• Data trails explainer

    July 3, 2014  |  Infographics

    We produce data all the time, everywhere we go, and this process implies something about how we live. Jer Thorp explains in this short explainer video animated by Erica Gorochow.

  • Bike share data in New York, animated

    April 1, 2014  |  Data Sources

    Citi Bike, also known as NYC Bike Share, is releasing monthly data dumps for station check-outs and check-ins, which gives you a sense of where and when people move about the city. Jeff Ferzoco, Sarah Kaufman, and Juan Francisco Saldarriaga mapped 24 hours of activity in the video below.

    [Thanks, Jeff]

  • Timeline shows a century of rock history

    January 6, 2014  |  Network Visualization

    History of rock

    Jessica Edmondson visualized the history of rock music, from foundations in the pre-1900s to a boom in the 1960s and finally to what we have now. Nodes represent music styles, and edges represent musical connections. There are a lot of them and as a whole it's a screen of spaghetti, but it's animated, which is key. It starts at the beginning and develops over time, so you know where to go and what to look at. Music samples for each genre is also a nice touch. [Thanks, Jessica]

  • Digital attack map

    October 25, 2013  |  Mapping

    Digital Attack Map

    A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack attempts to disable a site or web service by sending a ton of requests from multiple sources. Essentially, the server buckles under the pressure. Sometimes this is done to silence sites that the attackers disagree with, or they might try to take advantage of business backends.

    The Digital Attack Map, a collaboration between Google Ideas and Arbor Networks, shows current attacks and serves as a browser for past attacks around the world. Color and size indicate the type of attack and movement represents origins and destinations.

  • Evolution of western dance music

    October 24, 2013  |  Network Visualization

    Dance music

    A quick animated look on the evolution of western dance music, a mixture and blend of various styles and cultures over time.

    To make it easier to trace the threads of music history, we’ve created an interactive map detailing the evolution of western dance music over the last 100 years. The map shows the time and place where each of the music styles were born and which blend of genres influenced the next.

    There's a cartogram in the background and lines connect countries and styles. It reminds me of those dance step charts with the feet on them.

  • Maritime traffic in the Baltic Sea, animated

    October 11, 2013  |  Mapping

    Digital artist Lauri Vanhala animated a day of maritime traffic in the Baltic Sea.

    Here's a marine traffic and accident visualization that I created for the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission. The video was shown last week in a conference where the ministers of environment in the region of Baltic Sea and a bunch of other professionals were discussing how to protect the vulnerable and polluted sea in the future.

    The background music feels cinematic but not surprising given the audience. I particularly like the highlighting and annotation sync around the one-minute mark.

    See also: Britain from Above and Netherlands from Above. Oldies but goodies.

  • Central limit theorem animation

    June 3, 2013  |  Statistical Visualization

    Central limit theorem animation

    The central limit theorem:

    In probability theory, the central limit theorem (CLT) states that, given certain conditions, the mean of a sufficiently large number of independent random variables, each with a well-defined mean and well-defined variance, will be approximately normally distributed.

    Victor Powell animated said random variables falling into a normal distribution (which should look familiar to those who have seen that ping pong ball exhibit in exploratoriums and science museums). Play around with the number of bins and delay time and watch it go.

  • DDoS attack animation

    May 30, 2013  |  Visualization

    In distributed denial-of-service attack a bunch of machines make a bunch of requests to a server to make it buckle under the pressure. There was recently an attack on VideoLAN's download infrastructure. Here's what it looked like.


    Continue Reading

  • Meteorites seen falling since 2500BC visualized

    May 22, 2013  |  Visualization

    Bolides

    About 35,000 meteorites have been recorded since 2500 BC, and a little over 1,000 of them were seen while they fell, based on data from the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society. Carlo Zapponi, a data visualization designer, visualized the latter in Bolides.

    We saw a mapped version of this data a while back, but Bolides takes a time-based approach. A bar chart shows the number and volume of meteorites that have been seen over time, and on the initial load, you get to watch the meteorites fall, one bright orange fireball at a time.

  • Map of live Wikipedia changes

    May 14, 2013  |  Mapping

    Wikipedia change map

    On Wikipedia, there are constant edits by people around the world. You can poke your head in on the live recent edits via the IRC feed from Wikimedia. Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi are scraping the anonymous edits, which include IP addresses (which can be easily mapped to location), and naturally, you can see them pop up on a map.

  • Gun deaths since Sandy Hook

    March 28, 2013  |  Mapping

    Gun deaths since Sandy Hook

    The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was horrible, but there have been thousands of gun deaths since. Huffington Post is mapping them.

    Circles represent the number of deaths in a city, and the larger a circle the higher the count. A bar chart on the bottom shows the data over time and serves as a navigation device. Click on a day or a location, and the names of victims appear on the right with a link to the related news story.

    See also: Periscopic's work on the topic, which now has filters and is updated in real-time.

    Also: episodes 487 and 488 of This American Life, which focus on Harper High School in Chicago, where gang violence is a daily concern.

  • Animations in R

    How to Make an Animated Growth Map in R

    Although time series plots and small multiples can go a long way, animation can make your data feel more real and relatable. Here is how to do it in R via the animated GIF route.
  • A shroud of cold air descends on the U.S.

