• One Day in the Life of the Average American

    December 17, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    Jobs by Happiness from Time MagazineTime Magazine's multimedia section has a fun, little piece showing some statistics for a day in the life of the average American. There's some mapping for average commute time, annual traffic delays, and city population shifts. I'm not a huge fan of the map on the third dimension, but oh well.

    There's also a simple grid ranking jobs by level of happiness. Priests are apparently the happiest with gas station attendants at the very bottom. Poor gas station attendants. I guess I might classify myself as a computer programmer which is somewhere in between waiters and dress makers. Maybe I should consider a change in focus. Although, I could also consider myself an engineer which is towards the top of the rankings. Alright, I'm an engineer. The title of "computer programmer" has a weird stigma attached to it anyways.

  • A Magazine Dedicated Entirely to Visualizing Something Useful

    October 19, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    GOOD Magazine is "media for people who give a damn."

    While so much of today's media is taking up our space, dumbing us down, and impeding our productivity, GOOD exists to add value. Through a print magazine, feature and documentary films, original multimedia content and local events, GOOD is providing a platform for the ideas, people, and businesses that are driving change in the world.

    My favorite part of the magazine is the transparency section, which is a series of graphics displaying data in one way or another. The graphic (or video, I guess) above shows what companies are paying to advertise in New York City. The Walmart graphic I talked about earlier is in the most recent GOOD.

    What if...

    What if instead of just a section, there was an entire magazine that was a transparency section? Now that would be awesome. It could be a mix of the media & design in GOOD with some real statistical graphics. It would be a complete visual experience with of course a short blurb on each, but the magazine would focus on the graphics to inspire change and improve awareness. (Picture good. Words.... baaaad.)

    Each issue would hover around a specific theme like the environment or economics; or even better, each issue could be more specific covering U.S. pollution or the decline of toy sales. I wonder how hard it would be to start something like that. Online first, print second? Is there a magazine already like this? If there isn't, there needs to be.

  • Presidential Nomination Polls With Smoothers

    October 11, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    Pollster Poll Results

    It almost feels like I see a new poll every day for who's leading in the presidential race. There's usually a good amount of fluctuation within a single poll with sampling margin of error and then of course the numbers vary across multiple polls. This can be confusing at times, so Pollster put all the results in one scatter plot. Then they stuck a smoother through all the points (for each candidate), and just like that, the viewer gets a general sense of how each candidate has been doing.

    Keep in mind that the amount of noise (or bumps in the curve) is going to vary depending on the type of estimation you use, so I wouldn't place the smaller curves under too much scrutiny. I'm not sure what method Pollster is using, but it's interesting to see the overall trends. Could we be looking at a double New Yorker election?

    Pollster also offers the raw poll data, so in case you want to have some of your own fun, there's data waiting for you.

    [via Mike Love]

  • iPod Design and Apple Stock Over the Years

    September 9, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    Wall Street Journal put up a nice little graphic showing the evolution of the iPod along with Apple's stock price. Semi-informative, I guess. Probably more of a fun graphic than anything else. I think it's slightly misleading, suggesting the iPod was the only reason Apple's stock changed. Let's not forget about the iBook, iMac, Macbook, etc releases. Nevertheless, it's cool to see Apple's sexy design over the years.

    [link via Core77]

  • The Times: Wealthiest Americans Ever

    July 15, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    Wealthiest Americans ever

    In honor of my New York Times induction day, a visualization of The Wealthiest Americans Ever. You think good ol' Billy would be there at the top of the list, worth $82 billion, there have been a few who have preceded the software giant e.g. John D. Rockefeller worth a crazy $192 billion. Just think how many Jack in the Box tacos you could buy with that kind of money.

  • Gas Prices Over Time, 2000-2006

    July 12, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    Gas Prices over TimeWhile on the subject of gas prices, Foreign Policy has a graph of the prices per gallon of gasoline from 2000 to 2006. With the US at the lower tier, I feel like a bit of a whiner ("Waa waa waa, it costs 30 dollars to fill my tank"). At the lower end, it seems Venezuela seems the place to be, with some major government subsidizing going on.


  • America Wins in Petrol Consumption per Day

    July 12, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    petrol

    A very simple graph from The Economist (spiced up a bit with a picture of a delicious gasoline droplet) that quickly gets its point across. The United States uses a lot of petrol compared to other countries, while at the same time, it costs less to fill up a Honda Civic in the US than most other places.

    However, the left graph is based on 2003 data. I wonder what the graph looks like now? Similar, I'm sure, but still something to look at.

    Anyways, something really interesting here -- even though Venezuela has crazy low gas prices, the average petrol consumption per day over there is still quite low. Whether this is a cultural thing or just some weird supply and demand thing (that I have no clue about) might be worth some investigating.

    In any case, just because we have lower gas prices (that we still complain about) than a lot of the world, we're still consuming a lot. What's our excuse?

  • Focus Cloud: Tag Cloud with a Twist

    July 1, 2007  |  Statistical Visualization

    focus-cloud

    Everyone's familiar with tag clouds, but Aaron Bassett put a slight twist to the now commonplace clouds. Aaron calls them Focus Clouds. Basically, they're still tag clouds, but instead of weighting tags by number of times used, there's some weight given to how recent a tag is. There's also some simple highlighting going on with related tags.

    The idea is that the focus cloud then gives you an idea of what is currently of interest. Aaron's code is available on his blog. The code is a bit buggy, but interesting nevertheless.

Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.