• Ford Turns to Design and Data Visualization to Boost Sales

    January 13, 2009  |  Infographics

    1208_fusion_hybrid

    Ford sales are suffering. In an attempt to improve, they're going green with hybrid vehicles, and in doing so, had to shift their design. In their initial studies with IDEO, the Palo Alto-based design group, they found that drivers who were interested in fuel efficiency were "playing a game." Getting more miles to the gallon was like earning points. With that in mind, Ford worked with Smart Design to create a high-resolution LCD dashboard to show drivers how efficiently they drive.

    In order to play into the research finding that drivers are looking for a high score when it comes to fuel efficiency, one high-resolution LCD screen on the dash features an eye-catching rendering of curling vines blooming with green leaves. It's more than a decorative element; it's a data-visualization tool intended to change the way people drive. If a driver wastes gas by aggressively accelerating or slamming on the brakes, for example, the vine withers and leaves disappear. More leaves appear if individuals drive more economically. The system will be standard on all new Fusion Hybrids, which will start at about $27,000.

    There's still another 6 months until we see the results of this design shift, but what do you think of this futuristic-looking dashboard?

    [via BusinessWeek | Thanks, Alastair]

  • Tools You Need to Track Energy Consumption – WattzOn

    January 12, 2009  |  Infographics, Online Applications

    wattzon

    "Climate change is a global problem. But it's individuals who will create the solution." This is the WattzOn premise.
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  • Browser Wars – A New Take on Streamgraphs

    January 9, 2009  |  Infographics

    browserwars

    Because it's Friday - PixelLabs puts a cartoon-ish spin on streamgraphs. Who will win??

    [Thanks, @prblog]

  • Visual Guide to General Motors’ Financial Woes

    January 5, 2009  |  Infographics

    As you've probably heard, General Motors has come on some financial troubles and grows increasingly desperate for a federal bailout. How did the American vehicle giant get to this point? Will the bailout do any good?
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  • 9 Ways to Visualize Consumer Spending

    consumer_spending

    GOOD Magazine's most recent infographic (above and below) on consumer spending got me to thinking about all the other approaches I've seen on the same topic. The number of ways to attack a dataset never ceases to amaze me, so I dug a little. Yeah, there are a bunch - but here are some of the good ones. Got some more? Leave a link in the comments.
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  • Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis

    November 25, 2008  |  Infographics

    If you're like most people, you don't really know what's going on with the economy. You know there's something to do with loans and payments and what not, but not much else. Mint (the financial management app) and Wallstats (the guy who does the Death and Taxes poster) put together a "visual guide to the financial crisis" - or a flow chart, rather - to clear up some of those cloudy details. It goes back to 2003 after the dot-com crash up to the recent government bailout.

    [Thanks, Max]

  • Exploration of Our Presidents’ First 100 Days in Office

    November 11, 2008  |  Infographics

    GOOD Magazine and Atley Kasky collaborate to explore U.S. Presidents' first 100 days in office.

    I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people," Franklin D. Roosevelt told supporters in 1932 while accepting the presidential nomination. When he took office the following year, he spent his first 100 days enacting a dizzying number of reforms designed to stabilize an economically depressed nation. Since then, a president's first 100 days have been an indicator of what he is able to accomplish. In January 2009, the clock starts again.

    For each President, going back to FDR, a line represents his first 100 days in office. Each circle corresponds to a significant event. The profiles underneath the timelines start with a notable quote from the President's inauguration speech (except Truman and Johnson, who were sworn in after the death of Roosevelt and Kennedy, respectively) followed by events marked with cute, little icons that show what type of event it was. The % of popular vote, days in office, and political inheritance are there too.

    Yeah, it's a crud load of information (presented quite nicely). I hope you have a big monitor.

    [Thanks, @hungryclone]

  • Diagrams Galore in Diagram Diaries Flickr Group

    November 7, 2008  |  Infographics

    diagram-diaries

    For those watching the clock and waiting for the weekend to hurry up and start, here's the Diagram Diaries Flickr group. The 654 diagrams should keep you occupied for a good while. Enjoy, and have a good weekend, everyone.

  • Sprint Dashboard to the Universe – Plug Into Now

    November 6, 2008  |  Infographics

    Sprint, in a promotion to their mobile Internet service, created this amusing futuristic dashboard. "All aboard the now machine," the computer says. "How about a big bowl of now?... Please keep your hands inside the moment...your hair has grown 5 millionths of centimeter in the last second." It's got tickers for eggs being produced, emails being sent, spam emails being received, recent news from The New York Times, CNN, newsvine, top Google searches of the day, and most importantly, seconds until doughnut day. That'd be a nice little screensaver - or something I'd have running 24/7 on a giant plasma.

    Oh, and yes, that is my face in the middle.

