• $3,000 Worth of Prizes in FlowingData 10k Giveaway!

    Posted to Contests

    Earlier last week, FlowingData reached a long-awaited milestone - 10,000 subscribers. This obviously wouldn't be possible without FlowingData readers (b/c uh, then there would be zero subscribers), so over the next two weeks, as a big thank you, I'm going to give away over $3,000 worth of prizes in the FlowingData 10k giveaway!

    Yeah, $3,000. Some really great prizes have been donated by generous sponsors to help me celebrate the occasion, and every item is going to you. What's got me most excited is that I would be thrilled to get any one of the items up for grabs - and that's saying something. Prizes range from books to limited edition posters to valuable visualization software licenses. Definitely worth getting excited about.

    How it's gonna go down...

    First thing's first. You'll want to make sure you're subscribed to the FlowingData RSS feed. This isn't a requirement to win, but it'll keep you up-to-date on the prize & competition announcements. Secondly, you'll want to register in the FlowingData forums since a few of the competitions will involve posting to a thread. Don't worry, it's easy.

    The details:

    • Prizes will be won in a series of competitions over the next two weeks that will range in criteria. For example, it could be a simple post to a thread in the forums or something like creating your own visualization dashboard.
    • The giveaway will officially start tomorrow. I will announce the prizes and sponsors and post the rules for the first competition.
    • Some competitions will be really quick, lasting only a few hours, while others will last for the whole two weeks.
    • To keep things fair and to make sure as many people as possible win something, you can only win one prize.

    That's all for now. Keep an eye out for tomorrow's post on the prizes up for grabs and the start of our first competition!

    Subscribe to the FlowingData feed to stay up-to-date on everything to come, and if it isn't too much trouble, please share this link via Twitter, del.icio.us, email, etc. with anyone who you think would be interested in FlowingData. Thank you :)

  • Decide What to Do For Her On Valentine’s Day

    Posted to Miscellaneous

    Valentine's Day can be tricky. Do you get her flowers? Chocolate? Is it time for jewelry or a corn dog and a blow pop? This graph helps you decide what to do for your special someone tomorrow. Don't get stuck in the dog house this Valentine's Day. Follow the chart wisely. If you've got cash and care for her a lot, it's time for more than a matinee and Olive Garden.

    [Thanks, Jason]

  • Open Thread: Is Google Latitude Dangerous?

    Google recently released Google Latitude, which is an online application that lets you share your location with online friends:

    Of course when any application shares where you are at any given time, people start to feel like Big Brother is looming in the background ready to sneak up on us from behind a giant bush. Some call it a real danger, but is it really? I put this question out to all of you:

    Is Google Latitude a danger to anyone who uses it?

    My take on things is that people are already doing it anyways, so why not make it easier for those who are interested? Sure, if some stalker got a hold of your location, that could be bad, but that's true for a lot of data... credit card statements, cell phone logs, Twitter... As long as the proper security are put in place, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

  • Wired Relates Playboy Playmate BMI and Average BMI, 1954-2008

    Posted to Infographics

    Playboy playmates continue to be a point of fascination. Remember that study on Playmates and the state of the economy? Anyhow, Wired Magazine visualizes Playmate BMI and US average BMI over the years. While the US average BMI shows an increasing trend, Playmate BMI shows a decreasing trend. Yikes.

    The graph, however, is a little misleading. The decreasing trend isn't especially significant-looking from 1976 on, but then again, that's just me going off a tilted head glance. If anyone wants to figure out the actual trend (please), the data is available on the Wired page. In any case, it's amusing.

    [Thanks, Ken]

  • Alternate View of Obama’s $819 billion Stimulus Package

    Posted to Economics, Infographics

    OK, so we saw CreditLoan's representation of Obama's stimulus package. Here's Washington Post's take on the breakdown with a combination of bar charts, bubbles, and a stacked graph chart for time - and the numbers seem to all add up correctly. I don't like the bubbles that look like dangling ornaments though. CreditLoan's is more readable, but maybe that has to do with the Post's version being made for print and the other made for online. What do you think - which version works best for you?

