• 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.
    Continue Reading

  • 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.
    Continue Reading

  • 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.
    Continue Reading

  • Four hours and then we’re done…

    March 2, 2009  |  Contests

    If you haven't won anything in our 10k giveaway yet, there's about 4 more hours to enter three remaining giveaways here, here, and here. Enter now, because you know there is no better price than free. That is all. Good luck. Ok bye.

  • Microsoft’s Vision for 2019 is Data Visualization

    March 2, 2009  |  Data Art

    Google's chief economist tells us statistician will be the sexy job of the next decade. Now Microsoft provides its vision for 2019 (video below):

    <a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-GB&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:a517b260-bb6b-48b9-87ac-8e2743a28ec5&showPlaylist=true&from=shared" target="_new" title="Future Vision Montage">Video: Future Vision Montage</a>

    The future for 2019 looks a lot like data visualization and some serious data processing, yeah? So you better get ready. Hop on to the band wagon before all the seats are taken. The future sure is lookin' good. Check out the extended version of the above video in the link below.

    [via istartedsomething | Thanks, dx0ne]

  • Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is Next Up… Better Hurry

    February 27, 2009  |  Contests

    If you haven't read Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, you're gonna wanna do that. I mean, there's a reason this book was a national bestseller. Good thing the next prize up for grabs is... Malcom Gladwell's Tipping Point. This giveaway is a quick one. The deadline is Feb 27, 8pm EST.

    How to Enter

    Super easy. Leave a comment below. That's it! The winner will be randomly selected at the deadline. Good luck.

    UPDATE: This giveaway is now oooovvva. Thanks for participating, everyone! This is the last prize announcement in for our 10k giveaway, but there are still three giveaways still going on here, here, and here about to come to an end so get your entries in quick.

  • Banking Execs Flee with Millions of Dollars in Golden Parachute

    February 27, 2009  |  Infographics

    I figured out how I am going to get rich, and I'm going to share my secret with you. I'm going to become a high-profile banking executive, do a horrible job, get fired, and then end up rolling in cash. You think to yourself, "Uh, that doesn't sound right you crazy kook." Ah, but that's where you're wrong. That's the American way! In the below infographic slash comic, we see executives stepping down from their top-floor, corner office with millions of dollars and a golden parachute to slow down the fall.
    Continue Reading

  • What’s Wrong With this Financial Bubble Chart?

    February 26, 2009  |  Mistaken Data

    Average US Consumer Spending Bubble Infographic

    If there's anything good that has come out of America's financial crisis, it's the interesting and high-quality infographics. This isn't one of them. Below is an ill-conceived bubble chart from BillShrink that "shows" average U.S. consumer spending. Notice anything wrong with it?

    Bar versus bubble debate aside, there is a ton of room for improvement as well as huge need for some fact-checking and common sense. For a blog on a site for personal finance, the graphic is, well, not something to be proud of. FlowingData readers know that I like to stay away from heavy-handed critique on what works and what doesn't (I leave that to you guys), but this BillShrink graphic is just so clearly confusing that it's worth pointing out what doesn't work so we can learn from others' mistakes. Can you find the flaws?

    [Thanks, Jess]

  • News at a Glance with New York Times Article Skimmer

    February 26, 2009  |  Online Applications

    The New York Times homepage has a lot of news to report. While well-organized and well-designed, the Times recognizes that there's still room for improvement as seen in their article skimmer prototype:

    Here at The Times, we often hear a common story of usage from our customers: Reading the Sunday Times, spreading out the paper on a table while eating brunch. For many of our customers, this ritual is fundamental to their enjoyment of the weekend, and its absence would be jolting.

    With this in mind, we present an as-yet-unnamed article skimmer. Think of it as an attempt to provide the Sunday Times experience anytime. Of course, there are parts we can’t replicate: the satisfying crinkle of the paper; the circular stain of your coffee; the smell of newsprint.

    Article headlines and snippets are arranged by grid and divided by news categories. Jump to a specific category with the sidebar on the right or browse up and down with the arrow keys on your keyboard. I personally think it makes skimming easier. What do you think?

    [via NYT First Look via Waxy]

  • Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian on Statistics and Data

    February 25, 2009  |  Quotes, Statistics

    I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I'm joking, but who would've guessed that computer engineers would've been the sexy job of the 1990s?

    Hal Varian, The McKinsey Quarterly, January 2009

    Varian then goes on to say:

    The ability to take data - to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it's going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, not only at the professional level but even at the educational level for elementary school kids, for high school kids, for college kids. Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it.

    I think statisticians are part of it, but it's just a part. You also want to be able to visualize the data, communicate the data, and utilize it effectively. But I do think those skills - of being able to access, understand, and communicate the insights you get from data analysis - are going to be extremely important. Managers need to be able to access and understand the data themselves.

    Wait a minute. Is this a pitch for FlowingData? I think so :). Check out the full article for more (or listen to the podcast). It's an interesting read.

  • How Many Gallons of Fuel Does it Take to Travel 350 Miles?

    February 24, 2009  |  Infographics

    GOOD Magazine, in collaboration with Robert A. Di Leso, Jr., explores fuel use by various modes of transportation. In what is essentially a fancied up bar chart, we see how many gallons of fuel it takes for a passenger to travel 350 miles by cruise ship, Amtrak, Boeing 737, Sedan, hybrid, etc. A couple of non-fuel modes of transportation are included as well using caloric conversions. It'll take about 48 Whoppers with cheese to walk 350 miles. Good to know, especially since I was planning on walking 350 miles today. Totally kidding. I'm walking 360. Like a circle.

    [Thanks, Lawrie]

  • Win a One-year Subscription to SiSense Dashboards

    February 23, 2009  |  Contests

    Want some easy-to-use online dashboard software? The next prize up for grabs is for you then - a one-year subscription to SiSense. This one will be especially useful for anyone who runs a business.

    The deadline for this giveaway is Monday, March 2, 8pm EST.

    Prize Description

    A one-year subscription to a SiSense standard package - a $500 value - is up for grabs:

    SiSense Prism is a powerful, user driven business intelligence tool that takes only a few hours to learn and implement. Our visual interface lets you effortlessly create analytics, reports, graphs and dashboards. Setting up Prism requires no IT support. SiSense offers non-technical users the ability to dashboard and analyze using common terminology and a drag and drop interface. We connect to different data sources and present them to the user in a unified way.

    Using SiSense, you can connect to a data source and begin work immediately, relieving the need for IT to mediate between the business user and the data source. The results are easy to share with a workgroup or your superiors. Pricing ranges from a free version to tens of dollars per user month.

    How to Enter

    For a chance to win a one-year subscription to SiSense, simply find an example of a dashboard (the cooler the better) and leave a link to it in the comments below. Please only one entry per person. A winner will be randomly selected on March 2. Good luck!

    UPDATE: This giveaway's all wrapped up. Check your email, and thanks for participating.

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