• 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.

  • Civilian casualties in Gaza

    July 29, 2014  |  Infographics

    Deaths in Gaza

    Lazaro Gamio and Richard Johnson for the Washington Post cover civilian deaths in the recent Gaza conflict, namely child civilians. Red icons represent children.

    Similar to a previous piece on the death penalty in the United States, the icons provide more focus on individuals while maintaining a zoomed out view of the situation. However, this piece brings an interactive component that shows deaths over time and more information in tooltips on the mouseover.

  • Senator John Walsh plagiarism, color-coded

    July 25, 2014  |  Infographics

    John Walsh plagiarism

    John Walsh, the U.S. Senator from Montana, is in the news lately for plagiarizing a large portion of his final paper towards his master's degree. The New York Times highlighted the portions that Walsh copied without attribution (red) and the portions he copied with improper attribution (yellow). About a third of the paper was just straight up lifted from others' works, including the final recommendations and conclusion, which is basically the grand finale.

    See also: Visualizing Plagiarism by Gregor Aisch, which shows the plagiarized PhD thesis of Germany's former Minister of Defense.

  • Changing World Cup fans

    July 13, 2014  |  Infographics

    World Cup fans

    Shan Carter and Kevin Quealy for the Upshot have a look at sports fandom once again using Facebook usage as a proxy. This time they examined shifting fan support during the World Cup.

    A new analysis by Facebook's data science team analyzed migrations of fan support from one country to another throughout the tournament, stage by stage. It's based partly on the contents of people's posts, which means it is largely a reflection of the views of people who follow the World Cup at least to some degree. In the chart above showing global opinion, Brazil, the U.S. and Mexico have a strong influence on the results, because of their size, Facebook population and high interest in the World Cup.

    Keep in mind World Cup posts for a specific country aren't counted once that team dropped from the tournament. So it's not so much shifting fandom as it is who people rooted for during each round.

    Be sure to check out the whole article to see how fandom shifted by country. (Congrats, Germany.)

  • Mosquitos: The deadliest animal

    July 11, 2014  |  Infographics

    Biggest Killers

    This graphic from the Gates Foundation is from a few months ago, but it was just National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. The small illustrations in this case make the graphic. Although I'm interested in seeing those "wide error margins."

  • Whaling in Japan explained

    July 8, 2014  |  Infographics

    Whaling

    After a ruling by the United Nations International Court of Justice, Japan was ordered to stop whaling in parts of Antarctica. However, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently sees the whaling practice differently. Adolfo Arranz for the South China Morning Post explains in a detailed graphic. Above is only about a third of it, so be sure to click through for the full version.

  • Data trails explainer

    July 3, 2014  |  Infographics

    We produce data all the time, everywhere we go, and this process implies something about how we live. Jer Thorp explains in this short explainer video animated by Erica Gorochow.

  • NSA programs with goofy names

    July 1, 2014  |  Infographics

    NSA programs matrix

    Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson for ProPublica made a chart of NSA programs revealed in the past year. Programs were plotted subjectively from foreign to domestic surveillance on the horizontal axis and targeted to bulk surveillance on the vertical. So you get more controversial the further you move up towards the top right corner.

    Interesting stuff.

    The best part though is the goofy program names, as illustrated by Alberto Cairo. ParanoidSmurf and his siblings Nosey, Tracker, and Dreamy; EgotisticalGoat and EgotisticalGiraffe; WillowVixen. First off, who names these programs? And second, how do I get in on the naming action (without becoming creepy)?

  • What separates here from there

    June 13, 2014  |  Infographics

    New Scientist quickly covers three theories of space and time in an informational video.

  • Jobs recovery and loss, by industry

    June 5, 2014  |  Infographics

    Recession reshapes

    Jeremy Ashkenas and Alicia Parlapiano for The Upshot just plopped this interactive sucker on to the web. Each line shows change in job count for an industry. Horizontally, they're organized by average salary, and vertically, they're organized by relative change since the end of the recession. Green represents growth and red represents decline.

    My initial reaction was along the lines of what-the-heck, but then you see the axes and get the mouseover actions for details. Scroll down, and you get highlighted subsets. By the end, you've learned something.

  • Death penalty, the executed and the victims

    May 27, 2014  |  Infographics

    The Washington Post provides a look at the death penalty in the United States, from 1977 to present. On the left is an icon for each executed and on the right are the murderers' victims. Be sure to read the annotation for full context.

    Death penalty comparison

  • Military infographic fascination

    May 21, 2014  |  Infographics

    Military concepts

    Paul Ford describes his fascination with military infographics. Here's what he has to say about the graphic above:

    Take some time with that graphic. After a while you realize that this image could be used anywhere in any paper or presentation and make perfect sense. This is a graphic that defines a way of describing anything that has ever existed and everything that has ever happened, in any situation. The United States Military is operating at a conceptual level beyond every other school of thought except perhaps academic philosophy, because it has a much larger budget.