    [via The Big Picture]

  • CreditLoan Maps Out Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan

    Posted to Economics, Infographics

    President Barack Obama has a $800 billion+ economic stimulus package in the works. That's a lot of dough. Where's it all going? CreditLoan provides the breakdown in bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles. Fill color indicates what the money will be used for (e.g. tax cuts, human capital) and border color shows where the money goes to (e.g. government, people, business).

    The information is organized nicely and the graphic is attractive, but it probably needs a good bit of fact checking. Some quick calculator work indicates a lot of the numbers don't add up right. I'm sure there are some rounding errors, but there are some pretty big discrepancies. Ideas anyone? I don't have the patience to go through all the comments on the original post to find out, but I suggest you take the graphic with a grain of salt.

    [Thanks, Pavan]

  • USA Today Digs Into Job Forecasts for 2009

    While on the topic of job losses, USA Today provides a look into job forecasts from Moody's Economy.com. While the new forecast shows U.S. employment growing in 2010-2012, the outlook for different sectors and states varies quite a bit. Take a look at different job sectors via bar chart and map and then filter down by state.

    [Thanks, Juan & Ron]

  • 4 Different Looks at Job Losses During Recessions

    There are so many ways that you can cut a dataset whether it be big or small. Cut it by time, different chunks of time, categories, etc., and you just might get a different story out of your graph. Over on Barry Ritholtz' blog, The Big Picture, debate over the extent of job losses and this recession led to these four depictions of, well, job losses and recessions.
     Continue Reading 

  • MIX Online Explores Visualization in Project Descry

    Posted to Infographics

    MIX Online, a community of designers and developers, released Project Descry - a series of four open source web-based visualizations.
     Continue Reading 

  • A Few More Days Left for Visualize This

    Posted to Forums

    A quick reminder - there are about 5 days left for Visualize This: Piracy Edition. You know, something to do since you're not really working today anyways :).

  • Flickr Operations Engineer Manager on Graphs and Data Obsession

    Posted to Quotes

    We're quite addicted to data pr0n here at Flickr. We've got graphs for pretty much everything, and add graphs all of the time.

    — John Allspaw, Operations Engineering Manager at Flickr

    [via O'Reilly Radar | Thanks, Jodi]

  • Ranking and Mapping Scientific Knowledge – eigenfactor

    The Eigenfactor Project and Moritz Stefaner collaborate in these interactive visualizations "based on Eigenfactor Metrics and hierarchical clustering to explore emerging patterns in citation networks." Yeah... or in other words, this series of four visualizations - radial diagram, stacked, clustering, and network map - explore journal article citations.
     Continue Reading 

  • Best of FlowingData – January 2009

    FlowingData has seen a lot of new readers in the past couple of weeks, so in case you missed them, here are the top posts of last month.

    1. 5 Best Data Visualization Projects of the Year
    2. Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis
    3. Why Do Freeways Come to An Annoying Hault
    4. Watching the Growth of Walmart Across America, Interactive Edition
    5. How to Make a Graph in Adobe Illustrator
    6. Visualizing Twitter as Barack Obama Became 44th President
    7. 9 Ways to Visualize Consumer Spending
    8. Watch the Rise of Gasoline Prices
    9. Heavy Metal Band Names Flow Chart
    10. Flow Chart Shows You What Chart to Use

    The new readers might also want to check out the FlowingData beginner's guide for some of the top stuff since I started this blog.

  • George Dubya Bush Bull’s-eye

    Posted to Data Art

    Linda Eckstein sent this graphic along to show the main ideas of Russ Baker's Family of Secrets. In Linda's words, "[T]he idea was for me to come up with a visual representation of the scope and complexity of Baker's book. In a way, it's the unWordle. Wordle only analyzes what is said, sometimes it's necessary to remind the public of what is NOT said."

