• Stop-and-frisk hotspots mapped

    July 18, 2012  |  Mapping

    Stop and Frisk

    WNYC mapped all street stops that resulted in the recovery of a gun, based on data from the New York police department. On top of that, the green spots, they mapped areas where police search more frequently.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly argue the main purpose of stop-and-frisk is to get guns off the street. Out of more than 685,000 stops in 2011, about 770 guns were recovered. That means about one tenth of one percent of all stops result in the seizure of a gun.

    But those guns are not showing up in the places where the police are devoting the most stop-and-frisk resources.

    I'm sure a lot of people's initial reaction to this map went something like this: "Psh. The police don't have a clue what they're doing," which was one possibility the article suggested. The other was that the stops are working as a deterrent.

    What's more likely: Police officers have managed to end up in almost every area where there are fewer guns (and missed where there are more guns), or people with guns avoid the areas where there are a lot officers? I'm gonna go with the police point of view on this one.

  • Where you measure up against Olympians

    July 11, 2012  |  Statistical Visualization

    Athletes like you

    I think the theme of this year's Olympic graphics is how you relate to athletes. In this interactive by the BBC (in Spanish), height and weight of medal winners from the last Olympics in Beijing are plotted against each other. The more red, the more athletes with that weight-height combination, and you can click on a square to see the corresponding athlete(s). The twist is that you can enter your own height and weight to see where you are in the mix.

    Combine this with the recent age piece from the Washington Post, and you've got a more complete picture. Why stop there though? I want country, gender, and hair color breakdowns. [Thanks, Ben]

  • A graphical summary of Euro 2012 on Twitter

    July 2, 2012  |  Statistical Visualization

    Euro2012 on Twitter

    Nicolas Belmonte, a data visualization scientist at Twitter, visualized the change in tweet volume during Euro 2012. It starts with a streamgraph for an overall view, and when you click on a team you get a time series for each of that team's matches. The selected team appears on top, and the team they are against is on the bottom. Goals are also marked adding context to the spikes.

    I didn't watch any of the championship and know next to nothing about soccer, but Belmonte's piece is useful and fun to use. Would come again.

  • Side-by-side comparisons for Australian Census

    June 28, 2012  |  Statistical Visualization

    Australia Census explorer

    Last week, Australia released data for their 2011 Census. Small Multiples, in collaboration with Special Broadcasting Service, put the data to use and built an interactive that compares demographics based on primary language or location. Choose a language from the dropdown menu on both the left and right, and your selections are presented side-by-side. The graphics themselves are fairly straightforward, showing estimates of things like gender and household income, but the key is in the comparison, which provides a sense of scale to what would otherwise be a bunch of percentages.

  • Stars in the zodiac constellations, from Earth and space

    June 27, 2012  |  Mapping

    Close to Home

    While we're on the subject of stars, developer Riley Davis modeled the ones in the zodiac constellations and color-coded them by temperature. He also labeled the constellations and included the celestial equator (the projection of Earth's equator into space), ecliptic (path of the sun), and the sun, which moves in real-time. The interactive starts with a view from space, where the little blue dot is Earth, and when you release the camera, you see the stars from our point of view.

    I was disoriented at first with the navigation but got used to it quickly. Movement of the mouse left to right zooms in and out, and movement top to bottom rotates the perspective. Feels a lot like flying through space. Well how I imagine it to be, at least.

  • An interactive view of star constellations

    June 27, 2012  |  Mapping

    Views of the sky

    When we look up at the night sky to gaze at the stars, we see small, glowing dots that we perceive almost as if they were drawn on a flat surface. However, all these dots vary in distance from us. View of the Sky by visualization developer Santiago Ortiz shows this third dimension of depth.

    The constellations are placed on a sphere that you can zoom and rotate. This is an interesting view in itself, but select the perspective for absolute distance and magnitude, and you'll see something completely different. It's no longer a network that resembles a globe, and instead it morphs to a cloud of stars and randomness. Also see Ortiz's first view of the sky that includes stars not part of major constellations.

  • Commute times in your area, mapped

    June 26, 2012  |  Mapping

    Commute map

    When you look for a place to live, there are outside factors to consider other than price and square footage. You want to know what the area is like. How's the crime? Are the schools nearby good or bad? Housing search site Trulia provides this information with Trulia Local. Using data from OpenStreetMaps and General Transit Feed Specification feeds, it just got better with their most recent addition that maps commute times.

