• The future of self-service banking

    September 9, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    Future of self-service banking

    Too many slots. Too many buttons. Spanish bank BBVA and design consultancy IDEO rethink the ATM:

    ATMs were first introduced over 40 years ago and since then many features have been incrementally added to the machines, in order to fulfill the dream of a truly “automated teller”. Modern ATMs offer a wide range of banking transactions; nevertheless the actual interaction has remained largely untouched.

    Fewer slots. Fewer buttons. More privacy and personalization.

    [via]

  • Social life of Foursquare users mapped

    September 9, 2010  |  Mapping

    Social life of foursquare

    Foursquare, the location-based social network, lets people share their location with others in the form of checkins. Map all of those checkins, and you get a sense of social hotspots across a city. This is what Anil Bawa-Cavia did in his project archipelago. Based on 845,311 checkins and 20,285 locations, he mapped activity for New York, London, and Paris.

    In these maps, activity on the Foursquare network is aggregated onto a grid of ‘walkable’ cells (each one 400×400 meters in size) represented by dots. The size of each dot corresponds to the level of activity in that cell. By this process we can see social centers emerge in each city.

    Here are the maps for each city.
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  • Faith and poverty in the world

    September 8, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    World of Faith by Charles M Blow

    Using data from a recent Gallup report showing a correlation between wealth and faith, Charles M. Blow reports in graphic form. Each sphere, sized by population, represents a country. Spheres are colored by dominant religion in that country.
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  • Various ways to rate a college

    September 8, 2010  |  Network Visualization, Statistics

    Measures for different college ratings

    There are a bunch of college ratings out there to help students decide what college to apply to (and give something for alumni to gloat about). The tough part is that there doesn't seem to be any agreement on what makes a good college. Alex Richards and Ron Coddington describe the discrepancies.
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  • Tracking firefly trails in the forest

    September 7, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    firefly trails

    Physicist Kristian Cvecek hangs out in the forest sometimes to take these beautiful pictures of firefly trails, using slow shutter speeds on his camera. Even better than the long exposure shot of a Roomba. [via]

  • Mapping the moves of New York residents

    September 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    moritz.stefaner.eu - Map your moves

    A couple of months back, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show asked listeners who have moved to or away from New York some questions. They asked current zipcode, previous zipcode, year of move, and some other questions. BLS then posted the data and let information and data folk have a go at it. Here are the results.
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  • Real-time match display for the US Open

    September 1, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    Real-time display of US Open

    The tennis US Open is in full swing, and since you're at work, you probably need a way to keep up with all of the matches. In a collaboration between the US Open and IBM, this real-time display shows you what's going on during any given match.
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  • What different sorting algorithms sound like

    September 1, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    What sorting algorithms sound like

    Last month we saw sorting algorithms visualized in rainbow technicolor. Now, by Rudy Andrut, here they are auralized.

    This particular audibilization is just one of many ways to generate sound from running sorting algorithms. Here on every comparison of two numbers (elements) I play (mixing) sin waves with frequencies modulated by values of these numbers. There are quite a few parameters that may drastically change resulting sound - I just chose parameteres that imo felt best.

    It sounds like someone is playing on old Atari game. Warning: may cause seizures. Watch it in action in the video below.
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  • A house that knows when you’re happy and sad

    August 30, 2010  |  Data Art, Self-surveillance

    Happylife by Auger Loizeau

    Auger Loizeau, in collaboration with Reyer Zwiggelaar and Bashar Al-Rjoub, describe their smart-home project Happylife. It monitors facial expressions and movements to estimate a family's mood, displayed via four glowing orbs on the wall, one for each member.
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  • The beauty of data visualization

    August 30, 2010  |  Visualization

    billion dollar gram by david mccandless

    Connoisseur of scaled rounded rectangles, bubbles, and triangles, David McCandless of Information is Beautiful talks data visualization in recently posted TED talk (below). He explains how information design can help us get through information glut on the Web and how simple charts can show patterns that we never would have seen otherwise. He uses his own works and collaborations as evidence.
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  • Asteroid discoveries over past 30 years visualized

    August 27, 2010  |  Mapping

    Asteroid discoveries visualized

    This animation by Scott Manley of the Armagh Observatory shows a beautiful view of the past 30 years of asteroid discoveries, using data culled by Ted Bowell and company.

