Results for moritz

  • Better Life Index measures well-being across countries

    OECD, with the help of Moritz Stefaner and Raureif, promote a well-being index beyond GDP in the Better Life Initiative:

    There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics — This index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 tpoics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

    Based on topics such as health, housing, and education, each country is represented with a flower, and each petal on a flower represents a metric. The higher the index, the higher the flower appears on the vertical axis, and if the flower metaphor is too abstract for you, roll over each flower to see the breakdown by bar graph.
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  • Ben Fry on visualization future and data literacy

    Ben Fry, co-creator of Processing and head of Fathom Design, talks data visualization with O'Reilly Radar editor Mac Slocum. When asked about the concern over visualization and analysis getting into amateur hands:

    I think it’s kind of funny… The same argument has been made with any technological leap since the beginning of time. Books printed in mass had a similar reaction. The internet came along and everybody could post things on the internet and wouldn’t that be the end of the world… The important thing is to focus on the literacy aspect of it. The more that people are doing the work — it all kind of goes to improve the conversation of what’s good, bad useful and what’s not.

    When asked how he sees visualization developing over the next couple of years:

    I think the real thing that's going to change is that we're going to start understanding that visualization isn't this sort of monolithic thing... I like to look at it a lot like writing. You have novels and poetry and haikus. You know there's lots of different types of writing and styles of writing — and I think the same thing happens in visualization... some things are tools for analysis and some things are purely for entertainment, and there's not so much a spectrum that there is different ways of addressing it.

    Watch the short eight-minute interview below. There are some other interesting soundbites in there. I especially like the tidbit at the end about snippy discussions within the visualization sphere. Similar sentiments in a recent Q&A with Moritz Stefaner.
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  • A century of deaths and a lot of fake blood

    May 12 2011  |  Data Art  |  Tags: ,

    Rather than bars, bubbles, and dots, Clara Kayser-Bril, Nicolas Kayser-Bril, and Marion Kotlarski use jars, bottles, and bowls of fake blood to show deaths from 25 major conflicts in 100 years of world cuisine.

    Ten casualties. Ten million casualties. Our understanding of conflicts is often nothing more than a handful of digits, the more precise, the less meaningful. The anchor’s tone remains the same when talking about major wars or isolated outbursts of violence. The horror lays hidden beneath the rigidity of numbers. Figures give us knowledge, not meaning.

    We wanted to put a picture on these digits. A shocking, gory picture, like the reality of war. We wanted to give context, like a scale on which we could visualize each conflict next to the others.

    The idea is straightforward. More blood = more deaths during the corresponding conflict. What do you think—does the medium make the data more meaningful?

    The graphic is also available in print.

    [100 years of world cuisine via @moritz_stefaner]

  • Beauty of Maps available in its entirety

    April 6 2011  |  Mapping  |  Tags: ,

    Almost a year ago, the BBC aired the Beauty of Maps, but we Americans couldn't watch it online. Well, now you can. The full documentary is available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. The hour and a half film is broken up into 12 parts. They've actually been online since August of last year, but for some reason I'm just now hearing about it. Enjoy part one below.
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  • Review: Beautiful Visualization – Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts

    I finally got a chance to take a closer look at O'Reilly's most recent edition to their "Beautiful" series, Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts, and it's a good one. In case you're not familiar, each book in the series is a collection of essays from people who work in the field. Essays range in topic, but they usually focus on a single project and discuss the steps it took to make said project. To be clear, Beautiful Visualization isn't a how-to book, although you can learn a lot from the writings.
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  • Life cycle of sad and happy

    Along the same lines of the happiness flowchart, this graphic by Moritz Resl shows a simplified life cycle between happy and sad. Let's not forget though that sometimes doing stuff you like leads to sad, and more importantly, doing stuff you don't like can lead to happy. Have a nice weekend!

    [Moritz Resl via swissmiss]

  • Europe’s energy targets in perspective

    Designer Gregor Aisch has a look at energy usage in Europe. Click on a number of topics on the bottom to see how each country compares, or mouse over a specific country to get its details. Bubbles are color-coded according to relatively high or low levels (I think) and sized by population (I think). There isn't a whole lot of explanation of what you're actually seeing, but it has some interesting interactions in there. Maybe our European readers can add some context. Don't forget to take it fullscreen and put it on autoplay.

    [publicdata.eu via @moritz_stefaner]

  • Open thread: Is this map too confusing?

