Visualization

Showing the stories in data through statistics, design, aesthetics, and code.

Katie Ledecky domination charted

One of the best parts of the Olympics is watching an athlete from your country dominate the competition. Katie Ledecky is one of those athletes this year. Carlo Zapponi and…

What makes the Olympic athletes great

Rather than a focus on the events and their details, the New York Times looks at the individual athletes and the small things that make them great. It’s called The…

Games to test your skillz against Olympians, from your computer

The last couple of Olympics, news graphics desks went with gloriously detailed explainers about the intricacies of the main events. This year seems to be a bit different. The opening…

Star Trek character network

Star Trek fans rejoice. Mollie Pettit from Datascope Analytics visualized the interactions between all the characters in all the movies, series, and episodes. This visualization shows interactions between characters in…

An interactive look at handwriting recognition from 1960s

In the 1960s, the RAND corporation developed a handwriting recognition system using, well, technology available in the 1960s. Looking back on the system now, a lot of it still holds…

Small percentage of Americans actually picked Clinton and Trump

Alicia Parlapiano and Adam Pearce for the New York Times elegantly show a handful of percentages in this quick scroller. Nice, simple guidance through the values.…

One-year time-lapse of Earth

Time-lapse from space by NASA: On July 20, 2015, NASA released to the world the first image of the sunlit side of Earth captured by the space agency’s EPIC camera…

Continental drift, from 240 million years ago to present

Researchers modeled continental drift, going back 240 million years ago, on the scale of millimeters per year. It starts really slow and as if the supports give way to the…

Camera really adds tens pounds

Photographic evidence.

Grid map shows shifting states

You’re likely familiar with the state grid map form used these days. Instead of using geographic boundaries, you place states in a grid layout, giving an equal-sized cell to each…

Ride on the VR time series roller coaster

Speaking of virtual reality visualization, this Nasdaq roller coaster by Roger Kenny and Ana Asnes Becker for the Wall Street Journal is quite the ride. The underlying data is just…

Virtual reality map to show Google Trends

More of an experiment, this VR map, by the Google Trends Lab in collaboration with Pitch Interactive, shows what people asked about Brexit leading up to the vote. It’s basic…

Grace Hopper explains a nanosecond with a visual aid

A nanosecond is a billionth of a second, but we’re not very good with really big or tiny numbers. So, Grace Hopper, the inventor of “the first compiler for a…

Piecing together satellite images

You might think piecing together satellite imagery is a straightforward task of lining up latitude and longitude points. But if you think that, you haven’t actually worked with these things.…

Square pie chart beats out the rest in perception study

Many hate pie charts. Others love them. I think they’re useful but have limitations. Most of these are just feelings though, maybe accompanied by an Edward Tufte quote. We need…

Gun deaths

As an introduction to a series on gun deaths in America, FiveThirtyEight uses a straightforward grid view to show the breakdowns. Each square represents a single gun death, and as…

Cross-country road trip at a constant 70 degrees

Road trips are fun, but it can be hard to enjoy yourself when you end up in a place during its hottest or coldest day of the year. Wouldn’t it…

History lesson on data visualization

Clive Thompson for Smithsonian Magazine gives a quick history lesson on infographics. [D]ata visualization was rare because data was rare. That began to change rapidly in the early 19th century,…

Moving drought boundaries

Drought continues to trudge along. My grass is just about dead, save a few hearty patches clinging on to the last few drops in the soil. Sad state of affairs…

Charted history of music, from its origins to present

Musicmap is an attempt to show the history of music over time and how it came to be what it is today. Musicmap attempts to provide the ultimate genealogy of…

Growth of cities, going back 6,000 years

Meredith Reba, Femke Reitsma and Karen C. Seto compiled a dataset of urban settlements between 3700 BC and AD 2000. It’s the first of its kind, and while not comprehensive,…

Procedurally generated spaceships

Video game developer Michael Davies provides a Blender script to procedurally generate pretty 3-D spaceships. Enter your parameters, such as number of hull segments, scaling, and rotation, and you’ve got…

Sci-Fi short film scripted by machine learning algorithm

Filmmaker Oscar Sharp and technologist Ross Goodwin fed a machine learning algorithm with a bunch of Sci-Fi movie scripts to see what new script it would spit out. A script…

What happened at Pulse in Orlando

The Tampa Bay Times takes you through a 3-D model of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, driven by the narratives of those who were there at night. Heartbreaking.…

We spend more at restaurants than at grocery stores

For decades, Americans spent more money at the grocery store than at eating and drinking establishments. It’s not like that anymore, Quartz reports.…

Motion capture dance

Really fun. “Motion capture, procedural animation and dynamic simulations combine to create a milieu of iconic pop dance moves that become an explosion of colorful fur, feathers, particles and more.”…

U.S. gun deaths rate is an outlier

If you look at gun death rates for other western countries and adjust for population, the United States is a sore-thumb outlier. Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz for the Upshot…

Voting habits for various demographic groups

Voter turnout and political leanings for various demographic groups play an important role on the campaign trail. Candidates can’t go everywhere and talk to every single person, so they pick…

A map about the people who live there

Geographers Seth Spielman and Alex Singleton used something called “geodemographic classification” to classify small areas based on demographic averages. [F]or example, we can identify places dominated by small apartments occupied…

Play chess against the machine and see what it’s thinking

The Thinking Machine, by Martin Wattenberg and Marek Walczak, shows you the thought process of a computer trying to win at chess. There have been several iterations that date back…