    Never mind the aesthetics and readability. It's the content and the scale at which these graphics are presented that make them fascinating. Okay, and maybe the aesthetics and readability lend to the entertainment value, too.

  • The size of Game of Thrones dragons compared

    May 1, 2014  |  Infographics

    Release the dragons!

    Because Game of Thrones. Max Fleishman and Fernando Alfonso III for The Daily Dot compared the size of dragons on various shows and movies, from Mushu to Toothless to Smaug to Balerion. The tiny black dot on the left bottom corner is a person.

    See also the size comparison of science fiction starships, Pixar characters, and everything else.

  • Exponential water tank

    March 31, 2014  |  Infographics

    Exponential water tank

    Hibai Unzueta, based on a paper by Albert Bartlett, demonstrates exponential growth with a simple animation. It depicts a man standing in a tank with finite capacity and water rising slowly, but at an exponential rate.

    Our brains are wired to predict future behaviour based on past behaviour (see here). But what happens when something growths exponentially? For a long time, the numbers are so little in relation to the scale that we hardly see the changes. But even at moderate growth rates exponential functions reach a point where the numbers grow too fast. Once we confirm that our predictions about the future have failed, very little time to react may be left.

    All looks safe at first, because the water rises so slowly, but it seems to rise all of a sudden. Oh, the suspense. What will happen to cartoon pixel man?

  • Beer me, Minnesota

    March 14, 2014  |  Infographics

    Beer me Minnesota

    The Star Tribune has a fun interactive that recommends Minnesota brews, based on five key beer characteristics. Use sliders to enter your preference of bitterness, aroma, etc and the results come in radar graph form.

    Whether you're a creature of habit or always up for something new, this tool will help you get to know what’s brewing in Minnesota. We’ve catalogued more than 100 beers from 36 Minnesota breweries and sorted them by five characteristics.

    I fully expect someone to expand this to the rest of the world.

  • Surviving on minimum wage

    February 17, 2014  |  Infographics

    Surviving on minimum wage

    As most of us know, it's not easy getting by on minimum wage, and in some places it's not possible. The New York Times provides a calculator to see how challenging it can be.

    A simple visual on the right shows dollars made per year, one box per dollar colored green initially and then red to signal debt. It's a good way to make the numbers more relatable. Select a state, enter expenses, and watch dollars disappear, and most likely you'll end up in the red early.

  • Olympic event explainer videos

    February 10, 2014  |  Infographics

    Olympics coverage by NYT

    Winter Olympic events are filled with subtleties that if you know about them, can help you appreciate athletes' skills and the sports a bit more. The New York Times published three explainer videos to help you do just that. So far, there's one on slopestyle, which has roots in the Winter X Games, another on the luge, which is freakin' dangerous, and the halfpipe, from Shaun White's perspective. The features are a nice combination of video, graphics, and narrative.

    If you're watching the Olympics, do yourself a favor and bookmark NYT Olympic coverage.

  • Olympic events placed in New York for scale

    February 5, 2014  |  Infographics

    Bryant park ski jump

    The New York Times published a fun piece that places Winter Olympic events in the city. Events include the luge in Times Square, ski jump in Bryant Park, and speed skating down Broadway.

    The Winter Olympics sometimes gets flack for being the thing in between the more popular Summer Olympics, but I think it has a lot to do with scale and perception of the events. People know how fast they run, but don't always get how steep the mountains are. I used to go downhill skiing, and from a distance the hills didn't look especially daunting, but when I stood at the top of the black diamond, it looked pretty scary.

  • History through the president’s words

    January 30, 2014  |  Infographics

    History through the Presidents Words

    The Washington Post visualized the use of specific words throughout the years during State of the Union addresses.

    Since 1900, there have been 116 State of the Union addresses, given by 20 presidents, with some presidents giving two addresses a year. Studying their choice of words, over time, provides glimpses of change in American politics—"communism" fades, "terrorism" increases—and evidence that some things never change ("America" comes up steadily, of course. As does "I.").

    For some reason the interactive won't load for me now (It did yesterday.), but there's also a PDF version that you can download. Although the PDF only goes back to 1989 Bush, so try for the interactive version first. It was an interesting one. Update: Works again.

    Can you believe it? We made it through an entire SOTU without a single word cloud. Come to think of it, I can't even remember the last time I saw one. I almost feel cheated.

  • State gun laws since Newtown

    December 12, 2013  |  Infographics

    Gun laws by NYT

    The New York Times explored state gun bills since Newtown.

    In the 12 months since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., almost every state has enacted at least one new gun law. Nearly two-thirds of the new laws ease restrictions and expand the rights of gun owners. Most of those bills were approved in states controlled by Republicans. Those who support stricter regulations won some victories — mostly in states where the legislature and governorship are controlled by Democrats — to increase restrictions on gun use and ownership.

    Each chart shows the timeline of a bill and rounds of legislation. A law is signed when the line reaches the top, where green represents looser gun restrictions and orange represents tighter.

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