• Thank You to the FlowingData Sponsors

    May 17, 2009  |  Sponsors

    I always chuckle a little bit whenever I get an email from someone who thinks FlowingData is a big design firm. I'm totally flattered that it comes off that way. I mean, I must be doing something right. In reality though, I'm just one statistics graduate student working towards my PhD, so FlowingData wouldn't be around today, if it weren't for these generous sponsors (and the best readers around) who help FlowingData not suck.

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

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

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

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

    Want to be a FlowingData sponsor? Get in touch, and I'll send over the details.

  • Death Penalty Laws Around the World

    May 15, 2009  |  Mapping

    With their usual flare, GOOD Magazine maps the death penalty around the world according to Amnesty International. Here we see that the philosophy varies quite a bit from country to country; however, most countries have either abolished the death penalty or only use it in exceptional cases. The death penalty is still in use in about 30 percent of countries. Like the map of drinking age though, I suspect laws vary within the countries. Continue Reading

  • Pixel City: Computer-generated City

    May 14, 2009  |  Data Art

    Pixel City is a procedurally-generated city by Shamus Young. For the non-coders out there, this essentially means that based on a certain set of rules, this 3-D city is generated dynamically each time the program runs. Here, the video that shows the Young's process will make it more clear:

    Check out the very detailed 10-part explanation for more on how Pixel City was built. Hopefully more comes out of it than just a screensaver. If it does become a screensaver though, I'd gladly use it.

  • Bubbles Galore in Analysis of Banks’ Financial Health

    May 13, 2009  |  Infographics

    Andrew Garcia Phillips and Stephen Grocer of The Wall Street Journal compare the financial health of 19 major banks according to recent government stress tests. Each row represents a metric, each bubble represents a bank, and the size of a bubble represents the value of a metric for that bank. Roll over bubbles for more information or select a specific bank in the left sidebar. I know a lot of you don't like bubbles in your viz, but this one works for me.

    [Thanks, Vikram]

  • Maps of the Seven Deadly Sins

    May 12, 2009  |  Mapping

    Geographers from Kansas State University map the spatial distribution of the seven deadly sins in the United States. These types of maps are always kind of iffy as they draw from data from various sources gathered with different methods and usually use some kind of researcher-defined metric. Still interesting though... right?
    Continue Reading

  • 50 Cars to Make One Bus?

    May 11, 2009  |  Misc. Visualization

    Flygbussarna, a Swedish coach bus company, in partnership with the Acne marketing group, assembled 50 cars into one bus to highlight the production of carbon emissions. Assuming slightly more than one person per car on average, one coach bus could potentially replace 50 cars on the road and reduce carbon emissions some 10 times over. Continue Reading

  • Interaction Design Pilot Year Churns Out Great Student Projects

    May 8, 2009  |  Visualization

    In a collaborative initiative between Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and The Danish Design School, the Interaction Design Pilot Year brings together students and faculty from various disciplines for a unique brand of education. Continue Reading

  • POLL: What Data-related Area Are You Most Interested In?

    May 7, 2009  |  Polls

    It's time for a FlowingData poll. I want to know what data-ish things you're interested in. Design? Statistics? Analytics? Select your answer in the poll below. If you select other, let us know what that other thing is in the comments.

    {democracy:8}
  • 37 Data-ish Blogs You Should Know About

    May 6, 2009  |  Statistics, Visualization

    You might not know it, but there are actually a ton of data and visualization blogs out there. I'm a bit of a feed addict subscribing to just about anything with a chart or a mention of statistics on it (and naturally have to do some feed-cleaning every now and then). In a follow up to my short list last year, here are the data-ish blogs, some old and some new, that continue to post interesting stuff. Continue Reading

  • Here & There: Horizonless Perspective of Manhattan

    May 5, 2009  |  Mapping

    Jack Schulze provides this horizonless view of Manhattan:

    Here & There is a project by S&W exploring speculative projections of dense cities. These maps of Manhattan look uptown from 3rd and 7th, and downtown from 3rd and 35th. They're intended to be seen at those same places, putting the viewer simultaneously above the city and in it where she stands, both looking down and looking forward.

    Imagine a person standing at a street corner. The projection begins with a three-dimensional representation of the immediate environment. Close buildings are represented normally, and the viewer himself is shown in the third person, exactly where she stands.

    It takes a minute to wrap your head around the concept, but it's an interesting one. It bet it'd be especially awesome if it were an interactive map that you could use while you roamed around a dense city. What do you think, cartographers?

    [via kottke & waxy | Thanks, Jodi]

  • 10 Visualizations for Number of Days to Pay Your Taxes

    May 4, 2009  |  Visualization, Visualize This

    A couple weeks ago, FlowingData ran another Visualize This challenge. I posted a dataset on the number of days it takes the average person in each state to pay his or her taxes and asked you to visualize it. The number of days vary, because tax burden varies state-by-state. The day all taxes have been paid is dubbed Tax Freedom Day. Alaska has the earliest Tax Freedom Day while Connecticut has it last.

