• Interactive World Cup schedule

    I was born in and live in the United States, so to me football is a bunch of big guys in full armor trying to tackle each other. To the rest of the world though, all eyes are on the World Cup, starting June 11. So this is for you, international readers (and maybe one or two Americans). Marca has an interactive World Cup schedule so you can make sure not to miss any important matches. Mouse over a date, a team, a group/stage, or cities/stadiums to focus on the matches you want.

    [Thanks, Judi]

  • Context to underwater depths

    The Deepwater Horizon well is nearly a mile deep in water. It extends 3.5 miles. It's hard to imagine these depths of the ocean though since most of us have never gone further than twenty feet below. The New York Times' Bill Marsh provides some context. The Titanic rests 2.4 miles down, while in 1960, a U.S. Navy submersible descended to the deepest known ocean floor, about 7 miles into the darkness. [Thanks, Peter]

  • Strata of common and not so common colors

    In another look at the data from xkcd's color experiment, Stephen Von Worley looks at the common and not so common colors of the rainbow:

    The Color Strata includes the 200 most common color names (excluding black-white-grayish tones), organized by hue horizontally and relative usage vertically, stacked by overall popularity, shaded representatively, and labeled where possible. Besides filtering spam, ignoring cruft, normalizing grey to gray, and correcting the most egregious misspellings (here’s looking at you, fuchsia), the results are otherwise unadulterated.

    The results correspond nicely with Martin and Dolores Labs' color wheels from a couple of years ago.

    [Thanks, Stephen]

  • Find your booty with Bing treasure maps

    Maps on the major sites like Yahoo, Google, and Bing have a similar look. You've got your yellow roads, orange freeways, and green parks. Bing Destination Maps takes a different approach. Select your region of interest, and choose the style that you want. You have four choices: European, American, sketchy, and treasure map (above).
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  • Where the tourists really flock

    A couple of weeks ago you saw Eric Fischer's maps of Flickr photos in major cities. The inclination was to think of the maps as a representation of tourist hot spots. The more pictures taken in an area, the more people go there to visit. That's not necessarily the case though. Tourists might flock to an area and might completely neglect another, while locals might avoid the touristy areas.

    In Fischer's second run of maps, he makes an educated guess about the splits between tourists and locals:

    Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).

    Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).

    Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.

    See the full set on Flickr. It's even better than the first. [via | thanks, Joe]

  • Review: Data Flow 2, Visualizing Information in Graphic Design

    Note: The review copy I received is in French. Unfortunately, I only understand English. So this review is actually my impression of Data Flow: Design Graphique et Visualisation D'Informations as a picture book with titles, which in a way it kind of is anyways.

    Last year, the first Data Flow was published, featuring the data graphics of some fine designers. You can read my review of it here. Basically, if you liked the first Data Flow and could use some more inspiration, you'll probably like this second edition. The two are really similar in layout and in the way the graphics are split up. The title is exactly the same, save the 2.
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  • Europe’s web of debt

    While the US has its own problems with debt somewhere in the range of $13 trillion, European countries have got some issues too. It seems like everyone owes something these days.

    [Thanks, Tom]

  • San Francisco crime mapped as elevation

    Doug McCune maps San Francisco crime in 2009 as if it were elevation. Peaks and valleys emerge with the rolling terrains of crime. The above is the map for prostitution:

    My favorite map is the one for prostitution (maybe “favorite” is the wrong choice of words there). Nearly all the arrests for prostitution in San Francisco occur along what I’m calling the “Mission Mountain Ridge”, which runs up Mission St between 24th and 16th. I love the way the mountain range casts a shadow over much of the city. There’s also a second peak in the Tenderloin (which I’m dubbing Mt. Loin).

    I love how realistic the 3-dimensional models look. They could almost pass for clay figures. Doug notes that the series of maps are more an art piece than they are information visualization, but these would be a great complement to your standard choropleth.

  • Data and its impact on journalism

    In regards to the UK's recent boom in open data, Simon Rogers of the Guardian, ponders data's role in journalism, and the opportunities this new found information could bring:

    The impact on journalism is expected to be great. The Chicago-based web developer and founder of the neighbourhood news site EveryBlock, Adrian Holovaty, says it's going to be challenging but exciting for journalists. "As more governments open their data, journalists lose privileged status as gatekeepers of information – but the need for their work as curators and explainers increases. The more data that's available in the world, the more essential it is for somebody to make sense of it."

    This need not only creates a fresh brand of news, but also a new type of journalist:

    I once prided myself on my lack of maths knowledge. Now I find myself editing a datajournalism site, the Guardian's datablog: a site where we use Google Spreadsheets to post key datasets. We make the data properly accessible, then encourage our users to take the numbers, produce graphics and applications and help us look for stories.

    Priding yourself on a lack of know-how on how to deal with data is a little weird, but okay.

    In any case, people always ask me how to get into information design, infographics, visualization etc. Journalism is one of those choices, and there's a lot of opportunity there if you've got the skills.

  • Protovis 3.2 released – more examples and layouts

    The most recent version of Protovis, the open-source visualization library that uses JavaScript and SVG, was just released not too long ago - this time with more layout and examples. This is especially helpful since Protovis was "designed to be learned by example." Among the new stuff is the ever popular streamgraphs, along with the force-directed layout. With only 10 to 20 lines of code, you'll have your viz, so lots of bang for the buck.

