• Louisiana is drowning

    August 29, 2014  |  Mapping

    Losing Ground by Propublica

    Louisiana is quickly losing much of its coast to the Gulf of Mexico. ProPublica and The Lens just launched an interactive project that shows you by how much and tells the story of those affected.

    In 50 years, most of southeastern Louisiana not protected by levees will be part of the Gulf of Mexico. The state is losing a football field of land every 48 minutes — 16 square miles a year — due to climate change, drilling and dredging for oil and gas, and levees on the Mississippi River. At risk: Nearly all of the nation's domestic energy supply, much of its seafood production, and millions of homes.

    There is a lot to look at and learn about, but the most telling is when you zoom in to specific regions indicated by squares on the map. Use the timeline that appears at the top of the map to see how the coastline, based on satellite imagery, has diminished since 1932. It's disconcerting.

  • Interactive tool shows impact of terrorism

    August 28, 2014  |  Infographics

    A World of Terror by Periscopic

    The Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the University of Maryland, is an open source database that catalogs terrorism events since 1970 through 2013. Data visualization firm Periscopic visualized the incident-level data in A World of Terror.

    There are over 3,065 organizations and groups listed in the GTD. To identify the top 25 organizations who used terrorist tactics, we determined the groups with the most killings, the most wounded, and the most incidents. We wanted to make sure we were inclusive of all actions, including those that neither wounded nor killed. We aggregated these 3 lists and took the top 25 organizations (most were in the top 30 for all 3 categories). These top 0.8% of groups account for over 26% of the 125,087 incidents.

    The midsection of each group shows number of incidents by month and year. The darker the brown, the more incidents on record. Then on the top and bottom shows number of people killed in red and wounded in orange, respectively. Finally, click on the map in the top left for more information about the organization.

    Spend some time with this one. Periscopic shows a lot without it ever feeling like too much.

  • Graph-based video game

    August 27, 2014  |  Data Art

    Last year, Metrico, an infographic-based puzzle game for the PlayStation Vita, was announced for future release. It's out now.

    I must've been in a pissy mood from too many spam-fographics in my suggestions inbox last year, because I brushed this game off for whateversville (and seemed upset about it). Metrico totally seems like a game I would like though. You essentially navigate a 3-D world of graphs, and the terrain changes based on your own actions and button pushes. Just don't use the game design as an idea bucket for your next slide deck. [via Wired]

  • Face tracking coupled with projection mapping

    August 26, 2014  |  Data Art

    Projection mapping — the use of projected images onto physical objects to turn them into something else — continues to grow more impressive. Nobumichi Asai and team combined it with face tracking to completely change a person's face to someone and something else.

    Slightly creepy. Super fascinating. [via Boing Boing]

  • Finding small villages in big cities

    August 25, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Urban Village

    Daily life in cities tends to differ from daily life in small towns, especially by who we interact with. The MIT Senseable City Lab and the Santa Fe Institute studied this social aspect — individuals' contacts by city size — through anonymized mobile phone logs. As expected, those in cities with greater populations tended to have more contacts. However, when the researchers looked at who knew who, the results were more constant.

    Surprisingly, however, group clustering (the odds that your friends mutually know one another) does not change with city size. It seems that even in large cities we tend to build tightly knit communities, or 'villages,' around ourselves. There is an important difference, though: if in a real village our connections might simply be defined by proximity, in a large city we can elect a community based on any number of factors, from affinity to interest to sexual preference.

    Read the full paper for more details.

  • Introvert’s heart mapped

    August 22, 2014  |  Mapping

    Introvert's heart

    Cartoonist Gemma Correll mapped the introvert's heart, from recluse corner to the town of online ordering. Seems about right.

    It's also available in print, so that you can decorate your cave.

  • Mapping plastic in the ocean

    August 21, 2014  |  Mapping

    In research efforts to understand marine debris, Andres Cozar CabaƱas et al recently published findings on plastic debris in the open ocean. National Geographic and geographer Jamie Hawk mapped the data.

