Mr. Dalliard provides this handy flowchart to organize time travel movies. And yes, I immediately looked for Back to the Future and backtracked.
The Kepler mission by NASA has discovered more than 100 planets that orbit stars. Jonathan Corum for The New York Times visualized the ones with known size and orbit using small multiples. Scroll all the way down for our solar system as a point of reference.
With the start of the NBA playoffs tomorrow, it's worth coming back to Kirk Goldsberry's analysis on the evolution of Lebron James' shot preference. James used to hang around the 3-point line a lot, but he spends a lot more time in the low post these days.
Designer Ruben van der Vleuten was curious about the shipping process, so he did what anyone would do. He installed a camera in a cardboard box and shipped it to himself. Below is a time-lapse video of the package's journey.
No comment necessary. [Thanks, Tom]
This video clearly describes the distribution of wealth in America using a set of transitioning charts. The graphics are good. The explanation is better.
Data visualization group Dataveyes looks closer at the Paris metro system from a time and crowd point of view.
This visualization offers to challenge the way we traditionally view our 2D metro maps. Métropolitain takes on an unexpected gamble: using cold, abstract figures to take the pulse of a hectic and feverish metropolis. The metro map is no longer arbitrarily dictated by the spatial distance between two points. By playing around with two extra variables — time and crowds — users can transform the map, view it in 3D and unveil the true reality behind their daily commute.
No doubt inspired by the Travel Time Tube Map of the London Underground by Tom Carden, Métropolitain lets you select a station and the lines morph to represent how long it takes to get to other stations. A layer underneath is a heatmap that shows annual incoming traffic per station.
Finally, you can switch between 2-D and 3-D. I'm not sure if the extra dimension adds much from an understanding point of view, but it is fun to play with. [via infosthetics]
Most of the photos are taken of land. Coastlines, islands and cities seem to be popular targets. So much so that it’s possible to make out basic continents. This makes sense, photos of clouds over an otherwise blank ocean get old after a while. I'm sure every astronaut has taken at least one photograph of the town they grew up in.
Above is the use of small multiples to show pictures taken during separate missions.
How much space is there per person in different countries? Andrew Bergmann for CNNMoney took a look.
Population density measures the amount of people in a given area, generally per square kilometer or mile. It's difficult to get a clear image of what these vast spaces actually represent, so I thought that it would be interesting to flip the equation on its head and figure out how much space there is on average per person.
The interactive shows 20 countries and each is represented by a circle sized by average square feet per person. Of course, as with population density, this data is broad with land distribution and usage to consider, but it's informative from a general viewpoint. Although the math might be slightly off in the square feet calculation. Or maybe that's just rounding.
If you've ever looked at ticket prices for sporting events, you probably noticed the disparity in prices of when your team plays a popular team or a rival versus a less than stellar team. Last time I looked a ticket to watch the Golden State Warriors play the Lakers or Heat was twice as much as when they played the Kings. David Yanofsky for Quartz noted the same pricing strategy in baseball.
The heat map above shows the effect of visiting teams on ticket prices. As you'd expect (if you follow baseball even just a tiny bit), price goes up significantly when the New York Yankees come to town. In contrast, the price goes down when the Seattle Mariners show up.
There's clearly a supply and demand thing going on here. Nobody wants to see bad teams play. But now it's time to pull a Billy Beane. How little can you spend on a team and a stadium and still make a profit? [Thanks, David]
As summer rolls around here on this side of the planet, CBC News mapped countries to avoid in your travel plans, based on foreign travel advisories from the Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Naturally, Canada isn't colored on the map because the map was made for Canadians, but I think it's safe to assume that they'd be colored green too and most, if not all, of the advisories apply to those of us here in the United States. [Thanks, John]
Long distances (and big numbers) can be difficult grasp. Designers Jesse Williams and David Paliwoda took a stab at it and made it easier to understand the distance from Mars. Simple and totally fun. I'm not sure how accurate the travel time and distance are, but I'm guessing it takes differing orbits into account.
There's a strand of the data viz world that argues that everything could be a bar chart. That's possibly true but also possibly a world without joy.
