The end of 2009 is looming, and it’s about time to make this year’s picks for best visualizations. I was sifting through the archives the other day. The selection is going to be tough. I need your help.
What was the best visualization of 2009?
It can be something I’ve posted or not; it can be serious or humorous; interactive or for print; art or analytical; map or chart. To jog your memory, here is some of the visualization stuff we’ve seen this year, and here are my picks for last year for reference.
So what do you think?
I’ve seen a number of beautiful and informative visualizations this year, but the xkcd’s Movie Narrative Charts immediately came to mind when I saw your post. I enjoyed these charts for their combination of clarity, visual appeal, and humor.
@PW – thanks for getting it started!
I have to agree. So wonderful.
My vote is for Robert Kosara’s excellent response to a sick chart:
I’d vote for the Horizonless Manhattan projection because it was so innovative:
or Stamen’s Stimulus funding map for its timeliness and expert implementation:
Partial to locative visualizations as global or cultural game changers, my top choices would be the brilliant “Bella Gaia” http://www.bellagaia.com and the “Geography of Buzz” https://flowingdata.com/2009/04/13/geography-of-buzz-in-los-angeles-and-new-york/.
Other infovis favorites this year are: â€œDeath and Taxesâ€ 2009 http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/ and Ben Fry’s â€œTraces – Evolution of Darwin’s Ideasâ€ http://benfry.com/traces/
Best visualisation of 2009? Carbon Quilt :-) http://carbonquilt.org
– OK! I’m biased, but it is nevertheless a radically new way to visualise quantities. It transforms abstract notions such as a ‘carbon footprint’ into concrete images that viewers can relate to with reference to the things that are most meaningful to them. It provides a sense of absolute scale and relative scale at the same time. It works well on all scales – from the carbon footprint of a single light-bulb to the carbon footprint of a whole continent.
Here’s America’s per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide: http://carbonquilt.org/mass/18_993/tonnes/co2?t=USA_per_capita_emissions
And here’s China’s for comparison:
Here’s a 60W lightbulb for 1 hour:
Here’s the whole of Africa’s emissions for 2006:
Personally, I’m quite taken by the “Distance From McDonald’s” map in this post:
However, I might be a little biased. :)
new rule: you can’t pick yourself.
A Visual History of the Supreme Court:
“full sweep of American federal judicial history from 1789 to 2009. It combines biographical information on every Supreme Court justice with a visualization of the influence of U.S. presidents and their political parties on the Court over time”
I recently started reading posts on this site and Microsoft Pivot impressed me the most:
I should definitely go thru the older posts, though
Does it have to be a particular visualization application, or could it be a toolkit? If the latter, I nominate Protovis. It needs more documentation and better recipes for people to get started quickly – and, of course, work on IE. But once these things are in place (and they’re not insurmountable), it will be The Way Visualization is Done on The Web.
@Paul: thanks for the nomination, much appreciated!