    Extent of ocean plastic

  • When the world sleeps

    August 20, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Jawbone Sleep

    An additional hour of sleep can make a huge difference in how you feel the next day (especially when you have kids). It's the ability to concentrate for long periods of time versus the ability to stare at a clock until your next break. I got the Jawbone UP24 band to try to improve on that, and I still wear it every night to better understand my sleep habits.

    So, it only seems natural for Jawbone to look closer at how people sleep as a whole in a couple of interactive graphics. Select your city to see how people sleep in your neck of the woods.

    Every now and then we see a set of graphics that shows America's sleep habits, based on data from the American Time Use Survey. The Jawbone data is likely more accurate though, which makes it more interesting. The former depends on survey participants' memories and doesn't factor out things like reading in bed. The latter is actual sleep.

  • Everywhere Jonny Cash went, man

    August 20, 2014  |  Mapping

    Everywhere

    Johnny Cash says he went to a lot of places in his song, "I've Been Everywhere." Iain Mullan had some fun with the location list for Music Hack Day London and mapped each place as the song plays.

    Also related to songs and location: where Ludacris claimed to have hoes.

  • Talking Ferguson on Twitter and localness

    August 18, 2014  |  Mapping

    Ferguson tweets

    For trending topics, Twitter likes to show an animated map of how a lot of people talked about something at once. They pushed one out for Ferguson tweets. Naturally, the map looks a lot like population density. So instead, Eric Huntley aggregated and normalized for a more useful view.

    Ultimately, despite the centrality of social media to the protests and our ability to come together and reflect on the social problems at the root of Michael Brown's shooting, these maps, and the kind of data used to create them, can't tell us much about the deep-seated issues that have led to the killing of yet another unarmed young black man in our country [5]. And they almost certainly won't change anyone's mind about racism in America. They can, instead, help us to better understand how these events have been reflected on social media, and how even purportedly global news stories are always connected to particular places in specific ways.

    You won't find answers to the more important questions on Twitter.

  • Map of military surplus distribution

    August 17, 2014  |  Mapping

    Spreadof military's surplus

    With the situation in Ferguson, the New York Times mapped the distribution of military surplus through Defense Department program. Equipment, especially assault rifles, have gone to most parts of the United States.

  • FuelBand Fibers visualizes daily activities beautifully

    August 15, 2014  |  Data Art

    Running fibers

    Leading up to a Nike women's 10k run, design studio Variable made FuelBand Fibers, an artistic interpretation of a week of activity from seven individuals.

    To celebrate effort of preparing for the run Nike has chosen 7 influential runners equipped with FuelBands. Up to the minute Nike Fuel data was then collected 24/7 and delivered to Variable to tranform into beautiful artworks. This is how Fibers were born. 7 digital fibers growing when the person is working out, one for each day of training, stylized uniquely for the given runner.

    So each fiber represents a day, each essentially a timeline from bottom to top. Thickness represents activity, and colors represent times when a person led in the FuelBand community. The results: organic.

    See more details on what the visuals show and how it was made on the project page.

    Reminds me of Universal Everything, which also focused on individuals' movements. [via Creative Applications]

  • State of birth, by state and over time

    August 14, 2014  |  Infographics

    Where people in Idaho were born

    We've seen migration within the United States before, but Gregor Aisch, Robert Gebeloff, and Kevin Quealy for the Upshot take a more time-centric look at how people moved state to state, over the past century.

    The following charts document domestic migration since the turn of the last century, based on census data. For every state, we've broken down the population by resident's state of birth. The ribbons are color-coded by region, and foreign-born residents are included at the bottom, in gray, to complete the picture for each state.

    The good thing about the ribbon approach, other than the flow-like aesthetic that lends well to the topic, is that you can see the change in order through the years. Unlike a stacked area chart, each layer isn't restricted to an original ranking, so you can for instance, see that a lot of people born in California moved to Idaho starting in the 1960s.

    On top of that, there are lots of nice details like ribbons move to the top when you mouse over, labels that follow the time series pattern, and a thicker highlight bar at each point in time. All of these make the data easier to read.