—Amanda Cox, 2013
There's a great interview with Amanda Cox from The New York Times on visualization, some of the skills required, and where the field is headed. I like this tidbit on design, which is a contrast to the above:
Design and typography do matter. It's about hierarchy of information and how people perceive information. Done properly, that clean up work really matters. On the other hand, it's easy to believe that it matters more than it does. If you make a fantastically interesting chart and some poor design decisions, the data will still come through. If you make a bad chart with a beautiful design, what have you done, really?
Read the whole thing. Thank me later.
Melting snowpacks feed into streams and rivers and serve as a source of water for nearby communities. The Snow Water Equivalent Cabinet by artist Adrien Segal represents the amount of water in snowpack in Ebbetts Pass, California.
Each drawer is one year of data for a total of 31 years - 1980 - 2010. The size of the drawer is directly related to the amount of water stored in the snowpack for the given year. Some of the drawers are so shallow that they are barely functional. Wet years have larger drawers.
I understand the metaphor behind the limited functionality at low water points, but a totally functional version would be a sexy piece in a studio. Snow Water is currently on display at the Richmond Art Center as part of the Innovations in Contemporary Crafts exhibition until June 1. [Thanks, Michael]
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cab drivers and chauffeurs make a median salary of $22,400 per year, or $10.79 an hour. (I believe that's not including tips.) Using about three months of fare data from a single driver, Alvin Chang for The Boston Globe showed how a driver makes a living day-to-day.
Time runs left to right, and each column represents fares collected in a day. A driver starts each day in the red when he or she leases a cab for $125, which includes gas, and then works into the blue.
After an animation plays out over a few seconds, you can click to zoom in and see specific fares. I expected to drag left and right once zoom, but the chart just zooms back out. I suspect the interaction is mostly there for people on mobile devices. I also wanted to scrub the vertical line that indicates time to see details for spikes or days no fares were collected.
So there's still a bit to be desired here, but the data itself is interesting, which makes it worth a look.
For the past few months, Stamen Design has been working with 3-D data from Nokia's Here. Something pretty came out of the experiment.
For your viewing, embedding, linking, and otherwise internet-ing pleasure: http://here.stamen.com/ is live today. It uses 3D data from HERE for San Francisco, New York, London, and Berlin to create city-wide 3D browsable maps, and it does this in the browser (though you'll need a WebGL-enabled browser to see it). As in many of our other mapping projects, the urls change dynamically depending on location and other factors, and the data conforms, more or less, to the Tile Map Service specification. What this means, among other things, is that it's not only possible to link to and embed these maps at specific locations and zoom levels, but that it's easy—and as we've seen with Citytracking, easy is good.
There are a bunch of views to play with, and you should try all of them. My favorites though are the city-planning look in Pinstripe and the glowing aesthetic of the height view.
FlowingData reader Amir sent this along. In lieu of a list of coffee drinks, this place in in East London opted for ingredient breakdowns. I'm guessing there's a standard menu outside the frame, because otherwise, coffee neophytes (like me) would have no clue what to do. Anyone care to fill in the blanks?
Spot any charts in the wild? You should email me a picture.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was horrible, but there have been thousands of gun deaths since. Huffington Post is mapping them.
Circles represent the number of deaths in a city, and the larger a circle the higher the count. A bar chart on the bottom shows the data over time and serves as a navigation device. Click on a day or a location, and the names of victims appear on the right with a link to the related news story.
See also: Periscopic's work on the topic, which now has filters and is updated in real-time.
Metrico is a puzzle action game for PlayStation Vita that centers around charts and graphs. The creators call them infographics, but whatever.
The idea has been in our heads for a few years, and was born out of noticing how beautiful infographics can look as an art form. It was reinforced by seeing that infographics have become increasingly important in contemporary pop-culture. While they haven’t made their way to videogames yet, we think it’s a place where they can work exceptionally well. This is not just because of their pretty aesthetics as much as it is about actively changing data and how that can be visualized.
The teaser above shows a guy running on and jumping over bar and line charts, and the last sentence of the paragraph seems to suggest that these things will be based on actual data. I kind of doubt it though.
How about a SimCity-like game that uses real-time crime, traffic, and government data? Now that'd be something. They already kind of do that for sports games with injuries and starting lineups. [Thanks, Raphael]