• The 2009 Feltron Annual Report – OCD Made Sexy

    January 26, 2010  |  Infographics

    feltron-cover

    Nicholas Felton's personal annual report on his life is now up. For those not in the know, Felton makes this report every year based on data he has collected about himself. People see the report, and think to themselves, "I want that for my life."
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  • Dropped Food. Should You Eat it?

    January 22, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    Since you'll be trying every single drink recipe in the engineer's guide this weekend, you're most likely going to drop some food on the ground. Consult this flowchart to decide whether to eat it. Results may vary by individual.

    Food on the ground, food on the ground. Looking like a fool with your food on the ground.

  • Engineer’s Guide to Drinks

    January 22, 2010  |  Infographics

    drink-guide

    Seeing as the weekend is just about here, I'm sure many of you can find a use for this guide. It's drink recipes hand-drawn like schematics to some circuitry system. I like how color wasn't an option, so instead they used 42 stripe and dot patterns to differentiate ingredients.

    See the full version here [pdf].

    My sister sent this one along, but I couldn't find the original source. Anyone know?

  • Data.gov.uk Gearing Up For Launch, er, Does Launch

    January 20, 2010  |  Data Sources, Mapping

    Update: I had scheduled this post for next week, but apparently, Data.gov.uk launched today. The site isn't loading for me right now though. I guess they weren't prepared for traffic.

    Data.gov, a catalog of US data, launched last year. Now it's the UK's turn. Well, not yet. But soon. Data.gov.uk is still under lock and key, but it has granted access to some developers. Ito Labs, the group behind mapping a year of OpenStreetMap edits posted screenshots of their maps that show vehicle counts (above).

    Here are some comparison maps between 2001 and 2008, by vehicle type.
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  • The Very First Thematic Maps

    January 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    I'm admittedly not very good with historical precedent, but I think we can all agree it's important to know about the work those have done before us. It makes your own work better and lets you appreciate what others do more (or less).
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  • Crayola Crayon Colors Multiply Like Rabbits

    January 19, 2010  |  Infographics

    In 1903, Crayola had eight colors in its standard package. Today, there are 120, along with special packs like Gem Tones and Silver Swhirls. What happened? Above, from Weather Sealed, shows the growing color selection (and a few color retirements) in the standard package from 1903 to now.

    In 2101, Crayola will hit a color peak and revert to a simpler time. The standard pack will have just two colors: black and Tickle Me Pink (#FC89AC).

    [via Waxy Links]

  • Data Visualization Christmas Ornaments

    January 15, 2010  |  Data Art

    It's funny how data is finding it's way into everyday objects. There was jewelry a few months ago and coins last month. Now we've got this experiment with Christmas ornaments from Really Interesting Group (RIG). The snowman's head is sized by the number of followers on Twitter; the (rain) bars represent miles traveled per month on Dopplr; the red shows listening habits on last.fm; and finally, the blue one shows apertures you've used over the year for photos uploaded to Flickr. Continue Reading

  • Buy a Print. Support Distaster Relief in Haiti. Please.

    January 14, 2010  |  Announcements, Mapping

    Unless you live under a rock inside a cave in the remotest area in the world, you know a huge quake struck Haiti on Tuesday, and much lies in ruins. The New York Times just posted some before and after satellite images, and it's a horrible thing to see. Buildings gone. People gone.

    It pains me to think about what if that were to happen to me or my family.

    To this end, I'm donating all proceeds from World Progress Report orders, along with this month's FlowingData revenues, to UNICEF's relief efforts. The Report, after all, is an effort to relate to the rest of the world. It only seems fitting. It's not much in the grand scheme of things, I guess, but at least it's something. As they say, every little bit counts.

    Again, I'm taking orders for one week - through January 21. Do some good and get something good too. I'm including How America Learns with all orders now. Buy a print now.

    Or if the World Progress Report just isn't your thing, you can donate directly to UNICEF.

    I mean, seriously, there are 27,000 of you + me. We can make a big difference together.

  • Timescapes to Compare Chopin Recordings

    January 13, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    How do you compare music visually? You can break it down into data by quantifying the notes, volume, etc and then visualize it with timescapes (above). The horizontal axis represents musical time, from the beginning to end of a piece. Large blocks show similarities to other pieces and smaller noisy chunks show more "fleeting" similarities.
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  • The Geography of Netflix Rentals

    January 11, 2010  |  Mapping

    Some movies are popular everywhere. Others are popular only in certain regions. The New York Times, in a nice team effort, maps rental popularity by zip code for large regions in the US.
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  • Need to Escape Jupiter’s Gravitational Pull? Good Luck

    January 8, 2010  |  Infographics

    gravity_wells_large

    Randall of xkcd has been having fun with data visualization lately. In his latest data-ish comic, Randall explores gravity wells. The height of each well is sized relative to the amount of energy (on Earth) it would take to escape that planet's gravity. The width of wells are scaled by planet size.

    So you'd need one big arse rocket to escape Jupiter.

    I know it's a comic, hand-drawn, and all stick-figurey and stuff, but Randall actually explains the concepts really well. There's good annotation, clear examples, and he's made an obscure topic easy to understand.

