• Food Assistance on the Rise

    September 16, 2009  |  Infographics

    food-stamps

    GOOD magazine, in collaboration with Gavin Potenza, takes a look at food assistance over the past several months.

    Since November 2008, there's been an increase in the number of people who receive food assistance every month. Every month there has been more people receiving food assistance than there has ever been in the history of the program.

    The graphic reads:

    While some economists are declaring the recession over, and although the stock market continues to rise, those on the bottom of the economic ladder are seeing fewer improvements to their day-to-day lives. The number of Americans who receive assistance from the government in the form of food stamps continues to rise—the total number of food stamp recipients is now up to more than 10 percent of the total population. Here is how many people have been using food stamps for the nine months from September, 2008, to last May.

    With that in mind, what can we do about it?

  • What Cell Phone Provider is Best For You?

    September 15, 2009  |  Statistics

    Picking a cell phone plan is confusing, but it doesn't have to be.

    Providers purposely make it that way, so you don't see all that you're forking over per month until you're locked into a horrible 2-year plan. It doesn't have to be like this though. Let's look at the data to find what cell phone provider has the best price.
    Continue Reading

  • Earth Through the Eyes of Astronauts

    September 14, 2009  |  Mapping

    Bella Gaia, or Beautiful Earth, is a unique view of earth through the eye's of astronauts in an effort to provide some sentiment to our home planet.
    Continue Reading

  • 2009 MTV VMA Twitter Tracker Live

    September 13, 2009  |  Data Art

    Picture 1

    The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards are on right now (and I'm sure all of you are watching). Check out the live VMA Twitter tracker by Stamen and Radian6. It's kind of fun to watch, even if you aren't tuned into MTV. Celebrity profile pictures are dynamically sized by how much people are talking about them on Twitter. Apparently Kanye is performing right now... or he did something stupid.

  • Vintage Infographics From the 1930s

    September 11, 2009  |  Infographics

    3592495225_1eae150909_b

    Someone needs to get me a paper copy of Willard Cope Brinton's Graphic Presentation (1939), because it is awesome.
    Continue Reading

  • 3 In-depth Views of Flight Delays and Cancellations

    September 10, 2009  |  Statistical Visualization

    Have you ever rushed to the airport only to find that your flight was delayed or canceled?

    In the most recent Data Expo at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings, data heads explored 120 million departures and arrivals in the United States, with the goal of finding "important features" such as:

    • When is the best time of day/day of week/time of year to fly to minimise delays?
    • Do older planes suffer more delays?
    • How does the number of people flying between different locations change over time?
    • How well does weather predict plane delays?

    While there were several interesting entries, here are the first, second, and third place winners. Continue Reading

  • Stimulus Funding Map is ‘Slick as Hell’

    September 9, 2009  |  Mapping

    stimulus

    As you know, states have received billions of dollars of federal stimulus funding. But do you know where all the money goes?

    Stamen Design, in its most recent project with the State of California, lets you explore the money breakdown. Like most of Stamen's work, at the base is an interactive map, but it is of course much more than that.

    Roll over for breakdowns, search for your city or county, select sectors of interest, and take a look at project-specific information. The color-coded bars change depend on what's geographically in view, and the map zooms in on points of interest on the fly.

    In Eric's words, "It's just slick as hell."

  • 10 More Infographic Reasons Why You Should Go Green

    September 8, 2009  |  Visualization

    In this day and age, we should all be thinking about how we can better conserve the environment, because if we don't, well you know, the planet will die. In a follow-up to my previous eco-friendly list, here are 10 more infographics and visualizations on going green.
    Continue Reading

  • Ben Fry Visualizes the Evolution of Darwin’s Ideas

    September 7, 2009  |  Data Art

    origin-of-species

    Ben Fry, well-known for Processing and plenty of other data goodness, announced his most recent piece, On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces, made possible by The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online.

    The visualization explores the evolution of Charles Darwin's theory of, uh, evolution. It began as a less-defined 150,000-word text in the first edition and grew and developed to a 190,000-word theory in the sixth edition.

    Watch where the updates in the text occur over time. Chunks are removed, chunks are added, and words are changed. Blocks are color-coded by edition. Roll over blocks to see the text underneath.

    As usual, excellent work, Mr. Fry.

    Happy labor day!

  • A Road Map to Success

    September 6, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

    the-road-to-success

    May you make it to the top of the mountain of success. I think I'm somewhere around the mountain of lack of preparation. Where are you?

    [via Strange Maps]

    UPDATE: Here's the full-sized version, originally from The Etude in 1913. [Thanks, @idefine]

  • Friday Freebies: 5 Copies of Applied Security Visualization

    September 4, 2009  |  Contests

    Applied Security VisualizationWe passed the 20k-subscriber mark last week. Very cool, and a tiny bit scary at the same time. Thank you everyone for reading and spreading the word about FlowingData. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm looking forward to what the next few months brings.

    Anyways, I've found that the best way to celebrate these types of milestones is with some free stuff :). Plus it's Friday.

