• Detailed UK census data browser

    June 26, 2014  |  Mapping

    DataShine

    DataShine Census provides a detailed view into United Kingdom 2011 census data. Population, housing, income, commute, and other variables are available.

    The DataShine mapping platform is an output from an ESRC Future Research Leaders Project entitled "Big Open Data: Mining and Synthesis". The overall project seeks promote and develop the use of large and open datasets amongst the social science community. A key part of this initiative is the visualisation of these data in new and informative ways to inspire new uses and generate insights. Phase one has been to create the mapping platform with data from the 2011 Census. The next phases will work on important issues such as representing the uncertainty inherent in many population datasets and also developing tools that will enable the synthesis of data across multiple sources.

    They're off to a good start.

  • New York City taxi trips mapped

    June 23, 2014  |  Mapping

    NYC taxi data artifacts

    While we're on the topic of NYC taxi data, Eric Fischer for Mapbox mapped all 187 million trips. Each observation contains the start and end location of a trip, so blue dots represent the former and orange represent the latter. My favorite bit is on the data collection artifacts, such as the map above.

    The patterns at JFK and LaGuardia airports show interesting artifacts of the data collection process. Almost all of the trips there must have really begun or ended right at the terminals, but many of them are attributed to the roads leading to and from the airports, where the last good GPS fix must have occurred.

    See also the New York Times animated map from several years ago that shows taxi activity during days of the week.

  • Drone crash database

    June 23, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Drone crash database

    Based on data compiled from a combination of military records, Defense Department records, and drone manufacturers, Emily Chow, Alberto Cuadra and Craig Whitlock for the Washington Post provide a quick view into drone crashes.

    More than 400 large U.S. military drones crashed in major accidents worldwide between Sept. 11, 2001, and December 2013. By reviewing military investigative reports and other records, The Washington Post was able to identify 194 drone crashes that fell into the most severe category: Class A accidents that destroyed the aircraft or caused (under current standards) at least $2 million in damage.

    The top row represents where a drone crashed, the second row who owns it, and the third tells the type. Mouse over any of the tick marks, and you get details for the corresponding crash.

  • Clubs that connect World Cup national teams

    June 22, 2014  |  Network Visualization

    Clubs that connect the World Cup by NYT

    Gregor Aisch for the New York Times explored how the soccer clubs that play all year connect the national teams in this year's World Cup.

    The best national teams come together every four years, but the global tournament is mostly a remix of the professional leagues that are in season most of the time. Three out of every four World Cup players play in Europe, and the top clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have players from one end of the globe to the other.

    My browser buckled a few times as I scrolled, but even without smooth transitions, it's an interesting dive into player connections.

  • Watch the U.S. population center shift west

    June 19, 2014  |  Mapping

    Shifting population

    According to the U.S. census, the mean center of the population shifted west every decade since 1790. They show the change in a simple animation.

    The mean center of population, traditionally referred to as simply the center of population, is provided for the 2010 Census and each census since 1790. In 2010, the mean center of population was located at 37°31'03" North latitude, 92°10'23" West longitude in Texas County, Missouri, 2.7 miles northeast of Plato, Missouri.

    The inclination might be to read this as people moving west, which is partially true, but don't forget immigration increasing the populations too.

  • Percentage of degrees conferred to men, by major

    June 18, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Based on estimates from the National Center for Education Statistics, Randy Olson plotted the percentage of bachelor degrees conferred to men in the United States, by major. Start your eyes at the 50% line and work your way up (more men) or down (more women).

    Percentage of bachelor degrees to men, by major

    See also the inverted version that shows the percentage of degrees conferred to women.

  • Employment-to-population ratios

    June 17, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Employment-to-population ratios

    The Upshot posted an interesting chart that shows changing employment rate by state.

    It shows that the economy is improving. Employment rates have climbed above the post-recession nadir in every state, although the improvements are often quite small. In Mississippi, the employment rate is just 0.1 percent above its recent low.

    It also shows that the recovery has a long way to go. Employment rates have rebounded in some states with strong growth, like Utah, Nebraska and Montana. But only three states — Maine, Texas and Utah — have retraced more than half their losses.

    You usually see this data presented as a time series chart, but this graphic focuses on three points of interest: employment rate at the start of the recession, the lowest rate, and the current. The rate is presented on the horizontal axis, so you see a cane-like shape that represents how far each state fell and how much farther they have to go.

    I like this one. See the full graphic here.

  • OpenGeofiction, the creation of an imaginary and realistic world

    June 16, 2014  |  Mapping

    Opengeofiction

    Sharing the same collaborative principles as OpenStreetMap, a wiki-based map for the real world, OpenGeofiction is an experiment in mapping an imaginary world.

    Opengeofiction is a collaborative platform for the creation of fictional maps.

    Opengeofiction is based on the Openstreetmap software platform. This implies that all map editors and other tools suitable for Openstreetmap can be applied to Opengeofiction as well.

    The fictional world of Opengeofiction is thought to be in modern times. So it doesn't have orcs or elves, but rather power plants, motorways and housing projects. But also picturesque old towns, beautiful national parks and lonely beaches.

    As you zoom in to the map, you can see many details, from roads, bodies of water, to greenery, have already been added. Some areas look like densely inhabited cities connected by highway, whereas others are miles of forest and nature.

    Winburgh-Willhed-Wearhead

    Browse long enough and you forget you're looking at a fake world.

  • What separates here from there

    June 13, 2014  |  Infographics

    New Scientist quickly covers three theories of space and time in an informational video.

  • A visual analysis of the Boston subway system

    June 11, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Visualizing MBTA Data

    For a graduate project, Michael Barry and Brian Card explored the Boston subway system through a set of annotated interactives that show train routes, usage, and scheduling.

