It's my blog, and I can laugh if I want to.
Have a nice weekend, everyone.
Thank you to the FlowingData sponsors for keeping the servers alive. Without them, this blog would not be possible, and I wouldn't be able to do what I do.
Check out what they have to offer. They make your data useful:
Xcelsius Present â€” Transform spreadsheets into professional, interactive presentations.
NetCharts â€” Build business dashboards that turn data into actionable information with dynamic charts and graphs.
InstantAtlas â€” Enables information analysts to create interactive maps to improve data visualization and enhance communication.
Tableau Software â€” Data exploration and visual analytics for understanding databases and spreadsheets that makes data analysis easy and fun.
Email me at nathan [at] flowingdata [dot] com if you'd like to sponsor FlowingData, and I'll get back to you with the details.
Imagine a world where data becomes the everyday, simply embedded in what you normally do. It's really not far off if you think about it. We use charts, graphs, and viz to make important decisions with investments, businesses, and to stay informed on the news, so why not use it in our own lives?
Last week I posted some parallel coordinate plots that related SAT scores and class size. Now it's your turn to take a crack.
The two best entries each win a copy of David McCandless' The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia as well as eternal glory on FlowingData. Yes. Eternal.
David McCandless' The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia hit the shelves last week (in the US). As I flipped through 320 pages of original graphics during my flight from New York to California, I thought to myself, "FlowingData readers are going to love this."
Ever since my hometown Fresno, California was ranked the dumbest city in America (albeit, with a flawed ranking system), the first FlowingPrints series, on the state of education, has taken on new meaning. It became personal, and then it occurred to me that it should be personal for everyone. I think most of us know how important a good education is.
Needless to say, my old high school and middle school now each have a copy of the series. My mom hand-delivered them (thanks, Mom). I've also been sending prints to schools, libraries, and education departments across the country near those who have already bought prints for themselves (thanks, all).
But I need more help.
From here on out, until all the prints are gone out of my garage, for every print you buy, I'll send one to local education. If you simply don't have any wall space, how about sending the series to a high school near you or your local library? I'll send another to your local education board.
Get the warm fuzzies, and spread awareness today. For the cost of a few lattes, you'll be supporting education, your community, and data. Plus, you'll be getting some beautifully designed prints.
Sunlight Labs, one of my new favorite data groups, has partnered with Google, RedHat, Mozilla, and several others to get the open source community involved in open government projects. They're calling it the Great American Hackathon and it's happening December 12-13.
For those unfamiliar with Sunlight, it's an organization that promotes open government data and transparency, and they fund technology projects (mainly online apps) that move this idea forward.
If you're a developer or designer and want to help out, organize an event in your local area for December 12-13, and get as many people involved as you can. The more we make use of open government data, the more people that will see its usefulness, and the more people that care, the more the government will put into data. Get involved now.
The New York Yankees just won the World Series. I don't know much about baseball, but I do know that Mariano Rivera, the Yankee closer, has a lot to do with the success of his team. Whether you like it or not, Rivera dominates batters with just a 0.74 ERA over 88 post-season games.
The New York Times provides a batter-by-batter look at Rivera's pitching since 1995. He's pitched to 501 batters in the post-season. Only 14 runs have been scored off of him.
Are there any differences in student performance between schools with small classes (as in students per teacher) and those with large classes?
The natural response is yeah, of course, because if there are less students per teacher, each student gets more individual attention from the teacher. Then again, I went to pretty big elementary and high schools where some classes were in the high thirties. It didn't seem all that bad.
Shan Carter, Amanda Cox, and Kevin Quealy of The New York Times explore 12-month average unemployment rates for just about any breakdown you can imagine. The main point: not everyone has been affected by the recession equally, and here's how each group has felt it.
Start with the filters up top for race, gender, age, and education level. The corresponding time series highlights blue.
Change the filters - and here's where the graphic gets a lot of mileage - the lit line moves up or down and the vertical axis updates, depending on what you were originally looking at. That up and down movement makes comparison between demographic groups much easier, especially because there are so many time series on a single plot.
I'm impressed, NYT. Again.
I've always thought of Flickr as a place where I can share my photos with friends and family; however, I'm starting to see there's a whole lot more than that. It's a great place to find inspiration for infographics and visualizations or to just browse the giganto collection of work from others.
Here are some awesome data-related Flickr groups that are worth a look.
Popular nerd comic xckd takes a look at character interactions over time in Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, 12 Angry Men, and Primer. The horizontal axis is time and the vertical axis indicates which characters are together at any given time. The result is something that looks like famed Minard graphic. Well, sort of. And of course it's all hand drawn, which adds to the nerd-ish charm.
[Thanks, Wesley & Dave & Everyone else]
Just a quick note. There's an article up on CNN right now by Manav Tanneeru about the growth of visualization: A new way of looking at the world.
There's a blurb in there about your.flowingdata, but mainly read it for the other sources. There's some nice tidbits from Martin Wattenberg, Ben Fry, et. al. Thanks, Manav for including me.
We all know (or at least should know) about the pay gap between men and women in the workplace. This graphic from Shakeup Media was made to highlight that gap by comparing two cities in the UK at opposite ends of the spectrum. In one city women are paid way less than men while in the other, women are actually paid a tad more.
The aesthetic is nice and the subject matter is important. I also like the use of the Easy Tooltip jQuery plugin.
I just wish there was more focus on the actual pay gap. Instead it was more of an exercise in displaying demographics of two cities, where each section is separate from the other. Some annotation in the tooltips about the cities' differing demographics would have tied things together nicely.
It's hard for us, cognitively speaking, to imagine things that are really really big or really really small, so we need things to put things in perspective.