail — that falsely reported claims and data about climate change — went viral. Seven months since publishing, the British site finally admitted…

Nine rounds a second sonified

The New York Times used sonification along with a dot plot to demonstrate the speed of gunfire in Las Vegas. They compared it to the shooting in Orlando and an…

Mass exodus at human scale

Big numbers are too abstract in our minds to fully understand the scale of things. So, to show the full gravity of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims fleeing Myanmar’s…

Grid map variations

Grid maps are a useful way to show state-level data, as they give equal visual weight to each state and maintain a bit of geographic location for quicker referencing. Each…

Given your income, most beneficial tax breaks

With the release of the Republican proposed tax plan, Reuben Fischer-Baum and Kevin Schaul look at where deductions and tax credits are currently. Enter your adjusted gross income or click…

LEGO world map

Check out this five-foot long LEGO world map. [W]e wanted to have a big picture for our living room but couldn’t agree on a motive. At the end of 2015…

Time map shows locations based on how long it takes to get there

With the premise that we often search for locations based on how long it takes to get there rather than where they actually are in physical space, the time map…

Thermal structure of Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria touched down in Puerto Rico. This visualization by Joshua Stevens at NASA shows what the thermal structure of the storm looked like, based on data collected by the…

Visual narrative of six asylum seekers

We often visualize migration and people movement as lines that go from point A to point B. While this can be interesting for overall trends, we lose something about the…

Computer uses wind to mine cryptocurrency and then fund climate research

HARVEST is an art piece by Julian Oliver that consists of a 4G-connected waterproof computer connected to a wind turbine. While it is powered by the wind, the computer mines…

Aviation tracker with depth

I’ve grown bored of maps that show commuter traffic, but for whatever reason, air traffic maps continue to seem interesting. Add this fun experiment by Jacob Wasilkowski to the list.…

Tour of Saturn through Cassini, the satellite that crashes on Friday

About two decades ago, the Cassini satellite headed towards Saturn and has been orbiting the planet for 13 years. The satellite is scheduled to crash into Saturn’s atmosphere on Friday…

Landsat satellite imagery browser

Downloading and viewing satellite imagery is a bit of a process. There are lot of images, and pictures aren’t taken in the exact same spot (because they’re taken from a…

Comparing the strength of Hurricane Irma against previous hurricanes

For perspective, The New York Times compares the strength of Hurricane Irma to hurricanes from the past 50 years that reached Category 3. They transition through three views in the…

Mortgages in terms of years of working life

Buying a house is often confusing and complex, compounded by a dollar sign followed by too many commas and zeros. So John Nelson broke it down to something more simple.…

Thirty years of hurricanes

After their graphic for thirty years of floods, Axios follows up with thirty years of Atlantic hurricanes. Each area represents the wind speed and time of a hurricane, and color…

Cost of Hurricane Harvey

Kevin Quealy for The Upshot charted the estimated cost of Hurricane Harvey, along with the cost of storms past, going back to 1980. I like the animated bands for the…

Everyday thresholds visualized in dramatic fashion

This is a fun one that’s weirdly suspenseful. Everyday thresholds, like the slow flip of a light switch towards the on position and stacking blocks until they fall over, are…