I didn't fill out my bracket this year, so it's not nearly as exciting for me. I don't think that's stopped thousands of bars across the country from cleaning house though.
Yesterday was the Interactive Infographics panel at South by Southwest, and if Twitter is any indication of how it went, I'd say the panel had a captivated audience. I wouldn't expect anything less from the four panelists, Ben Fry (Processing), Shan Carter (NYT), Casey Caplowe (Good), and Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen)
Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend, but luckily I was able to follow the play-by-play on Livefyre (sort of a cross between chat and forum) along with some excellent notes from @jpmarcum and @bryanconnor. Here are the important bits I was able to glean.
The bulk of the time was spent showcasing the work from the four groups. I think you can find most of the projects through FlowingData. Just use the search form on the bottom right of this page. The good stuff came towards the end during the Q&A.
Designer Christopher Harrell talks about, with a dose of various embedded graphics, pointing your skills toward something good. Harrell's video was one of the winners in the What Matters to You scholarship competition for Vancouver Film School. It looks like home video, but that just adds to the charm.
From JESS3 is this video on the state of the internet. It's essentially a barrage of numbers, but it's fun nevertheless and it's got some interesting morsels in there.
Like everyone, I've been watching the Olympics, and it continues to amaze me how hundredths of a second can make up the difference between a gold medal and nothing at all. Amanda Cox of The New York Times visualizes and audiolizes(?) these tiny differences. She got creative with this one.
Each row is an event and going from left to right, the first dot is the gold medal winner. The amount of space between the first dot and the dots that follow is how many seconds athletes finished after the winner.
Visually, this only sort of works, but click on play to hear how these differences sound, and it puts everything in perspective.
Every Olympics since 1936 has had a series of pictograms (i.e. icons that look like restroom signs) that represents the events. Here are pictograms for the Vancouver games, and here they are for the Beijing Olympics. Some series are distinct while others clearly sucked it up. Designer Steven Heller discusses the evolution of these Olympic pictograms in this video for The New York Times. Which set do you like best?
Add another book to the growing library of guides on how to make information graphics the right way. Dona M. Wong, former graphics director of The Wall Street Journal and now strategy director for information Design at Siegel+Gale, provides the dos and don'ts of data presentation in The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics.
Given Wong's background, you can make a pretty good guess about the examples used. They're not graphics from The Journal but they do look a lot like them. The book description also makes a point of highlighting that Wong was a student of Edward Tufte, which was a big hint on what the book is like.
NPR shows projected employment changes from 2008 to 2018. Large circles represent major employment sectors and are sized by current employment numbers. Smaller circles are areas in the respective category.
Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but the sizes of the large sectors look funky. For example, is the bubble for Education, health, and social services really ten times the size of the bubble for Information? I don't think so (and it should be).
It'd probably aslo be worth distinguishing between negative and positive growth. You know something simple like making the 0% line solid or color-coding the declining sectors.
What do you think?
[via The Big Picture | Thanks, Barry]
I'm sure a lot of you love The Beatles. I'm not a huge fan myself, but for those who are, you will love these graphics from designer Michael Deal.
Seeing as the weekend is just about here, I'm sure many of you can find a use for this guide. It's drink recipes hand-drawn like schematics to some circuitry system. I like how color wasn't an option, so instead they used 42 stripe and dot patterns to differentiate ingredients.
See the full version here [pdf].
My sister sent this one along, but I couldn't find the original source. Anyone know?
In 1903, Crayola had eight colors in its standard package. Today, there are 120, along with special packs like Gem Tones and Silver Swhirls. What happened? Above, from Weather Sealed, shows the growing color selection (and a few color retirements) in the standard package from 1903 to now.
In 2101, Crayola will hit a color peak and revert to a simpler time. The standard pack will have just two colors: black and Tickle Me Pink (#FC89AC).
[via Waxy Links]
Randall of xkcd has been having fun with data visualization lately. In his latest data-ish comic, Randall explores gravity wells. The height of each well is sized relative to the amount of energy (on Earth) it would take to escape that planet's gravity. The width of wells are scaled by planet size.
So you'd need one big arse rocket to escape Jupiter.
I know it's a comic, hand-drawn, and all stick-figurey and stuff, but Randall actually explains the concepts really well. There's good annotation, clear examples, and he's made an obscure topic easy to understand.
It's also entertaining in the Bill Nye the Science Guy (i.e. best Saturday morning show ever) sort of way.
[Thanks, Ricki and Thomas]
All Things Considered discusses why music sounds worse than it did a few decades ago. Through a practice using compressors, the quiet parts of a song are made louder and the louder parts quieter so that the song as a whole sounds louder to your ear. The purpose: to make the song stand out when you hear it on the radio.
As a result, tracks have gotten louder over the years.
Did we all see this? Phillip Niemeyer of Double Triple pictures the past ten years in this Op-Chart for The New York Times. Each row is a theme, and each column represents a year. For example, the champion rep for 2007 is Tiger Woods or collagen as the fad of 2002. Oh how times change.
Have a happy new year everyone. Be safe.
In celebration of Information Aesthetics' birthday, Moritz Stefaner of Well-formed Data adapted his elastic lists concept to all five years of infosthetics posts. Each white-bordered rectangle represents a post, and colors within rectangles indicate post categories.
Select categories on the right, and the list updates to show related categories. Similarly, filter posts by year, author, and/or number of categories. Select a rectangle to draw up the actual post.
Go on, give it a try for yourself. Excellent work.
And then head over to infosthetics and wish it a happy birthday.
This interactive by Las Vegas Sun describes how in the long run, you're going to lose every single penny when you throw your hard-earned money into a slot machine. In the short-term though, it is possible to win. It's all probability. It's also why statisticians don't gamble. Nobody plays a game that he's practically guaranteed to lose, unless you're a masochist - or you're Al Pacino in that one horrible sports gambling movie with Matthew McConaughey.
One clarification on the snippet about payout percentage.
Here's what the graphic reads:
This is the ratio of money a player will get back to the amount of money he bets, which is programmed into the slot machine. If a machine has payout percentage of 90 percent, that means 90 percent of the money someone bets should statistically be won back. It means a player is not likely to lose 10 percent of the amount initially put into the machine, but rather 10 percent, on average, over time.
The wording is kind of confusing. To be more clear - over time, on average, you'd lose 10% of the money you put in per bet. This is an important note, because it's how casinos make money. For example, when you play Blackjack perfectly (sans card-counting), you'll lose on average 2% (or something like that) per hand, so play long enough, and you're going to lose all your money.
Imagine you have two buckets. One is filled with water. The other is empty. Transfer the water back and forth between the two buckets. Some of the water drips out during some of the transfers. Eventually, all the water is on the ground.
Ah yes, intro probability is fun. Play the virtual slot machine and do some learning for yourself.