    February 15, 2013  |  Mapping

    From NOAA, an animation showing a wave of cold during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend last month:

    A drop in the jet stream sent temperatures across the United States plummeting over the Martin Luther King Jr Holiday weekend. The pronounced change in temperatures can be seen in this weather data from NOAA/NCEP's Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis. Areas colored blue are below freezing. The diurnal cycle of heating and cooling can be seen over time, but the pattern is clear: much of the U.S. is pretty cold.

    While you're at it, you might as well check out other videos on the NOAA Visualizations YouTube channel. Some good stuff.

  • Ten years of cumulative precipitation

    January 28, 2013  |  Mapping

    We've all seen rain maps for a sliver of time. Screw that. I want to see the total amount of rainfall over a ten-year period. Bill Wheaton did just that in the video above, showing cumulative rainfall between 1960 and 1970. The cool part is that you see mountains appear, but they're not actually mapped.

    The hillshaded terrain (the growing hills and mountains) is based on the rainfall data, not on actual physical topography. In other words, hills and mountains are formed by the rainfall distribution itself and grow as the accumulated precipitation grows. High mountains and sharp edges occur where the distribution of precipitation varies substantially across short distances. Wide, broad plains and low hills are formed when the distribution of rainfall is relatively even across the landscape.

    See also Wheaton's video that shows four years of rain straight up.

    Is there more recent data? It could be an interesting complement to the drought maps we saw a few months ago. [Thanks, Bill]

  • 2012 political donations mapped over time

    November 5, 2012  |  Mapping

    Following their animated and narrated visualization on political contributions over time, VisPolitics maps Boston political donations in MoneyBombs.

    This video of the Boston metropolitan area reveals the geographic distribution of political donations made by individuals throughout 2012. We identify two types of temporal bursts of campaign contributions. We call both "moneybombs" because they reveal a temporal clustering. The first type occurs when many small donations are given on the same day to a candidate. We call this a grassroots moneyb omb. The second are bursts of extremely large donations, that take advantage of campaign finance laws and allow individuals to donate more than the traditional $5,000 limit. We call this the Joint Committee moneybomb.

    Like in the first project, the narration provides a clear view of the data in front of you. There are also videos for just presidential donations and Republican and Democratic donations.

    [Thanks, Mauro]

  • Bike patterns

    September 26, 2012  |  Mapping

    Jo Wood, a professor of visual analytics, visualized five million bike rides using data from Barclays Cycle Hire.

    In the animation (see below) the least travelled routes begin to fade out after about 15 seconds - "like a graphic equaliser," says collaborator Andrew Huddart, also at City University. Around the 1-minute mark, structure emerges from the chaos and three major systems become clear: routes around, and through, the lozenge-shaped Hyde Park in the west, and commutes in and out of King's Cross St Pancras in the north and between Waterloo and the City in the east.

    Each arc represents a trip from point A to point B (obviously not a true path or we'd see roads), and flow direction indicates which way people went the most between the two. [via The Guardian]

  • Animated political contributions

    September 14, 2012  |  Statistical Visualization

    The Forest of Advocacy is a series of animations that explores the political contribution patterns among eight organizations, such as Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs, and Harvard Business School.

    These visualizations provide a dynamic look at the partisan tilt of giving within organizations. For each organization, individuals are characterized as points sketching out a line over time. The X axis is time, and the Y axis represents the net partisan tilt of contributions over the preceding 6 months. Over the decades, one sees lines sketched out, reflecting the partisanship of individuals over time. For each organization, we also provide the net contributions of the entire organization, and the names of biggest Democratic, Republican, and "bipartisan" contributors (the individual with the highest product of Democratic and Republican contributions).

    At the core, each animation is a time series chart, but the aesthetic and animation, which is narrated, provides for a more organic feel. In particular, the movements of people, represented by squares shifting straight across or up and down, makes it easy to see consistent and not so consistent contributions. [Thanks, Mauro]

  • Olympic rings as data symbols

    August 3, 2012  |  Data Art

    Artist Gustavo Sousa used the Olympic rings as data indicators for statistics like obesity, homicides, and number of billionaires. Each ring represents a continent, and the larger the ring, the larger the value. Simple and an interesting metaphor shift.

  • What planets would look like if they replaced our moon

    August 3, 2012  |  Data Art

    Artist Brad Goodspeed imagined what the planets would look like if they were to orbit Earth, in place of the moon. His math is iffy, but the video is fun to watch.

    [via kottke | Thanks, Thomas]

  • Great Lakes currents map

    July 25, 2012  |  Mapping

    Great Lakes water flow

    Using the same tech Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas created to show wind flow, the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory mapped water flow in the Great Lakes, based on forecasting simulations.

    The "Latest" and "3hrs Previous" visualizations depict water motion corresponding to a snapshot of lake currents at the present time and three hours previous to the present time. Lake currents can change rapidly with changing wind conditions.

    Surface currents tend to follow the wind direction more closely than currents at depth. Depth-averaged currents represent the average water motion from surface to bottom and tend to follow shoreline and bottom contours.

    The default map is semi-live, but you can also see flows for previous months. For example, the patterns during February 2011 are kinda cool, with a lot of swirling and well-defined currents.

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