• FlowingData is On CNN – A new way of looking at the world

    November 2 2009  |  Uncategorized

    Just a quick note. There's an article up on CNN right now by Manav Tanneeru about the growth of visualization: A new way of looking at the world.

    There's a blurb in there about your.flowingdata, but mainly read it for the other sources. There's some nice tidbits from Martin Wattenberg, Ben Fry, et. al. Thanks, Manav for including me.

  • A Land Where Men and Women are Paid Equally

    November 2 2009  |  Uncategorized

    We all know (or at least should know) about the pay gap between men and women in the workplace. This graphic from Shakeup Media was made to highlight that gap by comparing two cities in the UK at opposite ends of the spectrum. In one city women are paid way less than men while in the other, women are actually paid a tad more.

    The aesthetic is nice and the subject matter is important. I also like the use of the Easy Tooltip jQuery plugin.

    I just wish there was more focus on the actual pay gap. Instead it was more of an exercise in displaying demographics of two cities, where each section is separate from the other. Some annotation in the tooltips about the cities' differing demographics would have tied things together nicely.

    [Thanks, Ryan]

  • Putting Cell Size in Perspective

    October 30 2009  |  Uncategorized

    It's hard for us, cognitively speaking, to imagine things that are really really big or really really small, so we need things to put things in perspective.
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  • Poll: Why Do You Read FlowingData?

    October 29 2009  |  Uncategorized

    I tend to post a wide array of subjects from the data spectrum, so I know all of you come from different view points and areas of study. Some are in academics, and others are casual readers. Some work with data for a living while others are more about design.

    So why do you read FlowingData? Punch in your answer in the poll below.

    {democracy:11}
  • Using Flickr as a Paintbrush

    October 28 2009  |  Uncategorized

    Andy Woodruff from Cartogrammar uses average color in Flickr photos to map the colors that people take the most pictures of. The above for example, shows the common colors of Harvard Square. Why all the red? It's because there's so many brick buildings.

    So in the end is a map that provides a different geographic view of what we're used to seeing. We're used to seeing the aerials or the designer-defined color coding of roads and land. This however, while portrayed as a view from above, is what people are seeing on the ground.

  • This Would Be Perfect for a Roomba Commercial

    October 27 2009  |  Uncategorized

    You know the Roomba from iRobot? It's the robot vacuum cleaner that is supposed to do the work on its own so that you don't have to. I've seen video of the thing picking up dirt and junk but I've always been skeptical that it would cover all areas.

    Well the above, from Signal Theorist, is the Roomba coverage over a half an hour. A camera was setup, the lights were turned off, and the above is a long exposure shot of the Roomba's path. Not bad huh?

    [via Simple Complexity]

  • Failed Space Missions to Mars

    October 26 2009  |  Uncategorized

    The above graphic shows missions to mars starting in 1960 to present (top to bottom). Paths are colored by country, and as you can see it's been a lot of missions from Europe and the United States lately. Obviously the farthest we've gone is with the rover with more to come.

    (I couldn't figure out where the graphic originally came from. Anyone know?)

    [via Fast Company | Thanks, Travis]

  • Information vs. Confusion

    October 23 2009  |  Uncategorized

    You gotta love Jessica Hagy. If you've got the skills you should be able to widen the valley in that curve significantly.

    Have a nice weekend all.

    [via Cool Infographics]

  • Thank You FlowingData Sponsors

    October 22 2009  |  Uncategorized

    A BIG thank you to our sponsors. You keep FlowingData running smoothly, make it possible for projects like your.flowingdata and FlowingPrints to come alive, and most importantly, allow FlowingData to grow. We saw some 350k views this month and are quickly coming up on 25k RSS and email subscribers. Yikes.

    Xcelsius Present — Transform spreadsheets into professional, interactive presentations.

    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.

    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.

    Email me at nathan [at] flowingdata [dot] com if you'd like to sponsor FlowingData, and I'll get back to you with the details.

  • Target Store Openings Since the First in 1962 – Data Now Available

    October 22 2009  |  Uncategorized

    FlowingData readers who have been around for a while will remember I made a map early this year that showed the growth of Target stores across America. It starts with the first one in 1962 and then goes from there. It was a follow-up to the Walmart map, which I shared the code and data for.
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  • Open Thread: What the **** is Visualization Anyways?

