Visualization

Why buses bunch at single stops

Maybe you've waited at a bus stop for longer than usual, and your bus finally shows up. And then, immediately after, a second bus on the same route pulls up…

Every NBA team rated over several decades

Which NBA basketball team is the greatest ever? Instead of a circular debate at the bar, Reuben Fischer-Baum and Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight used the Elo rating system to rank…

How far Frodo and Sam walked compared to real geography

If you read the books or watched the movies, you get the sense that Frodo and Sam walked pretty far to toss that ring in the fire. Imgur user mattsawizard…

Rise of data art

Data art is on the rise. Jacoba Urist for the Atlantic gets into the beginnings and its current prevalence. Art is a constant march of expansion, according to Harvey Molotch,…

Power of the reveal

Hannah Fairfield, who does graphics at the New York Times, talks about using visualization to show specific narratives. Something more than just "here's some data."…

Satellite time-lapse shows changes on the ground

Since the 1970s, NASA has used satellites to take pictures of the Earth's surface. This is an ongoing process, so when you string together the photos and play them out…

Running through digital particles

Force of Nature by FIELD is a running installation commissioned by Nike. It uses data fed from Kinect and sensors hooked up to a treadmill to create an experience as…

Animated history of US county boundaries

Here's a straightforward animation that shows US county boundaries change between 1629 and 2000. You can also grab all the data from the Newberry Library site.…

Estimated age based on your name

A while back, Nate Silver and Allison McCann for FiveThirtyEight estimated age based on a person's name using a relatively straightforward calculation. Using data from the Social Security Administration, they…

A year of earthquakes

Fathom provides an interactive browser for a year of earthquakes, based on data from USGS. You've likely seen this data before, but the interaction is quite useful and applicable to…

The Great Grid Map Debate of 2015

There's been a sudden bump in grid maps lately taking the place of state choropleths. For example, Haeyoun Park used them to show changes in state laws for gay marriage.…

The big companies behind organic food brands

When you walk down the aisles of the grocery store, there are probably shelves of organic foods with branding that looks small, local, and healthy. It's almost like you're buying…

Visualization is growing up

For a while, somewhere in between 2007 and 2011, infographics — in the everyday person's sense, not the statistician's — were all the rage. They came in lots of shapes…

Rising beef prices and cattle theft

Eric Benson for FiveThirtyEight delves into cattle theft, which can cost an owner millions of dollars overnight, and the link to rising beef prices. Most cuts of beef increased in…

Upward mobility and the potential for a better life

An analysis by Raj Chetty of Harvard University and Nathaniel Hendren of NBER estimates increased income and education for poverty-level households, based on where one lives. The results are based…

Black and White America compared as if they were countries

The Economist made a simple yet effective comparison of Black America and White America against metrics of countries that are part of the Human Development Index and the OECD. In…

Self-printing a wall-sized world map

Dominik Schwarz wanted a big world map. A really big one that covered his entire wall in high detail. You can get great world maps up to around 1,50m (~59…

Median home in America, over 40 years

The median home in America has changed in a variety of ways. Square footage increased, number of bedrooms and bathrooms shifted, heating changed from electrical to gas, and cost went…

Earthquake magnitude and the logarithmic scale

The earthquake in Nepal was big, but there's a discrepancy in just how big. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the earthquake at 7.8 magnitude, whereas the China Earthquakes…

Fashion trends seen through Google searches

Fashion trends, such as skinny jeans and Palazzo pants, can spike and fall quickly year over year, and it can be tough to keep up. Maybe trends in Google searches…

Disaster risk indices estimate impact on people

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 can affect countries differently, depending on the people's ability to withstand and recover from such a disaster. INFORM attempts to assess this risk,…

Quick change of mind on social issues

As Supreme Court hearings for same-sex marriage start today, Alex Tribou and Keith Collins for Bloomberg look back at timelines for past social issues, such as interracial marriage and abortion.…

Recurring characters in film and the words used to describe them

Stereotropes, made by the Bocoup Data Visualization Team, explores the many tropes in films and the the adjective used to describe them. Some are unique to a trope and some…

Why exploring big data is hard

The talks from OpenVisConf 2015 went up, so I'm slowly making my way through. In this one Danyel Fisher from Microsoft Research talks about the challenges of working with data…

Emptied reservoirs in California

Winter is over and it's shorts weather these days in California. This is good for relaxing outdoor lunches but not so good for the drought. It's sad to drive down…

Color timeline for Avengers comic book covers

The Avengers comic has been around since 1963 and the look and feel of characters have changed over the years. Jon Keegan for the Wall Street Journal looked at this…

Wealth inequality explained in charts

Wealth inequality is a real thing that is complex and a result of various factors. It's difficult to capture everything in one chart, so Urban Institute explained wealth inequality in…

Life cycle of Earth’s carbon dioxide

The Cartography and Geovisualization Group at Oregon State University and NASA visualized a one-year life cycle of carbon dioxide in an interactive video map.…

Speedy crossword solvers

Oliver Roeder for FiveThirtyEight covered this year's American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and the battle between Tyler Hinman and Dan Feyer.…

xkcd: U.S. of movie backgrounds

xkcd sectioned the United States by the background in movies. Because xkcd.…