    Through publicly available data, we have the tools to understand the subway system better than we ever have before. We have seen how the system operates on a daily basis, how people use the system, how that affects the trains and also how this ties back to your daily commute. To see a real-time version of this data, check out mbta.meteor.com for up-to-the-minute congestion and delay information.

    I like how they keep a subway map in view throughout. It helps you efficiently figure out what each chart means and is a good common factor as you move through the facets.

  • Mercator projection with pole shifted to where you live

    June 9, 2014  |  Mapping

    Extreme Mercator

    Drew Roos made a thing that lets you move the poles of the Mercator projection to anywhere in the world.

    As you probably know, map projections all have their pros and cons since there are challenges that come with transforming a globe onto a two-dimensional surface. The Mercator projection, one of the most well-known, distorts as you approach the poles. The scale approaches infinity actually, which is why we're used to seeing a Greenland that is bigger than Africa. (It's not.)

    Above shows the pole shifted to Washington, D.C. Trippy.

  • Jobs recovery and loss, by industry

    June 5, 2014  |  Infographics

    Recession reshapes

    Jeremy Ashkenas and Alicia Parlapiano for The Upshot just plopped this interactive sucker on to the web. Each line shows change in job count for an industry. Horizontally, they're organized by average salary, and vertically, they're organized by relative change since the end of the recession. Green represents growth and red represents decline.

    My initial reaction was along the lines of what-the-heck, but then you see the axes and get the mouseover actions for details. Scroll down, and you get highlighted subsets. By the end, you've learned something.

  • NFL players getting bigger

    June 5, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Football players are getting bigger. Noah Veltman, a developer for the WNYC Data News team, shows by how much through an animated heatmap. Scrub the slider back and forth quickly for maximum effect.

    Height and weight of NFL players

    In the beginning, the league clustered in the bottom left. No one was over 300 pounds, and everyone was 6 feet and 4 inches tall or shorter. These days, player height weight are spread out more and shifted towards the top right.

  • Using open data to find the perfect home

    June 4, 2014  |  Mapping

    Finding the perfect home

    Justin Palmer and his family have lived in a dense urban area of Portland, Oregon for the past seven years, but now they're in the market for somewhere more spacious. He narrowed his search down to two main criteria — walking distance to a grocery store and walking distance to a rail stop. The search began with open data.

    I defined walking distance as ~5 blocks, but ~10 blocks is still a pretty sane distance. I want to be close to a grocery store and close to a MAX or Streetcar stop. Unfortunately, none of the real estate applications I tried had a feature like this so I decided to create what I needed using open data that I had already been working with for some time now.

    Code snippets and explainers follow for how Palmer found his target zones, using a combination of the data, a database, and TileMill.

  • A decade of college degrees

    June 3, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    A decade of degrees

    North by Northwestern looked closer at degrees awarded by their university over the past decade. Simply enter a degree to see the trend. As the makers note, the number of degrees is a lagging indictor of major popularity, since people pick their major and graduate three years later.

    Be sure to keep scrolling past the interactive for some explainers. Also, you can download the time series data for your own perusal via the link in the footnote.

  • Evolution and history of London

    June 3, 2014  |  Mapping

    Using data from the National Heritage List for England, the London Evolution Animation shows the historical development of London. Mainly, it depicts roads and protected buildings, starting with the first road network built in 410 and into the present. The notes at the bottom provide a fine timeline quality rather than a hey-look-at-London-change video.

    [via kottke]

  • Gotham City map

    June 2, 2014  |  Mapping

    In 1998, artist Eliot R. Brown created a map of Gotham City for the Batman No Man's Land series. Brown describes the process of making the map, meant to look something like Manhattan with a lot more villains and a way for the federal government to blast the bridges and tunnels to the outside world.

    Gotham map

    [via Smithsonian]

  • Distribution of letters in the English language

    June 1, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    Distribution of letters

    Some letters in the English language appear more often in the beginning of words. Some appear more often at the end, and others show up in the middle. Using the Brown corpus from the Natural Language Toolkit, David Taylor looked closer at letter position and usage.

    I've had many "oh, yeah" moments looking over the graphs. For example, words almost never begin with "x", but it's quite common as the second letter. There's a little hump near the beginning of "u" that's caused by its proximity to "q", which is most common at the beginning of a word. When you remove "q" from the dataset, the hump disappears. "F" occurs toward the extremes, especially in prepositions ("for", "from", "of", "off") but rarely just before the middle.

    Next step: letter proximity.

  • Tron-style dashboard shows Wikipedia and GitHub streams

    May 30, 2014  |  Statistical Visualization

    GitHub stream

    As a fun learning exercise, Rob Scanlon made a dashboard that shows GitHub and Wikipedia changes in the style of graphics in Tron: Legacy.

    Hello User. This is a reproduction of the graphics in the boardroom scene in Tron: Legacy. If you have not seen that movie, check out this background material on the making of that scene before proceeding.

    To make this a bit more fun, the boardroom is configured to visualize live updates from Github and Wikipedia, with more streams to come. Click on a stream in the window to the right to continue.

    Type "cd github" and "run github.exe" for maximum pleasure.

  • Careers after the college degree

    May 28, 2014  |  Network Visualization

    What to do with your degree

    Ben Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, was curious about careers after college degrees, so he used a quick Sankey diagram to look at data from the American Community Survey. College degrees are on the left, and professions are on the right. The thicker a line that connects a degree and a profession, the more people tend to go a certain route.

    For example, if you click on "General Education" you see a lot of people become elementary and middle school teachers. The diagram works the other way around too, so that you can select a profession to see what people in that area tend to major in.

    As Schmidt says in his description, it was just quick sketch, so the interaction is rough around the edges, but the data here is kind of interesting to look at, especially with all the graduating kids right now.

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