• Crayola Crayon Colors Multiply Like Rabbits

    January 19, 2010  |  Infographics

    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]

  • Need to Escape Jupiter’s Gravitational Pull? Good Luck

    January 8, 2010  |  Infographics

    gravity_wells_large

    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]

  • Even Older Infographics from the 19th Century

    January 6, 2010  |  Infographics

    Old graphics are awesome. We saw some from the 1930s already. These are even older.

    Other than the maps, I don't exactly know what I'm looking at (knowing French would help too), but who cares? Mmm, hand-drawn goodness.
    Continue Reading

  • A Visual History of Loudness in Popular Music

    January 5, 2010  |  Infographics

    loudness

    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.
    Continue Reading

  • Charting the Decade

    December 30, 2009  |  Infographics

    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.

    [via WeLoveDataVis]

  • Elastic Lists Celebrates Five Years of Information Aesthetics

    December 23, 2009  |  Infographics

    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.

  • Virtual Slot Machine Teaches the Logic of Loss

    December 18, 2009  |  Infographics, Statistics

    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.

    [Thanks, Tyson]

  • Infographic Coins for International Visitors

    December 17, 2009  |  Infographics

    You know when you go to another country and have no clue what the coins of the local currency are worth? I always end up with a giant handful of international coins, which doesn't go well when I try to spend a Euro in Canada. The US vending machine won't take my Canadian quarters either, or my pesos.
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  • Should You Get the H1N1 Vaccine?

    December 4, 2009  |  Infographics

    David McCandless, author of The Visual MIscellaneum, delves into the usefulness of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine. There was quite a bit of research involved, as there's a crud load of material about H1N1 (naturally).

    My wife's an ER doc, and she says it's not that big of a deal, seeing as way more people die from the flu, but here's full graphic. You can decide for yourself.

  • Choose Your Own Adventure – Watch the Stories Unfold (Updated)

    November 19, 2009  |  Infographics, Statistics

    Interaction designer Christian Swinehart takes a careful look at the popular Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 1980s. We saw something like this before, but Swinehart takes it a step further.
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  • The Future: Embedding Data in the Everyday

    November 18, 2009  |  Infographics

    Imagine a world where data becomes the everyday, simply embedded in what you normally do. It's really not far off if you think about it. We use charts, graphs, and viz to make important decisions with investments, businesses, and to stay informed on the news, so why not use it in our own lives?
    Continue Reading

  • Review: The Visual Miscellaneum by David McCandless

    November 16, 2009  |  Infographics

    David McCandless' The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia hit the shelves last week (in the US). As I flipped through 320 pages of original graphics during my flight from New York to California, I thought to myself, "FlowingData readers are going to love this."
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  • Land Mass and Population by Country

    November 13, 2009  |  Infographics

    landmass

    From Herald Daily is this giganto view of land mass and population size by country.
    Continue Reading

  • The Pitching Dominance of Mariano Rivera

    November 11, 2009  |  Infographics

    mariano-full

    The New York Yankees just won the World Series. I don't know much about baseball, but I do know that Mariano Rivera, the Yankee closer, has a lot to do with the success of his team. Whether you like it or not, Rivera dominates batters with just a 0.74 ERA over 88 post-season games.

    The New York Times provides a batter-by-batter look at Rivera's pitching since 1995. He's pitched to 501 batters in the post-season. Only 14 runs have been scored off of him.

  • Fictional Character Interactions Over Time

    November 3, 2009  |  Infographics

    Popular nerd comic xckd takes a look at character interactions over time in Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, 12 Angry Men, and Primer. The horizontal axis is time and the vertical axis indicates which characters are together at any given time. The result is something that looks like famed Minard graphic. Well, sort of. And of course it's all hand drawn, which adds to the nerd-ish charm.

    [Thanks, Wesley & Dave & Everyone else]

  • A Land Where Men and Women are Paid Equally

    November 2, 2009  |  Infographics

    equal-pay

    We all know (or at least should know) about the pay gap between men and women in the workplace. This graphic from Shakeup Media was made to highlight that gap by comparing two cities in the UK at opposite ends of the spectrum. In one city women are paid way less than men while in the other, women are actually paid a tad more.

    The aesthetic is nice and the subject matter is important. I also like the use of the Easy Tooltip jQuery plugin.

    I just wish there was more focus on the actual pay gap. Instead it was more of an exercise in displaying demographics of two cities, where each section is separate from the other. Some annotation in the tooltips about the cities' differing demographics would have tied things together nicely.

    [Thanks, Ryan]

  • Putting Cell Size in Perspective

    October 30, 2009  |  Infographics

    cell-size

    It's hard for us, cognitively speaking, to imagine things that are really really big or really really small, so we need things to put things in perspective.
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  • Failed Space Missions to Mars

    October 26, 2009  |  Infographics

    failures to Mars

    The above graphic shows missions to mars starting in 1960 to present (top to bottom). Paths are colored by country, and as you can see it's been a lot of missions from Europe and the United States lately. Obviously the farthest we've gone is with the rover with more to come.

    (I couldn't figure out where the graphic originally came from. Anyone know?)

    [via Fast Company | Thanks, Travis]

  • How Much Do CEOs Make in the United States?

    October 20, 2009  |  Infographics

    transparency-winner

    GOOD magazine's most recent transparency contest asked designers to focus their powers on showing CEO compensation in the United States.
    Continue Reading

  • One Life, One Stacked Area Chart

    October 15, 2009  |  Infographics, Self-surveillance

    life-chart

    Ben Fogarty uses a stacked area chart to represent his life. To us outsiders looking in it's not much more than that, but to Ben I am sure there is a story in every peak and valley. It's like a "this is your life" slideshow in data.

    This is the drive behind your.flowingdata. I don't think YFD is even remotely close yet to developing a personal narrative, but it's something to shoot for. I can imagine a lifetime of data replaying and watching it unfold like a movie. That'd be amazing. Then again, I might also end up like Jerry in Act 3 of Episode 88 in This American Life. Fingers crossed for the former.

    [via WeLoveDataVis]

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