• AIG Bailout: Where $173 billion Went

    March 20, 2009  |  Infographics

    Nicolas Rapp and Damiko Morris of Associated Press delve into the AIG bailout. Six months ago, AIG received $173 billion from the government. They have about $50 billion left while the rest has gone to bonds, securities, credit default swap, and some other stuff. I wonder where the other $50 billion will go.

    [Thanks, Nicolas]

  • Data Visualization is Only Part of the Answer to Big Data

    March 20, 2009  |  Design, Exploratory Data Analysis

    How can we now cope with a large amount of data and still do a thorough job of analysis so that we don't miss the Nobel Prize?

    — Bill Cleveland, Getting Past the Pie Chart, SEED Magazine, 2.18.2009

    For the past year, I've been slowly drifting off my statistical roots - more interested in design and aesthetics than in whether or not a particular graphic works or the more numeric tools at my disposal. I've always had more fun experimenting on a bunch different things rather than really knuckling down on a particular problem. This works for a lot of things - like online musings - but you miss a lot of the important technical points in the process, so I've been (slowly) working my way back to the analytical side of the river.
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  • Social Weather Mapping From Google Chrome Experiment

    March 19, 2009  |  Mapping, Software

    In the promotion of its speedy javascript, Google announces the Chrome Experiment. As part of the Experiment, design group Use All Five give us Small Talk, which is a social weather map that uses tweets that contain terms like rainy and sunny. Circles are sized by number of tweets, and tweets are colored by dominant weather tweet, so what you get right now is very blue on the east and sort of orange in the west. Oh how I long for the sun.

    The cool thing about this (and the other projects from Chrome Experiment) is that it's implemented in javascript.

    Pan and zoom...

    Click on the bubbles...

    Yes, javascript just keeps getting faster and more impressive. It's no longer just a way to show dynamic status messages and popups. It's much more than that. Javascript is becoming a viable visualization solution.

    [Thanks, Levi]

  • Bus Bench is an Infographic of Guilt

    March 18, 2009  |  Infographics

    Bench of Guilt

    I've given a few talks on my work with self-surveillance, and there is almost always someone who asks, "What if someone doesn't want to know about _____?" Fill in the blank with weight, health, pollution, or whatever. I usually respond with something like, "Then self-surveillance is probably not for them, and they can continue living in denial." Maybe instead we should just force everyone to bite the bullet and face the facts. That's what the above bus stop ad for FitnessFirst seems to be going for. When someone sits on the bus bench, the ad shows the the person's weight on a big LED. Not only is it looking straight at that person, but it's also up there for everyone else to see. I wish I could get a tape that showed people's reactions.

    [via directdaily via kottke]

  • FlowingData NCAA Tournament Bracket – Try and Beat Me

    March 17, 2009  |  Contests

    I just started the FlowingData NCAA tournament bracket. Join now. Try and beat me if you can.

    The great thing about the tournament is that that you're gonna hear tons and tons of statistics on what players have done, who's favored to win, and who is without a doubt going to lose. Throw a huge dose of raw, human emotion and competitive spirit, and without a doubt, a lot of the data will mean absolutely nothing. I love it.

    To make things interesting, to the winner goes a $20 Amazon gift certificate. If I win, nobody gets anything. Muauahahaha. Go on. I dare you. Join now and make your picks. Hurry though, because there's only a couple of days left.

  • One Song Sang By 2,088 Voices – Mechanical Turk Rendition

    March 17, 2009  |  Data Art

    Aaron Koblin and Daniel Massey team up to give us Bicycle Built for Two Thousand, an Amazon Mechanical Turk rendition of Bicycle Built for Two. They used custom software written in Processing to record 2,088 voices. Put together all those random voices, and you get this:

    For 6 cents, turkers were asked to imitate a sound bite and were not told why they were doing so. What they were actually singing was a note from "Daisy Bell," originally written by Harry Dacre in 1892, or otherwise known as the first song sung by a computer in 1962. The full song is interesting, but it's even more amusing listening to the individual (dorky) voices singing the separate notes. Ehhhhh... wahhhh... eeeeeee... haha.

    [via infosthetics]

  • Review: Data Flow, Visualizing Information in Graphic Design

    March 16, 2009  |  Data Art, Reviews

    Data Flow: Visualizing Information in Graphic Design isn't an Edward Tufte book. It's not an instruction manual nor is it a guide to analytical and statistical graphics. Rather, Data Flow is a showcase of visualization and infographics with a hard focus on aesthetics and form.
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  • Do You Want to Learn How to Make Statistical Graphics?

