Beat Blox is a student project by Per Holmquist from Beckmans College of Design. Blocks are placed on a turntable, and beats sound accordingly. Super playful.
Scientists found the fossils of a giant dinosaur that they estimate was 26 meters long and 60 tons heavy. How much is that really? BBC News provided a simple chart to put size into perspective. They compared dinosaur sizes to a moose, African Elephant, and a Boeing 737-900.
Impressive. Although not as impressive as Mega Shark. [Thanks, Jim]
The British Library georeferencing project places old maps, as far back as the 16th century, on top of Google Maps for browsing and as a mode of comparison.
The British Library began a project to crowdsource the georeferencing of its scanned historic mapping in 2011 by partnering with Klokan Technologies to customise its online georeferencing tool. There have been five public releases of maps since 2012, all of which met with tremendous success. In total over 8,000 maps have been "placed" by participants and subsequently checked for accuracy and approved.
Has someone else done this? I feel like I've seen something like this project before, but the closest thing I can think of is Historypin, which overlaid images on top of Google Streetview.
In many parts of the country, the departments of health require that eating establishments put up posters that instruct you what to do in case someone is choking. The posters are government-issued, but some people are putting up redesigned posters that fit in with restaurant decor. The Sideshow Podcast covers the trend and some of the ridiculous posters to come out of it.
Nature highlights the research of R. Brent Tully et al, which defines a supercluster called Laniakea. A supercluster is like a network of galaxies, and according to this work, the Milky Way is at the edge of this one.
From the abstract:
Here we report a map of structure made using a catalogue of peculiar velocities. We find locations where peculiar velocity flows diverge, as water does at watershed divides, and we trace the surface of divergent points that surrounds us. Within the volume enclosed by this surface, the motions of galaxies are inward after removal of the mean cosmic expansion and long range flows. We define a supercluster to be the volume within such a surface, and so we are defining the extent of our home supercluster, which we call Laniakea.
See the full paper here [pdf].
When you compare distributions of race for police departments and for the residents of the area they serve, you find disparity in many metropolitan areas. Jeremy Ashkenas and Haeyoun Park for the New York Times report, focusing on the higher percentage of white police officers.
Stacked bars show race distributions for residents (top) and the respective police department (bottom) for selected cities. A map for each area shows bubbles colored by amount of gap and sized by number of police officers. The darker the shade of green, the bigger the gap, so you see mostly green maps.
In another use of data from the American Time Use Survey, Planet Money looks specifically at the hours people work, separated by twenty job categories. Each density area represents a category, and height represents the percentage of people (estimated with survey answers) who are at work at various hours of the day.
The interesting bit is that you can select two job categories to easily compare at once. For example, the above shows transportation in yellow against protective services in blue. For the latter, you see a more spread out distribution, as it's more common for those in protective services to work at night.
The stacked area chart from the New York Times from almost six years ago (whoa, time) is still my favorite visualization of the survey data.
The map above by MetroTrends shows the percent of white kids who attended majority-white schools during the 2011-12 school year. Schools are still segregated in many areas of the country.
The separation of races is most clearly seen in large metropolitan counties that hold the bulk of a state’s population and most of its students of color. For example, in Chicago (Cook County), the overall student population is about 25 percent white, 31 percent black, and 37 percent Latino, but 96 percent of black students attend majority non-white schools and 67 percent of white students attend majority white schools. In other words, white students tend to attend schools with other white students and black and Latino students attend schools with other students of color.
By Ben Shabad, full-time graduate student and part-time cartoon-drawing person.
You've been able to visualize data with Python for a while, but Mac application PlotDevice from Christian Swinehart couples code and graphics more tightly. Write code on the right. Watch graphics change on the right.
The application gives you everything you need to start writing programs that draw to a virtual canvas. It features a text editor with syntax highlighting and tab completion plus a zoomable graphics viewer and a variety of export options.
PlotDevice's simple but comprehensive set of graphics commands will be familiar to users of similar graphics tools like NodeBox or Processing. And if you're new to programming, you'll find there's nothing better than being able to see the results of your code as you learn to think like a computer.
Looks promising. Although when I downloaded it and tried to run it, nothing happened. I'm guessing there's still compatibility issues to iron out at version 0.9.4. Hopefully that clears up soon. [via Waxy]
As a demonstration of efforts in estimating happiness from language, Hedonometer charts emotion over time for literary classics. The above is the collection of charts for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
I wish I could say this meant something to me, but comparative literature in high school was never my strong suit. From a totally superficial point of view though, the chart in the top left shows happiness metrics — based on the research of Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth — through the entirety of the book. The chart on the right shows a comparison of book sections, which you can select in the first chart.
Louisiana is quickly losing much of its coast to the Gulf of Mexico. ProPublica and The Lens just launched an interactive project that shows you by how much and tells the story of those affected.
In 50 years, most of southeastern Louisiana not protected by levees will be part of the Gulf of Mexico. The state is losing a football field of land every 48 minutes — 16 square miles a year — due to climate change, drilling and dredging for oil and gas, and levees on the Mississippi River. At risk: Nearly all of the nation's domestic energy supply, much of its seafood production, and millions of homes.
There is a lot to look at and learn about, but the most telling is when you zoom in to specific regions indicated by squares on the map. Use the timeline that appears at the top of the map to see how the coastline, based on satellite imagery, has diminished since 1932. It's disconcerting.
The Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the University of Maryland, is an open source database that catalogs terrorism events since 1970 through 2013. Data visualization firm Periscopic visualized the incident-level data in A World of Terror.
There are over 3,065 organizations and groups listed in the GTD. To identify the top 25 organizations who used terrorist tactics, we determined the groups with the most killings, the most wounded, and the most incidents. We wanted to make sure we were inclusive of all actions, including those that neither wounded nor killed. We aggregated these 3 lists and took the top 25 organizations (most were in the top 30 for all 3 categories). These top 0.8% of groups account for over 26% of the 125,087 incidents.
The midsection of each group shows number of incidents by month and year. The darker the brown, the more incidents on record. Then on the top and bottom shows number of people killed in red and wounded in orange, respectively. Finally, click on the map in the top left for more information about the organization.
Spend some time with this one. Periscopic shows a lot without it ever feeling like too much.
I must've been in a pissy mood from too many spam-fographics in my suggestions inbox last year, because I brushed this game off for whateversville (and seemed upset about it). Metrico totally seems like a game I would like though. You essentially navigate a 3-D world of graphs, and the terrain changes based on your own actions and button pushes. Just don't use the game design as an idea bucket for your next slide deck. [via Wired]
Projection mapping — the use of projected images onto physical objects to turn them into something else — continues to grow more impressive. Nobumichi Asai and team combined it with face tracking to completely change a person's face to someone and something else.
Slightly creepy. Super fascinating. [via Boing Boing]
Daily life in cities tends to differ from daily life in small towns, especially by who we interact with. The MIT Senseable City Lab and the Santa Fe Institute studied this social aspect — individuals' contacts by city size — through anonymized mobile phone logs. As expected, those in cities with greater populations tended to have more contacts. However, when the researchers looked at who knew who, the results were more constant.
Surprisingly, however, group clustering (the odds that your friends mutually know one another) does not change with city size. It seems that even in large cities we tend to build tightly knit communities, or 'villages,' around ourselves. There is an important difference, though: if in a real village our connections might simply be defined by proximity, in a large city we can elect a community based on any number of factors, from affinity to interest to sexual preference.
Read the full paper for more details.
Entering the market of self-surveillance for sleep, via Kickstarter, Sense promises to be a smarter tracker that you don't have to wear.