    Applied Security Visualization

    I have five free copies of Applied Security Visualization to give away. While the book is geared towards network security, the principles behind each chapter can certainly be applied to other types of visualization. The book also includes free software for visualizing networks and assessing security.

    How to Win

    Super easy. Just leave a comment below that says what you're thankful for. You are not allowed to say you are thankful for free stuff, wise guy. Do this by Sunday, September 6, 2009, 8pm EST. Comments will then close, and I will randomly select five winners. One entry per person please. Good luck!

    Update: I forgot about Labor Day. Extending the entry deadline to Monday, Sept. 7, 8pm EST.

  • Highs and Lows of Being a Young Man

    September 4, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

    82208_teenageboygraphhorribleawesome

    i-am-bored graphs the horrible to awesome of becoming a man. Growing up ain't easy. So who's going to do the highs and lows of being a young woman?

    Have a nice weekend all.

  • I Found the Forest

    September 3, 2009  |  Announcements

    Someone I respect a lot said I should let go. And so I did.

    We now return to our regularly scheduled data goodness. Thanks, all.

  • What Visualization Tool/Software Should You Use? – Getting Started

    September 3, 2009  |  Design

    toolAre you looking to get into data visualization, but don't quite know where to begin?

    With all of the available tools to help you visualize data, it can be confusing where to start. The good news is, well, that there are a lot of (free) available tools out there to help you get started. It's just a matter of deciding which one suits you best. This is a guide to help you figure that out.
    Continue Reading

  • The World of Seinfeld

    September 2, 2009  |  Network Visualization

    World of Seinfeld

    After yesterday's weirdness, I'm in the mood for something light.

    The show about nothing lasted nine seasons, during which Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine interacted with a whole lot of people. Ricky Linn, a graphic design student, mapped all the relationships over the years.

    Connecting lines are color-coded by type of relationship. It looks like Kramer was more about making friends while Jerry and George were more the dating type. I guess Elaine kept a tighter circle of friends.

  • Low Income Hinders College Attendance, Even for Top Students

    September 1, 2009  |  Statistics

    snap20051012a

    What if you were a good student but knew you weren't going to be able to go to college?

    I was fortunate enough for most of my life to know that if I wanted to get a higher education, I would be able to. Thanks, Mom and Dad. It's hard for me to imagine working hard in middle school and high school if I didn't have that goal in mind, but that's the path that many grow up with.

    The above graph are the results of a study by the Department of Education started in 1988. It shows that low-income students are most likely not to complete college - despite doing well in 8th grade. It's a much different story for high-income students.

    The Department tracked student progress in 8th grade and through high school and college over the next 12 years. Only 3% of students, from low income families, with low 8th grade math performance, completed college. Compare that to students with the same math performance but from high income families. Thirty percent finished college. That's ten times more than the former.

    What's worse is that many low-income students who had high math performance still didn't complete college. The percentage of college completion for low-income, high math students was still lower than high-income, low math students.

    [via @golan]

  • Best Beer in America 2009

    August 31, 2009  |  Infographics

    Best beer in America

    Following up from last year's beer graphic, Mike Wirth looks at medal winners from this year's at the Great American Beer Festival since 1987. This year's festival is September 24-26.

    This time around is a little more context about the breweries in America, namely the number of breweries per state. It looks like someone used Many Eyes for some bubble fun.

    Also, as suggested by FD readers for the 2008 graphic, Mike includes rankings by state both by number of medals and medals per capita. Vermont wins per capita. Alaska's up there at number 6. Actually, the top states per capita seem to be mostly northern states. Gotta stay warm, eh?

    [via lyke2drink | Thanks, Mike]

  • Total Eclipse of the Heart (Flowchart)

    August 28, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

    turnaround

    Jeannie Harrell takes Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler, and puts it in flowchart form. Yes, you guessed it. It's Friday. And what better way to start the weekend with the music video in all its 1980s glory.
    Continue Reading

  • your.flowingdata Gets an Upgrade + Free iPhone App

    August 27, 2009  |  Projects

    yfd logoIt's been fun to see your.flowingdata evolve the past few weeks, and it's good to see so many of you making use of it. Thanks for all the useful feedback too.

    For those already using YFD, you'll be pleased to know there are a few new features. If you haven't had the chance, you can start collecting data with YFD in just a few steps.
    Continue Reading

  • How Does the Internet See You? – Personas From MIT Media

    August 26, 2009  |  Data Art

    personas

    I Google myself every now and then. Everyone does. I don't know why people act like it's all weird to do it. We're all interested in what's out there on the Internet about us or someone with the same name as us. Some of it is right. A lot of it is wrong. Personas, from MIT's Metropath(ologies) exhibit, scours the Web and attempts to characterize how the Internet sees you.

    In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer's uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.

    The piece is about the incorrectness of your Internet profile just as much as what's right.

    As many have pointed out, the end result is kind of anti-climatic, but it's fun to watch the process at work, which makes heavy use of natural language processing algorithm latent Dirichlet allocation [pdf] from Blei, et. al.

    How does the Internet see you?

    [via infosthetics | Thanks, Alexandria]

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