    March 14, 2009  |  News

    If you're interested in learning how to use R for statistical graphics or tools like GGobi for exploratory data analysis, check out this workshop in Washington, DC during the end of July right before the annual Joint Statistical Meetings. The workshop's called Looking at Data.

    Graphics are a fundamental part of data analysis, used in initial data inspection and exploration, model building and checking and also communicating information. In this course we will teach the basics of static graphics and move on to the new developments in direct manipulation and dynamic graphics that facilitate exploratory data analysis. The methods taught are readily available in open source software, enabling all participants to reproduce, extend and use them with their own data after the workshop.

    This workshop will be focused on the analytical side of things (after all, three statisticians are running it) with static graphics on day 1 and dynamic graphics on day 2, so if you're interested in learning graphics for analysis, this should be fun.

  • 27 Visualizations and Infographics to Understand the Financial Crisis

    March 13, 2009  |  Visualization

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If there's anything good that has come out of the financial crisis it's the slew of high-quality graphics to help us understand what's going on. Some visualizations attempt to explain it all while others focus on affected business. Others concentrate on how we, as citizens are affected. Some show those who are responsible. After you examine these 27 visualizations and infographics, no doubt you'll have a pretty good idea about what's going on.
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  • Thank You, FlowingData Sponsors

    March 12, 2009  |  Sponsors

    It's been an interesting month on FlowingData. We celebrated 10,000 readers not too long ago and we're already about to reach 12,000. I also handed out more invites to your.flowingdata, and it's been really fun getting all the good feedback from all of you. It's kind of overwhelming at times, but I enjoy every minute of it.

    None of this would be possible without the help of FlowingData sponsors. I hope you'll join me in thanking them by checking out the cool visualization stuff they have to offer:

    Eye-Sys — Comprehensive real-time 3D visualization. Their gallery section in particular is quite impressive.

    Tableau Software — Data exploration and visual analytics for understanding databases and spreadsheets that makes data analysis easy and fun.

    NetCharts — Build business dashboards that turn data into actionable information with dynamic charts and graphs.

    InstantAtlas — Enables information analysts to create interactive maps to improve data visualization and enhance communication.

    SiSense — Easy-to-use reporting and analysis. No code required and directly connects to Excel, CSV files, SQL, MySQL, Oracle and SQL Analysis Services

    If you'd like to sponsor FlowingData, please feel free to email me, and I'll get back to you with the details.

  • Immigration Explorer Shows Largest Foreign-born Groups Since 1880

    March 12, 2009  |  Mapping

    Remember our short contest a while back with immigration rates to the United States? The New York Times digs deeper with their Immigration Explorer. It's an interactive map that lets you browse immigration rates since 1880. Counties are colored by the largest foreign-born group according to percent of population. You can also explore by number of residents.

    Scroll the top bar left and right for decade; zoom and pan the map to focus on a state; mouse over counties for foreign-born population vs total population; change bubble size as you look at immigration counts; or select a specific country for a different view. It really does let you explore the data, which by the way you can find most of at Social Explorer.

    You'll notice a large portion of immigrants are from Europe and Russia in the earlier decades, but as you come closer to the present the country appears to diversify as well as an increase in counties with large Asian and Latin American populations. Of course, this is exactly what we should expect. It's what we saw in all the stacked plots, bar graphs, time series plots, and maps from our contest.

    [Thanks, Scott]

  • What Do You Think of This Evolution Graphic?

    March 11, 2009  |  Infographics

    What do you think about the above graphic? Good, bad? Effective, or not? Sexy, not sexy? Discuss amongst yourselves.

    [via Pharyngula | Thanks, Pat]

  • your.flowingdata: Collect Data About Yourself via Twitter

    March 10, 2009  |  Projects, Self-surveillance

    As many of you know, I've been working on a project that lets you collect data about yourself via direct messages on Twitter. It's called your.flowingdata (YFD). It started with just weight and sleep, but it's slowly growing. I recently added entertainment, potty time, smoking, mood, and something I call YFD pulse. You can now also download your data in CSV format.
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  • Crisis of Credit Explained in Animated Infographics

    March 9, 2009  |  Infographics

    This video (below) explains how we got into this credit crisis. It's a lot of greedy business folk who borrow, borrow, and then borrow more money. Why do they borrow the money? How do they make money by borrowing money? Watch the animated infographics for an explanation.
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  • Because It’s Friday: Correlation

    March 6, 2009  |  Miscellaneous

    It's time like these I feel like one big nerd.

