• 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]

  • What is Your Wine Personality Profile?

    August 25, 2009  |  Infographics

    TxWineCompendium

    The Texas in a Bottle guide to Texas Wine [pdf] reads:

    Ever listen to somebody describe a wine? They talk about it having "character" and "personality." To hear them tell it, wines are a lot like people. We've talked it over and came to a conclusion - they have it backwards. People are a lot like wines.

    And to that end, Go Texan Wine goes on to describe your personality based on what type of wine you prefer. Do you like Merlot? There's a mystical side to you, slightly mischievous, but that only makes you the life of the party.

    I'm difficult. I'm demanding. But oh, oh, oh, I am so worth it. What's your wine personality?

    [via Cool Infographics]

  • Detailed View of the Kennedy Family Tree

    August 24, 2009  |  Network Visualization

    kennedy-family-tree

    As far back as I can remember there's always been a mystique around the Kennedy family. It's almost like if you bear the Kennedy name, you're destined for greatness. With the recent passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Patterson Clark of The Washington Post maps out the famous family tree. The tree starts with the marriage of Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald and branches out to current family members and what they do for a living.

    [via DataViz]

  • Caffeine vs Calories – Buzz vs Bulge

    August 21, 2009  |  Infographics

    buzzbulge_960

    David McCandless from Information is Beautiful plots the calories in popular beverages versus the amount of caffeine in them. At the bottom right of the plot are drinks low in calories and high in caffeine. At the opposite end, top left, are beverages of high calories and low in caffeine. Food items (on the left) and physical activity (on the right) provide context to the calories.

    [Thanks, Peter]

  • Mapping the Growth of the Internet – What Do You Think?

    August 20, 2009  |  Mapping

    exploding-internet

    I, uh, well. Hmm. Yeah. New Scientist recently compiled a list of visualizations exploring the growth of the Internet. Here they are in no particular order (plus the one above).
    Continue Reading

  • Map/Territory Shows Augmented Reality of the Future

    August 19, 2009  |  Data Art

    Map/Territory, by designer Timo Arnall, is a concept video of what it might be like to interact with a map embedded in real life - not just on a phone or on a computer screen. Imagine a world where a flick of the wrist draws up all the information you need in real time and space. Check out the 30-second clip below:

    I really love stuff like this. Stuff like Map/Territory, Bruce Branit's holographic world, Microsoft's vision for 2019, or even the Starship Enterprise is simply beautiful. It's fun to imagine what the future might be like.

    Nevermind the how part. Technically speaking, I have no idea how Map/Territory would ever come to fruition, and I'm pretty sure Timo doesn't either, but who cares? While technical know-how is absolutely useful and completely necessary, sometimes you need imagination and creativity to push the boundaries of what's possible.

    [via O'Reilly Radar]

  • Thanks to Our FlowingData Sponsors

    August 19, 2009  |  Sponsors

    As many of you know I'm just one graduate student maintaining FlowingData. Needless to say I would not have been able to handle the financial load without the FlowingData sponsors. Projects like your.flowingdata and FlowingPrints (coming soon) probably wouldn't be around either.

    So thank you, sponsors for your support. Please do check out their offerings. They all aim to make data useful, which is what FlowingData is all about.

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

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

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

    IDV Solutions — Create interactive, map-based, enterprise mashups in SharePoint.

    Freakalytics — Get Tableau Training- live, hands-on by author of "Rapid Graphs." Registration is opening up across the country.

    Want to sponsor FlowingData, your most favorite blog in the whole wide world? Email me, and I'll get back to you with the details.

  • What DC Metro Routes are Most Common?

    August 18, 2009  |  Mapping

    metro-riderrship

    Greater Greater Washington maps rider flow for the DC Metro. As you might guess, the thicker the path, the greater the estimated number of riders in that given area.

    As the author notes, the data collection process was an unscientific one, so it should be taken with a few grains of salt, but this makes me wonder. These types of subway maps seem to be getting fairly common, in both the static and interactive/animated variety - but the visualization always seems to come from estimates.

    Have any metro systems released their full data? I am sure there are tons of data logs sitting somewhere, growing every time someone swipes their metro card or drops in a subway coin. And more importantly, are metro systems using these types of visualizations to figure out how to distribute trains at different times per day? Do they use something better?

    [Thanks, Jamie]

  • Religious Geography of the United States

    August 17, 2009  |  Mapping

    christian

    The U.S. Census Bureau doesn't ask questions about religion because of political issues involving separation of church and state, so we don't always get a very detailed view of religion. The Glenmary Research Center does collect this data, however.

    The Valparaiso geography department maps this detailed data, and the extensive collection of choropleth maps can be found here.
    Continue Reading

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