    As time passes, asteroids are highlighted white and then colored by how closely they come to our inner solar system. Earth crossers are red, Earth approachers are yellow, and all others are colored green.

    What you get is a view of the solar system's planets and asteroids orbiting the sun and these beautiful sparkles in sky. As automated sky scanning systems come online in the 1990s, we see waves of discoveries. Then starting at the beginning of 2010, we see a discovery pattern as a result of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which has been tasked with mapping all infrared light in the sky.

    Watch the full video below.
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  • Map of who owns the Arctic

    August 27, 2010  |  Mapping

    Map of who owns Arctic

    Do you know who owns the Arctic? As it turns out, it's a pretty messy subject:

    In August 2007 Russian scientists sent a submarine to the Arctic Ocean seabed at 90° North to gather data in support of Russia's claim that the North Pole is part of the Russian continental shelf. The expedition provoked a hostile reaction from other Arctic littoral states and prompted media speculation that Russia's action might trigger a "new Cold War" over the resources of the Arctic.

    Luckily things are at least a little more in control now though. Well, sort of. Canada, Denmark and the US still need to define their continental shelf limits. Keep in mind that the shelf can be more than 200 nautical miles from these countries' coastal baselines.

    The International Boundaries Research Unit provides this map [pdf] of claimed boundaries and areas that will potentially be claimed in the future.

    [via]

  • Icons of the Web scaled by popularity

    August 26, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    Icons of the web scaled by Alexa reach

    Nmap visualizes site popularity as scaled icons. Favicons, that is. They're that little icon that shows in your address bar or when you bookmark a site in your browser. If you're reading this on FlowingData, you should see a little red icon next to the URL. The larger the icon, the more popular the site is, based on Alexa traffic data. In whole, the image is a giant 37,440 by 37,440 pixels image. Google is 11,936 x 11,936 pixels. Facebook is 6,736 × 6,736 pixels. Yahoo is 6,544 × 6,544 pixels.
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  • How tax breaks could affect your bottom line

    August 26, 2010  |  Infographics

    Fight over tax breaks infographic

    Wilson Andrews and Alicia Parlapiano report for The Washington Post on how the fight over tax breaks affects your bottom line:

    Tax cuts enacted under former president George W. Bush are set to expire at year's end, and lawmakers are battling over whether to extend them before the November elections. Most Republicans want to extend all of the cuts, saying that any increase in taxes will hold back the economic recovery. President Obama and Democratic leaders would extend many of the cuts but say tax breaks for top earners should expire to pare down deficits. Each plan would affect average tax rates for income groups differently.

    Each row represents an income group, and you can flip between letting Bush's tax cuts expire, shifting to Obama's plan, and extending the current cuts. Bubbles on the right show the average tax change per taxpayer for each income group. Switch from the first option (letting all cuts expire) to the second (Obama's plan), and you'll notice some changes for top earners.
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  • Countries of the world ranked by stuff

    August 25, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    Countries ranked by health and education

    What country has the best education? Health? Quality of life? Thomas Klepl and Adam Clarkson of Newsweek take a look at important metrics for the world's best countries. It's basically a parallel coordinates plot turned on its side. Each represents a metric, and each circle in a row is a country.

    Select a country from the list on the left or by directly interacting with the plot. If a country is top in all categories, like Finland, then all of the scores are going to be on the right. Burkina Faso, on the other hand, is all the way to the left. Of course, this is only the "top" 100 countries.

    You can also filter by geographic regions, income, and population groups.