    Check out the details of your state and others.

  • Interactive documentary takes you through space and orbits

    August 14, 2014  |  Mapping

    Interactive video for space

    Impressive work in A Spacecraft for All:

    This Chrome Experiment follows the unlikely odyssey of the ISEE-3, a spacecraft launched in 1978 to study the Sun, but better known for its amazing accomplishments beyond that original mission. "A Spacecraft for All" is an interactive documentary combining film and 3D graphics, allowing you to follow the spacecraft's story as you trace it along its entire 36 year journey.

    The combination of video and interactive sometimes feels gimmicky, but this feels like they belong together. The interactive portion lets you casually interact in space and look at orbit paths, and the video portion explains what you're looking at. Guidance comes when necessary.

  • Where the poor live, a decade comparison

    August 13, 2014  |  Mapping

    Poverty and race in America

    To better understand race and poverty, MetroTrends maps where people live whose income is below the poverty line.

    The history, geography, and politics of individual metro regions all matter profoundly, and any serious policy strategy must be tailored to local realities.

    To help take the policy conversation from the general to the specific, we offer a new mapping tool. It lets you explore changes from 1980 to 2010 in where poor people of different races and ethnicities lived, for every metropolitan region nationwide.

    Each dot, color-coded by race, represents 20 people. So when you slide between views for 1980 and 2010, you see how areas have grown more or less diverse, increased or decreased in covered areas, and perhaps areas in need of more attention.

  • Mapping the spread of drought, nationally

    August 11, 2014  |  Mapping

    Drought time series

    Although California has perhaps had it the worst, drought also affects other states, mainly the southwestern ones. Mike Bostock and Kevin Quealy for the New York Times have been updating an animated map weekly. It shows the spread of drought severity, across the United States. But, be sure to scroll down to also see drought levels over time, shown as stacked area chart.

    See also: NPR drought tracking from a couple of years ago.

  • California drought in small multiples

    August 11, 2014  |  Visualization

    LA Times - California drought

    To show the increased levels of drought throughout the state of California, Kyle Kim and Thomas Suh Lauder for the LA Times showed weekly change in drought levels with 188 color-coded California maps. There's also an animated version, but why do that when you can scrollllll?

    A couple of years ago, the New York Times did something similar, but with a two-category color scale and on a national scale.

  • Wi-Fi strength revealed in physical space

    August 6, 2014  |  Data Art

    Personal hotspot

    Digital Ethereal is a project that explores wireless, making what's typically invisible visible and tangible. In the piece above, a handheld sensor is used to detect the strength of Wi-Fi signal from a personal hotspot. A person waves the sensor around the area, and long-exposure photography captures the patterns.

    Reminds me of the Immaterials project from a while back, which used a light stick to represent signal strength rather than a signal light.

  • Google Doodle Venn diagram

    August 4, 2014  |  Visualization

    Google Doodle Venn

    In celebration of John Venn's 180th birthday, today's Google Doodle produces a Venn diagram with the two O's in Google's name. Click the play button for a little bit of entertainment.

    For more Venn fun, see also Muppet name etymology, the Venn pie-agram, and what makes a platypus playing a keytar.

  • Cultural history via where notable people died

    August 4, 2014  |  Mapping

    A group of researchers used where "notable individuals" were born and place of death, based on data from Freebase, as a lens into culture history. The video explainer below shows some results:

    From Nature:

    The team used those data to create a movie that starts in 600 bc and ends in 2012. Each person's birth place appears on a map of the world as a blue dot and their death as a red dot. The result is a way to visualize cultural history — as a city becomes more important, more notable people die there.

    Before you jump to too many conclusions, keep in mind where the data comes from. Freebase is kind of like Wikipedia for data, so you get cultural bias towards the United States and Europe. There are fewer data points just about everywhere else.

    Therefore, avoid the inclination to think that such and such city or country looks unimportant, focus on the data that's there and compare to what else is in the vicinity. From this angle, this is interesting stuff. [Science via Nature | Thanks, Mauro]

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