    From Vanity Fair:

    The editors of VF.com, fascinated by the concentric circles of intrigue and coincidence that connect the Bushes to various nerve centers, nefarious and benign, commissioned information designer Linda Eckstein to concoct a graphic device that would serve as a sort of 21st century Power Crib Sheet. Consider it a modern-day version of those 1960s and 70s conspiracy theory flow charts that sought to drag the apparatus of the oligarchs, the generals, and the spooks out of the shadows. The result is this VF.com exclusive, a loopy, labyrinthine Family of Secrets bullseye—part eye chart, part pie chart, part Otto Preminger-esque movie poster for the Bush-whacked masses.

    [Thanks, Linda]

  • What’s the Weather Like In Your City?

    Posted to Infographics

    Cincinnati's local NBC news provides viewers with a customizable weather dashboard. Look up your city, drag and drop the different modules, and look at the weather from your neck of the woods. Unfortunately, it only really shows extensive details for Cincinnati. The dashboard seems to just show regular weather forecasts for other cities. At least I know that there are 79 schools closed today in Cincinnati.

    [Thanks, Kevin]

  • New York Times Maps Twitter Chatter During Super Bowl

    Posted to Mapping

    Twitter and maps just go well together. The New York Times maps Super Bowl-related tweets over the course of the game. A control timeline is provided up top and several categories are provided so that you can view certain types of tweets e.g. Steelers vs Cardinals and chatter about the ads. It looks like Doritos, Budweiser, and especially Careerbuilder were big hits. I guess Hulu got some buzz too. Press play and watch who's talking about what as the game unfolds.

    [Thanks, William]

  • Thank You, FlowingData Sponsors

    Posted to Sponsors

    The past couple of months have been pretty exciting here on FlowingData. We hit the front page of some of the big social media sites, and our community continues to inch closer towards the 10,000-mark. I feel like FlowingData is nearing critical mass, and at this point, I'm just along for the ride.

    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, and I'd like to extend a special welcome to FlowingData's two newest sponsors, InstantAtlas and NetCharts.

    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

    Also, thank you to all of you who continue to share FlowingData on Digg, del.icio.us, Twitter, StumbleUpon, via email, etc, and just helping me get the word out. It's certainly none of my doing. I'm a horrible promoter. Please keep on doing whatever you're doing, FlowingData readers. I appreciate all of it.

    If you'd like to sponsor FlowingData, please feel free to email me, and I'll get back to you with the details.

  • Open Call to Designers: Visualizing Mozilla Community

    The Mozilla group is starting to dig into visualization to participation within the active Mozilla community, and they're looking for some input:

    If you’re a visual designer, data visualization guru, student or just interested in hacking on a cool project, join us to generate concepts and prototypes that build upon the LizardFeeder, a cool feed aggregator released earlier this year by Les Orchard.

    As Les describes it, LizardFeeder brings together and archives different types of activity from across the far reaches of the Mozilla universe and spits them out in a single, dynamic stream. It’s pretty darn cool to watch on its own, but we’d love to further develop a design concept that is approachable, meaningful—or at least entertaining—to virtually anyone who sees it.

    Here's what the Lizard Feeder looks like now:

    So basically, there's a whole lot of data waiting for your ideas. Get to it. I am sure you'll get a lot of recognition in the process.

  • Mapping and Animating Growth of Target Across United States

    Posted to Projects  |  Tags: , ,

    After I produced a map that shows the growth of Walmart, there were tons of comments that were along the lines of, "I would love to see this for insert company here." I was happy to see the enthusiasm, but the hard part is getting the data for all store locations and opening dates.
     Continue Reading 

  • Visualize This: Piracy for Oscar-nominated Movies

    Posted to Forums

    The first Visualize This for poverty rate in America was a very good start to something I hope to continue here on FlowingData. There were a lot of good entries and plenty of interesting discussion on what worked and what didn't. Some used existing tools while others went custom; some used a combination of both. There were entries that went for emotion and others that were built for pattern-finding. My pick for best is Luca Masud's take on things with D.C. as focal point.
     Continue Reading