    Commuting sucks. It’s stressful, and no amount of Sirius radio can make a traffic jam fun. Because of this, we know that commuting is an important consideration when choosing where to live, whether you’re in Los Angeles or Boston. So, launching today is Trulia’s first iteration of the Commute Map, a way to visualize driving and public transit times. With this new product, we aim to give Trulia users a better understanding of commute times to work or anywhere important, to help them find the best place to live.

    Put in your location, and the heatmap indicates areas you can get to in less than thirty minutes. If you want to see places farther away, you can use the slider to adjust the time, up to an hour away.

    I found myself just punching in addresses for fun and emphatically dragging the slider back and forth. The map is responsive, and most importantly informative, especially if you're planning a move.

  • Endangered languages project

    June 25, 2012  |  Mapping

    Endangered languages

    Google, in collaboration with Vizzuality, are trying to catalog endangered languages before they are gone forever in the Endangered Languages Project.

    Humanity today is facing a massive extinction: languages are disappearing at an unprecedented pace. And when that happens, a unique vision of the world is lost. With every language that dies we lose an enormous cultural heritage; the understanding of how humans relate to the world around us; scientific, medical and botanical knowledge; and most importantly, we lose the expression of communities’ humor, love and life. In short, we lose the testimony of centuries of life.

    A map on the homepage gets the most attention. Each small dot represents a language, and they are color-coded by endangerment risk. Click on one to get more details about the language or add information yourself to improve the records. Zoom out and the counts aggregate for an overview.

  • Network of data visualization references

    June 13, 2012  |  Network Visualization

    Data visualization references network

    Developer Santiago Ortiz explores visualization references through Delicious tags and puts them in a discovery context. There are two views. The first is a network with tags and resources as nodes. At first it looks like a giant hairball, but mouseover and you get a fisheye effect to zoom in on nodes, which makes them more readable. Mouse over a tag, and the labels for related resources get bigger, and likewise, mouse over a resource, and the related tags get bigger.
    Continue Reading

  • Working in America over the decades

    June 12, 2012  |  Infographics

    Working in America by year

    Information visualization firm Periscopic, in collaboration with GE, explores the makeup of the American workforce, from 1960 to present.

    Jobs are definitely a top of mind subject. Did you know that manufacturing jobs were the largest sector of employment in 1960, yet today the category has fallen to 6th place? In this interactive visualization, browse who has been working in America over the past 50 years by sector, gender or age.

    As in other Periscopic projects, the interactive provides multiple views that let you see the data from different angles. The initial view is a current breakdown of sectors, and when you press play, the visual rewinds to 1960, animating forward in time. Faded people icons represent the peak of each sector for context. Then as you might guess, the people rearrange themselves accordingly when you select breakdowns by age or gender.
    Continue Reading

  • Parallel Sets for categorical data, D3 port

    May 3, 2012  |  Statistical Visualization

    Parallel sets

    A while back, Robert Kosara and Caroline Ziemkiewicz shared their work on Parallel Sets, a way to visually explore categorical data. Software developer, Jason Davies, just ported the technique to Data-Driven Documents (D3). The interactions for sorting and rearranging are similar to the Kosara and Ziemkiewicz version, but the D3 version of course runs in the browser and has some nifty transitions. Try toggling the show curves box and the icicle plot one.

  • Eating healthiness mapped over 24 hours

    April 26, 2012  |  Mapping

    Eating healthiness

    The Eatery app by Massive Health lets people snap pictures of their food and rate the healthiness. The premise is that you don't have to carefully count calories to lose weight. You just need to be more aware of what you eat. Using 7.68 million ratings over a five-month span, Massive Health maps eating healthiness over an aggregated 24-hour time window.

    Mouse back and forth over the map slowly to see the changes. It's interesting that as night falls, desserts and midnight snacks make themselves known and then the green comes back in the morning.

    [Thanks, Thomas]

  • Tracking drought in the US

    April 18, 2012  |  Mapping

    Drought map

    NPR has a look at weekly drought figures over the past couple of years. The focus is on Texas, a state that's been hit hard the past few months. In 2011, there was an estimated agricultural loss of $7.62 billion.