    It's also entertaining in the Bill Nye the Science Guy (i.e. best Saturday morning show ever) sort of way.

    [Thanks, Ricki and Thomas]

  • Even Older Infographics from the 19th Century

    January 6, 2010  |  Infographics

    Old graphics are awesome. We saw some from the 1930s already. These are even older.

    Other than the maps, I don't exactly know what I'm looking at (knowing French would help too), but who cares? Mmm, hand-drawn goodness.
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  • A Visual History of Loudness in Popular Music

    January 5, 2010  |  Infographics

    loudness

    All Things Considered discusses why music sounds worse than it did a few decades ago. Through a practice using compressors, the quiet parts of a song are made louder and the louder parts quieter so that the song as a whole sounds louder to your ear. The purpose: to make the song stand out when you hear it on the radio.

    As a result, tracks have gotten louder over the years.
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  • The Universe as We Know It

    January 1, 2010  |  Mapping

    The Known Universe from the American Museum of Natural History shows a view of the universe, starting from the Himalayas and quickly moving out to the edge where all is black and scary - made possible by the records in the Digital Universe Atlas.
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  • Charting the Decade

    December 30, 2009  |  Infographics

    Did we all see this? Phillip Niemeyer of Double Triple pictures the past ten years in this Op-Chart for The New York Times. Each row is a theme, and each column represents a year. For example, the champion rep for 2007 is Tiger Woods or collagen as the fad of 2002. Oh how times change.

    Have a happy new year everyone. Be safe.

    [via WeLoveDataVis]

  • The Decline of Maritime Empires

    December 24, 2009  |  Data Art

    This experiment (below) by graduate student Pedro Miguel Cruz shows the decline of Maritime empires during the 19th and 20th centuries .

    Pedro explains:

    I don’t wanna call this small experiment of information visualization neither information art. Either way sounds too pretentious - as the visuals are not very sophisticated or elegant, and the way that the information is treated doesn’t enable the extraction of advanced knowledge. Although, it works very well as a ludic narrative. I ultimately found it very joyful.

    So sit back and enjoy. It's fun to watch.

    Let's for a second consider an alternative to view this data more analytically for some more insight and what not. I'm thinking an area graph ala Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg's History Flow for Wikipedia dynamics could be interesting. What do you think?

  • Elastic Lists Celebrates Five Years of Information Aesthetics

    December 23, 2009  |  Infographics

    In celebration of Information Aesthetics' birthday, Moritz Stefaner of Well-formed Data adapted his elastic lists concept to all five years of infosthetics posts. Each white-bordered rectangle represents a post, and colors within rectangles indicate post categories.

    Select categories on the right, and the list updates to show related categories. Similarly, filter posts by year, author, and/or number of categories. Select a rectangle to draw up the actual post.

    Go on, give it a try for yourself. Excellent work.

    And then head over to infosthetics and wish it a happy birthday.

  • Build Statistical Graphics Online With ggplot2

    Statisticians are generally behind the times when it comes to online applications. There are a lot out-dated Java applets and really rough attempts at getting R, a statistical computing environment, in some useful form through a browser. So imagine my surprise when I tried this tool by Jeroen Ooms, a visiting scholar at UCLA Statistics.

    It actually works pretty well, and for a prototype, it isn't half bad.
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  • Virtual Slot Machine Teaches the Logic of Loss

    December 18, 2009  |  Infographics, Statistics

    This interactive by Las Vegas Sun describes how in the long run, you're going to lose every single penny when you throw your hard-earned money into a slot machine. In the short-term though, it is possible to win. It's all probability. It's also why statisticians don't gamble. Nobody plays a game that he's practically guaranteed to lose, unless you're a masochist - or you're Al Pacino in that one horrible sports gambling movie with Matthew McConaughey.

    One clarification on the snippet about payout percentage.

    Here's what the graphic reads:

    This is the ratio of money a player will get back to the amount of money he bets, which is programmed into the slot machine. If a machine has payout percentage of 90 percent, that means 90 percent of the money someone bets should statistically be won back. It means a player is not likely to lose 10 percent of the amount initially put into the machine, but rather 10 percent, on average, over time.

    The wording is kind of confusing. To be more clear - over time, on average, you'd lose 10% of the money you put in per bet. This is an important note, because it's how casinos make money. For example, when you play Blackjack perfectly (sans card-counting), you'll lose on average 2% (or something like that) per hand, so play long enough, and you're going to lose all your money.

    Imagine you have two buckets. One is filled with water. The other is empty. Transfer the water back and forth between the two buckets. Some of the water drips out during some of the transfers. Eventually, all the water is on the ground.

    Ah yes, intro probability is fun. Play the virtual slot machine and do some learning for yourself.

    [Thanks, Tyson]

  • Infographic Coins for International Visitors

    December 17, 2009  |  Infographics

    You know when you go to another country and have no clue what the coins of the local currency are worth? I always end up with a giant handful of international coins, which doesn't go well when I try to spend a Euro in Canada. The US vending machine won't take my Canadian quarters either, or my pesos.
    Continue Reading

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