• # Sorting algorithms visualized

July 26, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

This will be lost on many of you, but to the programmers this will make perfect sense. Basically, when programming, there are a lot of times when you have a long list of numbers or words that you'll want sorted greatest to least or alphabetically. The way this is done will vary by what algorithm you use. Aldo Cortesi visualizes these sorting algorithms, showing just how each one works.

If you're confused but still interested, here's a simple example.

Let's say you have a list of numbers from one to five listed as such: 4, 20, 6, 12, 100. We want to organize these systematically least to greatest. The easiest way would be to setup five "spots" and then go through each number, starting at the beginning, and decide if the number is bigger or smaller than the number we already looked at. That's not the most efficient way to do it though, and when you have millions of numbers to sort, instead of just five, then efficiency matters.

[Thanks, Marlena]

• # Discuss: Powerpoint is the enemy?

April 27, 2010  |  Discussion, Misc. Visualization

In reference to the above, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, leader of the American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, joked during a meeting, "When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war." The rest of the NYT article goes on to describe the suck that is Powerpoint.

Is Powerpoint really that bad though? I know we like to poke fun sometimes, but is it a limitation of the software, or is it users' lack of design skills? I mean there's a site dedicated to beautiful slide decks. Browse through those, and you start to think maybe it's the latter.

So we have a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Do people just not know how to use Powerpoint or does Powerpoint push people to the bad side? Sound off in the comments below.

[Thanks, Julia]

• # How Genetics Works

March 5, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

Simple yet effective. Any questions? [via 9gag | Thanks, Barry]

• # Man as Industrial Palace, Animated

February 24, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

In 1926, Fritz Kahn illustrated man as a working factory in his famous poster, Man as Industrial Palace. Tiny guys in each body system perform their own specific job. A camera man controls the eyes, groups of thinkers sit up top, and the guys at the bottom handle the dirty work.

• # Excessively Labeled Airplane Tells You Where the Big Cheese Sits

February 5, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

In case the in-flight pamphlet isn't enough for you, everything on this Kulula airplane is labeled for your convenience.

• # Dropped Food. Should You Eat it?

January 22, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

Since you'll be trying every single drink recipe in the engineer's guide this weekend, you're most likely going to drop some food on the ground. Consult this flowchart to decide whether to eat it. Results may vary by individual.

Food on the ground, food on the ground. Looking like a fool with your food on the ground.

• # Timescapes to Compare Chopin Recordings

January 13, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

How do you compare music visually? You can break it down into data by quantifying the notes, volume, etc and then visualize it with timescapes (above). The horizontal axis represents musical time, from the beginning to end of a piece. Large blocks show similarities to other pieces and smaller noisy chunks show more "fleeting" similarities.

• # Information vs. Confusion

October 23, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

You gotta love Jessica Hagy. If you've got the skills you should be able to widen the valley in that curve significantly.

Have a nice weekend all.

[via Cool Infographics]

• # An Addiction to Charts and Graphs

October 16, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

Haha, Jason Segel is hilarious. In this episode of How I Met Your Mother Segel's character Marshall has an interesting addiction that I think many FD readers can relate to.

• # Google Acquisitions Subway Map

September 29, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

Tack another graphic to the growing list of subway map metaphors. Meet the Boss "maps" Google acquisitions and investments, color-coding tracks by industry. The maroon track, for example, represents video, hence YouTube, which also interconnects with advertising and web services.

The design is nothing new (and kind of overdone), but the data are pretty interesting. I've never even heard of most of the acquisitions.

Does anyone know who was the first to use the subway map metaphor?

[via TechCrunch]

• # Getting a Good Night’s Sleep – Good Night and Tough Luck

September 17, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

Hilarious as always, Christoph Niemann illustrates in his graphical New York Times op-ed how getting a good night's sleep is easier said than done, especially when you have a small bladder, mosquitoes that won't go away, and a kid with nightmares. Enjoy.

• # A Road Map to Success

September 6, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

May you make it to the top of the mountain of success. I think I'm somewhere around the mountain of lack of preparation. Where are you?

[via Strange Maps]

UPDATE: Here's the full-sized version, originally from The Etude in 1913. [Thanks, @idefine]

• # Highs and Lows of Being a Young Man

September 4, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

i-am-bored graphs the horrible to awesome of becoming a man. Growing up ain't easy. So who's going to do the highs and lows of being a young woman?

Have a nice weekend all.

• # Total Eclipse of the Heart (Flowchart)

August 28, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

Jeannie Harrell takes Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler, and puts it in flowchart form. Yes, you guessed it. It's Friday. And what better way to start the weekend with the music video in all its 1980s glory.

• # Pepsi and Coca-Cola Logo Design Over the Past Hundred Years

August 13, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

There have actually been some subtle changes in the Coca-Cola logo but not nearly as dramatic as the Pepsi logos. I personally think the new Pepsi design is atrocious. They should have stopped in 1973.

• # Three Ingredients to Make the Perfect Business

July 24, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

Thanks to Jessica Hagy and her Indexed project, we've seen lots of graphs and venn diagrams to communicate ideas outside of data. Some are bad and others are good. Here's one of the good ones. Bud Caddell shows what it takes to make the perfect business, or more generally, just about everyone's dream - to get paid for what you're good at and love to do. Get the poster version of the graphic here.

[via dataviz]

• # 50 Cars to Make One Bus?

May 11, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

Flygbussarna, a Swedish coach bus company, in partnership with the Acne marketing group, assembled 50 cars into one bus to highlight the production of carbon emissions. Assuming slightly more than one person per car on average, one coach bus could potentially replace 50 cars on the road and reduce carbon emissions some 10 times over. Continue Reading

• # Music That Makes You Dumb

April 3, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

Virgil Griffith, a CalTech graduate student, follows up books that make you dumb with music that makes you dumb. "Dumb" people listen to Lil' Wayne and "smart" ones listen to Beethoven, that is, if you believe that SAT is a good judge of smarts. I'm not sure if this is actually new or just became popular again because it was in the WSJ. Virgil put up the book version over a year ago. Oh well, it's Friday. I'm personally all over the board on this one. What kind of music do you like?