    The current drought began in October 2010. Though the situation has improved recently, the drought is far from over — and the conditions that caused it aren’t going away anytime soon.

    Texas is a place susceptible to extreme weather, and the last year was no exception. Thousands of square miles were burned in wildfires, billions were lost in agriculture, and its impact could still linger in years to come.

    Hit the play button, and the string of images runs like a flip book. Low tech, but effective.

    [via Matt Stiles]

  • Interactive Islands of Mankind

    April 16, 2012  |  Mapping

    Squinty-eyed population

    Geography graduate student Derek Watkins has some fun with population densities in an interactive version of William Bunge's The Continents and Islands of Mankind. The above shows areas in the world where there are at least 15 people per square kilometer. In the interactive, a slider lets you shift that number up to 500 where only a few spots in the world remain.

    An interesting thing about this map is that each layer is contained in one 23,000 pixel tall spritesheet to reduce load time. An uninteresting thing is that my workflow was to export black and white density images from QGIS (which I've been working with more lately), generalize in Illustrator, export each slice and then stitch them together into one image with ImageMagick. I grabbed the population data from here.

    [via Derek Watkins]

  • Pay Gap

    Gender wage gap, how much less women make than men

    Three or four articles on the gender wage gap popped up on my radar last week, some focusing on the rise of women as the lead household earner and others on how much less women make. I took a look.
  • Time series with highlight

    Interactive Time Series Chart with Filters

    Time series charts can easily turn to spaghetti when you have multiple categories. By highlighting the ones of interest, you can direct focus and allow comparisons.
  • Explore Geographic Coverage in Mapping Wikipedia

    April 4, 2012  |  Mapping

    Mapping Wikipedia

    TraceMedia, in collaboration with the Oxford Internet Institute, maps language use across Wikipedia in an interactive, fittingly named Mapping Wikipedia.

    Simply select a language, a region, and the metric that you want to map, such as word count, number of authors, or the languages themselves, and you've got a view into "local knowledge production and representation" on the encyclopedia. Each dot represents an article with a link to the Wikipedia article. For the number of dots on the map, a maximum of 800,000, it works surprisingly without a hitch, other than the time it initially takes to load articles.

    This is part of a larger body of work from Mark Graham and Bernie Hogan, et. al, which focuses mostly on the gaps, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa.

    There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the sidelines. Despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world.

    [via FloatingSheep]

  • Rising Water Levels in the Immediate Future

    March 29, 2012  |  Mapping

    Surging Seas

    Stamen Design, in collaboration with Climate Central, shows major areas that could be affected by probable rising water levels in the not so far off future.

    The context for this work is: while there are a great many papers, scientific studies, meteorological surveys and other things that fall under the rubric of things that normal people accept as true, there remains a persistent and nagging unreality to the idea that, in something like a normal human timescale, we'll see and have to reckon with large-scale changes to the world as we know it. It's one thing to say "the world is changing and all of us will have to deal with it." It's quite another to say "7.6% of the people and 9.1% of the homes may very well be underwater in Boston, and so you'll need to start thinking about that pretty damn soon, is that cool?"

    Boston, you better make friends with Kevin Costner. He is key to your survival.

  • Inception Explained in Animated Infographic

    March 23, 2012  |  Infographics

    Inception Explained

    Designer Matt Dempsey explains the storyline of Inception in this fun experiment. There were a few flowcharts that came out when the movie did, including one from Christopher Nolan, but this one takes the cake. Just keep on scrolling down to move through levels, and people (the colored circles) disappear and reappear as people go in and out of dreams and limbo.

  • Watercolor Map Tiles

    March 21, 2012  |  Mapping

    Watercolor maps

    A couple of years ago, when you thought about online interactive maps, what came to your mind? Lots of yellow. Online maps are looking a lot different these days though, and Stamen Design has played a big role in making that happen. In their most recently released project, they offer three tile sets to use with OpenStreetMap data, and they look really good.

    All three are something to see, but the watercolor tiles will knock your socks off. They're computer-generated, but they look hand-drawn by a skilled artist slash cartographer (which is really what the Stamen folks are).

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