    Here are the interesting results you all came up with. Thanks to those who participated. Nice work all around. Continue Reading

  • Spectrum of Online Friendship

    May 1, 2009  |  Infographics

    This graphic, from Mike Arauz, describes different levels of online friendship, starting at passive interest (read your blog but not much else) up to investment (deeply care about your success). I originally thought it was just one of those comic infographics, but there's some good discussion going on in the comments of the original post and the Arauz' response.

    [Thanks, @JeffHurt]

  • What Drugs Pose the Greatest Danger?

    May 1, 2009  |  Infographics

    While The New York Times continues to produce excellent work, GOOD Magazine has been churning out interesting graphics on the other side of the spectrum. In their most recent transparency graphic, GOOD describes the drugs that pose the greatest danger according to local law officials, when asked by the Department of Justice. Underneath the creative bling is essentially a stacked bar chart. The purists are going to cry bloody murder, but hey, it still gets the point across, right?

    Have a nice weekend, everyone. See you Monday.

    [Thanks, @joaovc]

  • Is Your Country Involved in Open Source?

    April 30, 2009  |  Mapping

    Red Hat, an open source leader best known for their Linux distribution, maps open source activity around the world. If you're not a developer or involved with Web-ish things, open source might seem like a foreign concept. Give away your code, your work, and your data. And succeed? I don't know how it works, but somehow, it does. Open source not only helps an application flourish, but also helps ideas develop further than they ever would with a single group. Plus - it makes my life, and many others' lives much easier.

  • Google Adds Search to Public Data

    April 28, 2009  |  Data Sources, Online Applications

    Google announced today that they have made a small subset of public datasets searchable. Search for unemployment rate and you'll see a thumbnail at the top of the results. Click on it, and you get a the very Google-y chart like the one above, so instead of searching for unemployment rates for multiple years, you can get it all at once.
    Continue Reading

  • Tracking Swine Flu Worldwide – Where and How, Plus Data

    April 28, 2009  |  Data Sources, Infographics

    Just about everywhere you go there's something in the news about swine flu, and so naturally, when I first heard about it, I waited for The New York Times to put up a graphic. That was the first one. Here's the second (above).
    Continue Reading

  • Visualizing the United States Power Grid

    April 28, 2009  |  Mapping

    NPR provides an in depth view of the U.S. electric grid, exploring the network, power sources, and where in the country power is coming from:

    The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines. Aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption, has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation's electrical systems.

    The above is a view of the grid; below is a view of nuclear and solar energy across the country.
    Continue Reading

  • Turning Statistics Into Knowledge – 3 Days Left to Sign Up

    April 27, 2009  |  News

    The US Census Bureau, World Bank, and OECD have organized a seminar to discuss innovations in visualization and blossoming Web technologies to disperse the stories in data. Innovative Approaches to Turn Statistics into Knowledge will be held July 15-16, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

    While dynamic graphics and communication tools are at the heart of the seminar, we also want to focus on a broader range of tools. The seminar will also include the use of videos, as explored by GapMinder and others, and participative approaches, as seen in some web 2.0 initiatives; and – although innovative tools are themselves of great interest, and worthy of being presented at the seminar – the focus of the seminar will be on innovative applications of tools, for example, so-called story-telling applications.

    With participants [pdf] from all over the world and major organizations, and no registration fee, the seminar looks promising. Hurry though, there are only three days left to sign up. The deadline is April 30.

  • A Couple New Looks for Google News

    April 27, 2009  |  Online Applications, Visualization

    The ever popular newsmap (above), a tree map view of Google News, got a facelift a few days weeks ago. Markos Wekamp, the creator, has changed to a rectangularized tree map layout to display headlines more completely, search as you type, and deep linking. Markos also brings the brightness down a notch from that of the original, which I like. It's easier on the eyes.

    Earlier last week, Google released its own alternative news view with News Timeline. The interface lets you search the news, blogs, etc and results are displayed in a timeline format. Show by day, month, year, and decade.

    The jury is still out on whether the timeline is an improvement over regular search listings. What do you think? How about versus the New York Times article skimmer?

    [via infosthetics & Google News Blog & Newsmap Blog]

  • Twitter’s Creative Director on Why He Left Google

    April 25, 2009  |  Quotes

    I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to work at Google. I learned more than I thought I would. I'll miss the free food. I'll miss the occasional massage. I'll miss the authors, politicians, and celebrities that come to speak or perform. I'll miss early chances to play with cool toys before they're released to the public. Most of all, I'll miss working with the incredibly smart and talented people I got to know there. But I won't miss a design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data.

    — Douglas Bowman, Goodbye, Google, March 2009

    I feel like I've been hearing a lot of this type of stuff recently. Just yesterday, while watching NBA playoff commentary, someone stated that future Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford, had something like a 1 in 4 chance of success in the NFL. Charles Barkeley replied that sometimes you gotta forget about stats and just go, or something to that effect. Oddly enough, I agree.

    [via TechCrunch]

    UPDATE: Kevin Fox, (formerly) senior user experience design lead at Google, responded to Bowman's post: "I don't think Google had to be a bad fit for you, but that you were put in to the wrong role." [Thanks, David]

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