    This map, a collaboration between Good and Gregory Hubacek, shows three metrics from the most recent American Community Survey by the US Census: high school graduates, college graduates, and median household income. The goal was to see if there's a correlation between education and income. Does it work?
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  • Visualizing deletion discussions on Wikipedia

    Fact is not always clear cut. Sometimes fact is driven by opinion. People might have conflicting points of view or maybe the truth is simply unknown. We can see this via Wikipedia, where anyone can edit and create documents. Sometimes people propose that articles should be taken down, and if the proposal is approved, people can discuss. Dario Taraborelli, Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, and Moritz Stefaner have a look at the most active of these discussions.
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  • Filling in the black holes of the Facebook friendship map

    While it was fun looking at the worldwide connections on Facebook, I thought it was more interesting to look at the places where there were very few connections, where it looked pretty dark on Paul Butler's map. Some commented that was just a product of no people in those areas. Where there's no people, there's obviously no Facebook. This is true in many areas, but not all them.
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  • Where refugees come from

    Thousands of people flee their country every year, and the travel patterns are by no means easy to understand. Christian Behrens, in a revamp of a class project, visualizes these refugee movements with three views. The first is a circular network diagram (above), where each slice represents a region or country. Lines represent flight and expulsions.
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  • Mapping the moves of New York residents

    A couple of months back, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show asked listeners who have moved to or away from New York some questions. They asked current zipcode, previous zipcode, year of move, and some other questions. BLS then posted the data and let information and data folk have a go at it. Here are the results.
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  • Understanding Shakespeare with visualization

    Shakespeare literature is confusing. That's not even an opinion. It's a fact. Stephan Thiel, for his B.A. thesis at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, takes a wack at understanding Shakespeare through a series of visualizations.

    As a result, and based on data from the WordHoard project of the Northwestern University, an application of computational tools was explored in order to extract and visualize the information found within the text and to reveal its underlying narrative algorithm. The five approaches presented here are the first step towards a dicussion of this potentionally new form of reading in an attempt to regain interest in the literary and cultural heritage of Shakespeare’s works among a general audience.

    The above is a sample from an exploration of the most frequently used words for each character. The major characters' speeches are highlighted in yellow.
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  • Visualization underneath the surface

    Moritz Stefaner of Well-formed data gives thought to propositional density as it pertains to visualization. There are two kinds. The first is surface propositions, which are straightforward statements about what we see. The second is deep propositions. These are statements that aren't so straightforward, like how we feel while looking at a graphic.

    Moritz uses the FedEx logo as a simple example. First, the surface proposition:

    “The FedEx logo type is purple” and “The FedEx logo type is set in a sans-serif font” are propositions, and because they describe salient, perceptible properties of the design, they are referred to as surface proposi­tions.

    Then there are deep propositions:

    Now, the FedEx logo became famous for a perceptual trick: The white space between the E and the x cre ates an arrow. This arrow induces, by its semi otic read ing, a num ber of addi­tional associations and readings of the design: “FedEx is on the go”, “FedEx is forward-thinking”, etc. Note that these propositions, unlike the surface propositions, are much harder to enumerate as they depend on the meaning that the observer ascribes to the arrow.

    So how does this pertain to visualization? Oftentimes work is judged by graphical perception alone - how well does it show the trend or does it properly represent outliers? That's just the tip of the iceberg though. We have yet to look closely at what's underneath.

    Read the rest on Well-formed data. It's interesting to think about, even if you disagree with the argument.

  • Elastic Lists code open-sourced

    Moritz Stefaner, whose work we've seen a few times here on FD, just released his code for Elastic Lists (in Actionscript).

    For those unfamiliar, Elastic Lists builds on the idea of faceted browsing, which lets you sift through data with multiple filters. Think of when you search for an item on Amazon. In the initial results, filters for price, brand, and category rest in the sidebar. Similarly, Elastic Lists lets you browse data on multiple categories, but with more visual cues and animated transitions.
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  • Conversational Twitter threads visualized

    Add another piece to the ever-growing list of Twitter visualizations. What makes Moritz Stefaner's Revisit different is that it focuses on the conversational threads between Twitter users over time. Tweets (symbolized by authors' avatars) are stacked vertically and organized by time horizontally. Tweets that have more attention via @mentions are closer to the middle.
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  • Elastic Lists Celebrates Five Years of Information Aesthetics

    In celebration of Information Aesthetics' birthday, Moritz Stefaner of Well-formed Data adapted his elastic lists concept to all five years of infosthetics posts. Each white-bordered rectangle represents a post, and colors within rectangles indicate post categories.

    Select categories on the right, and the list updates to show related categories. Similarly, filter posts by year, author, and/or number of categories. Select a rectangle to draw up the actual post.

    Go on, give it a try for yourself. Excellent work.

    And then head over to infosthetics and wish it a happy birthday.

  • 37 Data-ish Blogs You Should Know About

    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

  • 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.
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  • What Jobs Are There in Data Visualization?

    I got an email from Harald asking, "How does the job market for DV developers work?" I find this question, or some variation of it, in my inbox every now and then, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I am after all a graduate student who will graduate eventually, so let's take a look at some of the options. I'd like to expand on the question though, and not just focus on developers. What's the job market like for anyone who wants to do data visualization for a living?
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