  • Obama and McCain Voters’ Current State of Mind

    November 4, 2008  |  Infographics

    state-of-mind-2

    The New York Times adds another item to the list of things to watch tonight as election results start to pour in. The Times invites readers to enter one word that describes their current state of mind and who they support. You are allowed to enter a word once per hour. The result is the above self-updating word cloud as new words from readers flow from left to right. You can filter among McCain supporters, Obama supporters, or everyone. McCain supporters appear to be worried, scared, and nervous while Obama supporters are excited, hopeful, and optimistic. Both sides are anxious. What's your current state of mind?

  • Comparative View of Length of Rivers and Height of Mountains

    October 17, 2008  |  Infographics

    I had no idea these comparative views of length of rivers and heights of mountains were so popular - at least in the 1800s. There seemed to be a fascination with placing rivers and mountains next to each other when normally, we're used to seeing them intertwined in a geographic landscape. The above is actually just river lengths, but here's one that places rivers and mountains next to each other.
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  • May the Tallest and Fattest Win the Presidency

    October 7, 2008  |  Infographics

    taller

    OPEN N.Y. put together an amusing (and informative) graphic for a New York Times op-chart. It shows the height and weight of presidential candidates dating back to 1896 when William McKinley, weighing in at 5 feet 7 inches, won the election to become 25th president of the United States. The tall lead 17-8 and the heaver lead 18-8. William J. Bryan didn't stand a chance. Will Barack Obama add to the big and tall's lead or will John McCain win one for the little guy?

    [Thanks, Tom]

  • Tree Map to Show Losses by Major Companies

    September 17, 2008  |  Infographics

    Taking after Map of the Market, the New York Times uses tree maps to show a year of heavy losses by major companies. It's a pretty sad state of affairs. Content aside though, this is certainly one of the reasons the Times is so popular among the infographics crowd. Data visualization isn't just bar graphs and time series plots.
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  • How Consumers Around the World Spend Their Money

    September 17, 2008  |  Infographics

    This pseudo-map graphic from The New York Times shows how consumers in different countries spend their money. Squares represent selected countries and are sized and colored according to spending in 2007. As you might expect, the United States does some heavy spending on clothing and footwear.

    Does the graphic remind you of anything? The Times put up a different pseudo-map in force-directed graph format for the olympic medals. What do you prefer – pseudo-map or traditional?

  • How Eating Ice Cream and Feeling Gross Leads to Alcholism

    September 16, 2008  |  Infographics

    This stream of consciousness video (below) from Current is complete with animated infographics and some lovely narration. I have no idea why the video was made or if there was a story behind where the video came from. However, I do know that the narrator's voice is both reassuring and soothing, and I am ten times smarter after watching it.
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  • Plummeting Infographics from I.O.U.S.A – A Nation in Debt

    August 26, 2008  |  Infographics

    I haven't seen I.O.U.S.A. yet, but from the online bonus clips, it looks like it could be a good watch for you infographics junkies. The documentary examines the growing national debt and the consequences it will have on its citizens, so the source material sort of lends itself to plummeting time series charts with dramatic flare.

    Here's one showing personal savings rate over time:

    Deficits and social security over time:

    Debt-to-GDP projections:

    A $53 Trillion Federal Financial Hole:

    Those are just the bonus clips. I'm sure there are plenty more in the actual documentary.

    [Thanks, @samkim]

  • Amusing Disney Org Chart – From Walt on Down

    August 22, 2008  |  Infographics

    I'm not sure how old this Disney org chart is, but I'm guessing very. Ink and paint? What are those? In any case, it's amusing. Why are nurse, army coordinator, police, and morgue on there? The animation business is clearly more complex than I thought.

  • Awesome Olympics Coverage By The New York Times

    August 14, 2008  |  Infographics

    Who else has been enjoying the Olympics as much as I have? I think I might have developed an unhealthy obsession to the games these past few days with the 800 kajillion hours of NBC coverage.
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  • I’ll Take My Infographic in Bright Orange, Men’s Medium

    August 12, 2008  |  Infographics

    The Shirt Project, by Rich Watts and Louise Ma, takes the infographics out of the newspaper and puts them onto brightly colored tshirts. What a great idea. They put out a new shirt every couple of months and topics range from the New York steam explosion to a bit of pop culture celebrating the birthdays of Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna. Subscribe to tshirts the same way you subscribe to newspapers. For the low price of $20, you can be both stylish and educational.

  • Map of Olympic Medals in Bubble + Geographic Form

    August 6, 2008  |  Infographics

    Lee Byron, Amanda Cox and Matthew Ericson of the New York Times graphics department map Olympic medals starting from the first one hosted by the International Olympic Committee in 1896 up to the most recent one in Athens. It looks like someone has an affinity for the colliding ball effect. Not that that's bad or anything.

    The Encodings

    Bubbles for each country are arranged geographically (or by rank) and sized by the number of medals that country won. Each continent has its own color. Shift the timeline to look at a different year, and click on a bubble to get a medal breakdown. The one thing that's mysteriously missing is a play button to watch the map morph over time. I'm sure there's a good reason why, but it seems like a natural next step. Although, I guess I can just hold down the arrow keys.

    In any case, good stuff.

    Is it just me, or is anyone else seeing home court advantage playing a role in medal count?

    [Thanks, Max]

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