    October 21 2009  |  Uncategorized

    I think ever since visualization got started, people have been asking this question.

    Some... okay, many describe it as purely an analytical tool. Others (i.e. me) are a little more liberal with their use of the term while the rest are somewhere in between. Some insist that the stuff we see on information aesthetics belong in an entirely different category and that that stuff isn't visualization at all.

    As art, science, design, statistics, computer science, etc. start to melt together, the line between what is and isn't visualization grows more blurry.

    What do you think? Is visualization only analytical? Can visualization be art? Are the infographics that frequent the front page of Digg visualization or are they just pretty pictures? Can visualization be just a pretty picture? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

  • How Much Do CEOs Make in the United States?

    October 20 2009  |  Uncategorized

    GOOD magazine's most recent transparency contest asked designers to focus their powers on showing CEO compensation in the United States.
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  • When Twitter Says Good Morning Around the World

    October 19 2009  |  Uncategorized

    Jer Thorp, an artist and educator from Vancouver, Canada, visualizes when people "wake up" on Twitter, or when they say good morning, rather. Here it is in its 3-d globe glory. It's called GoodMorning!. Notice the wave.

    Okay, wait, I know you're already furiously leaving or thinking about a comment on how absolutely useless and non-concrete this is - and Jer is the first to admit that - but there is obviously something to learn here.

    However, it's late, and I'm tired, so I'll leave that up to you. But off the top of my head, I'm thinking a more relevant subject like disease or need of help and color coding that's more meaningful. Your turn.

    [via datavisualization.ch]

  • An Addiction to Charts and Graphs

    October 16 2009  |  Uncategorized

    Haha, Jason Segel is hilarious. In this episode of How I Met Your Mother Segel's character Marshall has an interesting addiction that I think many FD readers can relate to.
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  • One Life, One Stacked Area Chart

    October 15 2009  |  Uncategorized

    Ben Fogarty uses a stacked area chart to represent his life. To us outsiders looking in it's not much more than that, but to Ben I am sure there is a story in every peak and valley. It's like a "this is your life" slideshow in data.

    This is the drive behind your.flowingdata. I don't think YFD is even remotely close yet to developing a personal narrative, but it's something to shoot for. I can imagine a lifetime of data replaying and watching it unfold like a movie. That'd be amazing. Then again, I might also end up like Jerry in Act 3 of Episode 88 in This American Life. Fingers crossed for the former.

    [via WeLoveDataVis]

  • Is 10/GUI the Future Replacement of the Mouse and Keyboard?

    October 14 2009  |  Uncategorized

    10/GUI, a prototype interface by R. Clayton Miller, is a new way of interacting with the computer. We're all familiar with touch screens, but what Miller proposes is separating the touch from the screen and bringing your hands back to where you normally would use a keyboard and a mouse.
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  • Make Your Walls Way Cooler With Data

    October 14 2009  |  Uncategorized

    Like I said, data graphics that aren't interactive are a lot better in print. I'm not sure what it is exactly but it's the same feeling as holding a physical book in your hands over reading an electronic version online. It just feels right.
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  • The S&P 500 as a Planetary System

    October 13 2009  |  Uncategorized

    The Stock Ticker Orbital Comparison, or STOC for short, from media student James Grant, uses a planetary system metaphor to display activity with the S&P 500. Each circle represents a stock and they orbit a planet-like (or sun?) thing in the middle.
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  • You Are Not Allowed to Read this Book

    October 12 2009  |  Uncategorized

    What would a freshman English class be without Of MIce and Men? No George or Lenny? People in Appomattox, Virginia seem to think it'd be just fine.

    The National Coalition Against Censorship, however, has different ideas on the matter. For the past couple of years the NCAC has confronted such bans and challenges from libraries and curricula. Above is a map of bans and challenges over from December 2006 to May 2009. Other notable works include The Golden Compass, Girl, Interrupted, and yes, brace yourself, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

    [via DataViz]

  • The Geography of Job Loss

    October 9 2009  |  Uncategorized

    While on the topic of job loss and unemployment, here's an animated map from Tip Strategies that shows job gains and losses over time.

    Red means loss and green means gain, and as you can see above, there isn't much green (read that zero) on the map. The larger the circle is, the greater the number of net loss or gain compared to that of the numbers of the year before in the respective metropolitan statistical area.
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