    [via xkcd | Thanks, Mickey]

  • Explore Flickr Videos On Flickr Clock by Stamen Design

    March 5, 2009  |  Data Art

    full-shot

    Stamen Design, whose work you've most definitely seen, comes out with their most recent collaboration with Flickr, the photo and video sharing service. It's called Flickr Clock. It lets you browse Flickr videos contributed to the Flickr Clock Group Pool. Videos are arranged as slices by time uploaded (or is it time contributed to the group?) and sized by their original upload resolutions. Click on a slice, and the video opens up like above.

    Underneath is a time browser for a zoomed out view with chunks by the hour. Click, drag, and browse or just sit back and let autoplay do the work for you if you're too lazy to move your mouse. The wider the chunks are, the more videos that were uploaded during the hour.

    Flickr Clock isn't my favorite Stamen work (that title still belongs to Cabspotting), but I like it. It's fun. What do you think about Flickr Clock?

  • Nokia Collaborates With Generative Artists for Beautiful Interactive Pieces

    March 5, 2009  |  Data Art

    In collaboration with generative artists Marius Watz, field, and others, along with Universal Everything and Wieden+Kennedy, Nokia has put together a beautiful art series involving communication as a promotion to their new E71 smartphone. The series include two interactive pieces and several videos.

    One interactive piece takes video from your webcam, audio from your mic, and text that you type as input to create a generative art piece that you can send to friends and download as desktop wallpaper. Here's what mine looks like:

    The gray blobbies are from me waving my arm around, the blue waves are from me whistling, and the text strands are from me typing "welcome to the jungle" in the input box. It's pretty fun to play with.

    The second one is a small (and pretty elegant) application that you download onto your E71. Use the application to send a text message and along with that message comes a generated image that looks something like the first image in this post. It'll be different bits of art as you send different messages.

    Then there are the videos - all interesting and beautiful on their own:

    Great stuff.

    By the way, I have the Nokia E71. It's an awesome phone, in case you're looking for a Blackberry alternative. Awesome design and really good feel to it. The GPS has helped guide me many many times and the keypad makes typing easy, which is perfect for my little self-surveillance project.

    [Thanks, Sermad]

  • Phew, FlowingData 10k Giveaway is Done!

    March 4, 2009  |  Contests

    Our 10k giveaway is now complete. Congratulations to all the winners, and a big thank you to all of you who participated. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the entries, especially the reader introductions (nice to know you all are living, breathing humans :) and the data visualization definitions. It just goes to show how diverse FlowingData readers are.

    I also want to take one last chance to thank the 10k giveaway sponsors. They put up some really awesome prizes for all of you. Please do give them a visit if you get the chance. Here's a recap of all the prizes and where they came from:

    Again, a big thank you to all of you. Thank you for reading FlowingData and keep spreading the word - statistics is the new sexy and data visualization's future is bright :).

  • Paycheck Gap Between Men and Women – Guess Who Makes Less

    March 4, 2009  |  Infographics

    Paycheck

    Hannah Fairfield and Graham Roberts from The New York Times show the disparity in salary among men and women. Each dot represents a job and the dark black diagonal line is equal wages. Jobs that appear below the line, are those where women, on average, make less than men in a comparable profession. There are six jobs above or on that line by my count. It looks like the higher the wage, the greater the disparity, but like most things the explanation is a little more complex than discrimination.

    Nearly every occupation has the gap — the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the size of the paycheck brought home by a woman and the larger one earned by a man doing the same job. Economists cite a few reasons: discrimination as well as personal choices within occupations are two major factors, and part of the gap can be attributed to men having more years of experience and logging more hours.

    Take note that this graphic could have easily been just a scatter plot; instead the Times annotates and tells readers what they are looking at. There's a story to be told. I also really like the notes on outliers as you select the different occupation groups. What do you think?

  • Progress: A Graphical Report on the State of the World

    March 3, 2009  |  Infographics, Projects

    You might recall that the United Nations Statistics Division launched UNdata about one week short of a year ago, which was an improvement on the previous United Nations Commons Database. UNdata provides a gateway into 22 United Nations databases and 66 million records. Yeah, it's a lot of data, but what do we do with it? What does it mean? Progress: A Graphical Report on the State of the World is a modest attempt to make some sense of it all; and by all, I mean a small subset.
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Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.