    There are, however, still some limitations with dreaded Internet Explorer (mainly with interaction), but they're getting there, I think.

    Find plenty of other examples on the Protovis site. Robert Kosara has also started a series of Protovis tutorials on how to use the library if you want some guidance on where to start.

  • Track the 2010 MTV Movie Awards

    June 6 2010  |  Infographics  |  Tags:

    Excited about the 2010 MTV Movie Awards? Yeah, me neither. But if you want to keep an eye on things while you watch or do something else (you know, in case there's a Kanye moment), MTV and Stamen provide a tweet tracker for the event. Similar to the VMA tracker last year, movies and celebrities are highlighted based on tweets about them per minute. The look, feel, and views are different, however.
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  • Egregious Citations Issued to BP

    June 6 2010  |  Data Sources  |  Tags:

    BP processes about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, across six refineries in the United States. In total, 150 refineries in the United States process just under 18 million barrels per day, so BP processes about 8.5 percent of it. However, as reported by the Center for Public Integrity, 97 percent of the most dangerous violations found by OSHA were on BP properties.
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  • How little musicians earn online

    You've heard about the struggling musician. It's a tough business. How tough is it though? David McCandless of Information is Beautiful, looks at how much musicians make from major online outlets. Bubbles are sized by how many sales or plays a song must get before someone makes US monthly minimum wage.
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  • Poverty in late 19th century London

    Alice Rawsthorn for The New York Times reports on Charles Booth's London poverty maps, from the late 1800s, currently on display at the Museum of London. During a time when people saw rich and poor living separately, Booth's map showed the contrary:

    Mr. Booth had set out to discover how many people were living in poverty, to determine why and what could be done to help them. As well as proving that there was much more poverty in London than the official statistics suggested, his research revealed the nuances of an increasingly complex city with different degrees of hardship, where the rich often lived alongside the poor.

    Of course, no visualization-related piece is complete without a little bit of data overload melodrama and a hat tip to Processing:

    As the data crisis worsens, finding new ways to make sense of this tsunami of information and to illustrate it clearly becomes ever more urgent. One solution is data visualization, a new visual language now being developed by information designers. Using sophisticated programming languages, like Processing, they are distilling colossal quantities of baffling data into seductive digital animations — or visualizations — many of which then change in real time to reflect what is actually happening.

    Ah, that hit the spot.

    [via]

  • R for enterprise?

    Norman Nie, co-creator of SPSS (acquired by IBM for $1.2 billion last summer), and his group Revolution Analytics aim to bring analysis to a wider audience with a product built on top of R, the popular statistical computing language. They call it Revolution R.

    Noted in a recent Forbes article:

    R is a powerful tool but difficult for novices to use. Nie's Revolution Analytics aims to make it more accessible with a better-organized library, capabilities for bigger jobs and a user interface that lets users drag and drop statistical analyses into place, outputting easily read charts.

    The rest of the article is about Nie, the growing importance of data, etc.

    I'm curious. Has anyone tried Revolution R? They say that it has "faster performance and greater stability" than base R. Is it that much better?

    [Thanks, Victoria]

  • BP oil spill if it were where you live

    If it Was My Home is a simple but effective concept. Enter your location, and the oil spill is overlayed on top. It's gotten to the point where the area the spill covers is greater than the area of some states. Scared? You should be.

  • Data Life of the Future

    It's fun to imagine the future. Every few months, someone takes a stab with a concept video or a proof of concept prototype, providing a glimpse into human-computer interaction and data visualization in a decade or two. What will it really look like? It's anyone's guess. But if people's imaginations are any indication, the future will be filled of data displays and 3-dimensional holographic objects projected into physical space.
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  • Uber detailed London map satire

    Stephen Walter's The Island looks like an ordinary map of London from afar. Just a bunch of scribbles, actually. But zoom in and you get something more.

    The Island satirises the London-centric view of the English capital and its commuter towns as independent from the rest of the country. The artist, a Londoner with a love of his native city, offers up a huge range of local and personal information in words and symbols. Walter speaks in the dialect of today, focusing on what he deems interesting or mundane.

    Zoom in once. Outlines and locations appear.
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  • Data Science is catching on

    Maybe there's something to this whole data science thing after all. Mike Loukides describes data science and where it's headed on O'Reilly Radar. It's a good read, but statisticians get clumped into suits crunching numbers like actuarial drones:

    Using data effectively requires something different from traditional statistics, where actuaries in business suits perform arcane but fairly well-defined kinds of analysis. What differentiates data science from statistics is that data science is a holistic approach. We're increasingly finding data in the wild, and data scientists are involved with gathering data, massaging it into a tractable form, making it tell its story, and presenting that story to others.

    What is data science? It's what well-rounded statisticians do.

  • Live webcast: Community Health Data Initiative

    Health and Human Services (HHS) is about to announce the launch of their Community Health Data Initiative over in DC right now. The point is to make health data more usable for consumers and communities.

    Today groups will be presenting how they've made use of the data in the past few weeks from about 9:30 to 10:30 - as in right now. I've embedded the live webcast below.

    They're just going through the formalities of thank yous and intros right now, but the good stuff should start soon.
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