    While I'm not totally sure about the ranking system and methodology, it's an interesting look.

    [Thanks, Adam]

  • Election night in Australia relived

    August 24, 2010  |  Infographics

    Australia election news graphic 2010

    It was election night a few days ago in Australia, and News.com.au ran this graphic to show results in real-time during the election:

    Instead of presenting the count as a map, we've made each electorate into a little ball, which pulses and swings and fights for position against 149 others.

    As the votes come in, the balls spring to life, changing colour and moving towards the larger ball representing the party leading the vote. The colour will get deeper as the percentage of the vote counted rises.

    At first it displays the primary vote, then when it's time to call the seat for that party it switches to the two-party preferred or two-candidate preferred vote.

    There's also a scroll bar and a speed option so that you can go back and forth in time. Enter a postal code to highlight specific areas.

    I lack the context to fully appreciate this, but several Aussies have sent me the link, so maybe someone can highlight some of the interesting points. It's easy to see though how this could be fascinating during any election in your country or city, even if the floating animation is more for flash. A lot of the time we don't care so much about the geography as we do the party splits and our particular area.

    [Thanks, all]

  • If major environmental disasters happened in your neighborhood…

    August 24, 2010  |  Mapping

    Chernobyl radiation cloud map

    When major environmental disasters occur, thousands of people are often affected, but it's hard to put it all in perspective when it's not actually happening to you. When the BP oil spill was in full force we saw this simple mashup that placed the oil blob over your area. In the natural iteration to that, BBC Dimensions maps the outcome of other environmental disasters in your neighborhood, including Chernobyl explosion, the 2010 Pakistan floods, and Bhopal chemical accident. Enter your location, and put things into perspective.

    [via]

  • Pseudo-variety and ownership of the soft drink industry

    August 23, 2010  |  Network Visualization

    Soft drink industry - network diagram

    When you buy soft drinks and other beverages at the grocery store, most likely you're buying something that is part of a bigger brand. We know this. When you buy Powerade or Sprite, you're buying from the Coca-Cola brand. When you buy Gatorade or Mountain Dew, you're buying from Pepsi. Canada Dry and 7-Up come from the Dr. Pepper Snapple group. How far is this reach though?
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  • Understanding Shakespeare with visualization

    August 23, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    Understanding Shakespeare visualization

    Shakespeare literature is confusing. That's not even an opinion. It's a fact. Stephan Thiel, for his B.A. thesis at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, takes a wack at understanding Shakespeare through a series of visualizations.

    As a result, and based on data from the WordHoard project of the Northwestern University, an application of computational tools was explored in order to extract and visualize the information found within the text and to reveal its underlying narrative algorithm. The five approaches presented here are the first step towards a dicussion of this potentionally new form of reading in an attempt to regain interest in the literary and cultural heritage of Shakespeare’s works among a general audience.

    The above is a sample from an exploration of the most frequently used words for each character. The major characters' speeches are highlighted in yellow.
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  • Design advanced online and interactive maps with Polymaps

    August 20, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    Flickshapes map with polymaps

    In a collaboration between SimpleGeo, who makes location data easier to access, and Stamen, who does all kinds of wonderful with maps, announced Polymaps today. It's a free and open-source JavaScript library for image- and vector-tiled maps using SVG.

    Polymaps provides speedy display of multi-zoom datasets over maps, and supports a variety of visual presentations for tiled vector data, in addition to the usual cartography from OpenStreetMap, CloudMade, Bing, and other providers of image-based web maps.

    Because Polymaps can load data at a full range of scales, it’s ideal for showing information from country level on down to states, cities, neighborhoods, and individual streets. Because Polymaps uses SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) to display information, you can use familiar, comfortable CSS rules to define the design of your data. And because Polymaps uses the well known spherical mercator tile format for its imagery and its data, publishing information is a snap.

    The above is map using Flickr shapefiles. Here's a map of pavement quality in San Francisco.
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