• October 27, 2021

    For Scientific American, Cédric Scherer and Georgios Karamanis charted drought extent by region using a grid of stacked bar charts. Each cell represents a year for a corresponding region, and color represents drought intensity.

    Compare this view to more map-centric ones. This version focuses more on time than it does geography. One isn’t better than the other. Just different.

    See the full version here.

  • Here’s how the distribution of genres has changed since 1945 up to present.


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  • October 25, 2021

    Mona Chalabi has a new podcast Am I Normal? and it’s very good:

    We all want to know if we’re normal—do I have enough friends? Should it take me this long to get over my ex? Should I move or stay where I am? Endlessly curious data journalist Mona Chalabi NEEDS to know, and she’s ready to dive into the numbers to get some answers. But studies and spreadsheets don’t tell the whole story, so she’s consulting experts, strangers, and even her mum to fill in the gaps. The answers might surprise you, and make you ask: does normal even exist?

    There are two episodes so far: the first on how long it takes to get over a breakup and the second on how many friends people have. A takeaway from both is that defining “normal” is a fuzzy matter and the data only gets you part of the way there.

  • October 22, 2021

    Margot Sanger-Katz and Alicia Parlapiano for NYT’s The Upshot broke down a Democrat spending proposal. I like the lead-in treemap that shows the proposed components and the box that it needs to squeeze into:

    I’ve seen treemaps that transition into different sizes, but I don’t think I’ve seen a box drawn on the outside of the treemap for comparison. It feels natural.

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    October 21, 2021
  • The New York Times used radar data to create a 3-D model of the Dixie fire smoke clouds:

    The raw data was collected every 10 minutes in radial sweeps around the radar stations, each at a higher altitude. The Times combined and reformatted the data using Py-ART, a collection of algorithms and utilities used regularly in radar analysis. We then filtered it to reduce noise.

    We applied color and texture to the 3-D volume to approximate a smoke- and cloud-like look. And we interpolated the sequence in time to create a smoother video animation.

    The data comes from the NOAA Next Generation Radar (seems to be down right now), and the rendering was inspired by Neil Lareau’s more barebones chart.

  • October 20, 2021

    I’m not sure how long this has been around, but the USPS has a tool where you can see the mail route in any geographic area. Just search for an address and you can see where they go. It’s meant for businesses interested in direct mail, so it also shows average income, number of houses, and how much it’d cost to send mail on that route.

    I had no idea it was that easy to focus on a geographic area, but it makes sense now that I think about the type of ads I get in the mailbox.

  • October 19, 2021

    NASA Goddard visualized the point of view from the south pole of the Moon, based on years of data collection to map the Moon’s surface. The result is a data-based time-lapse that shows Earth moving up and down and long shadows because the run shines at a low angle.

    It’s a neat contrast to what we see from Earth and makes me wonder what other points of view there are.

  • October 18, 2021

    The Digital Story Innovation Team for ABC News in Australia looked at political donations from the gambling industry. The piece goes all-in with treemaps in a scrollytelling format to show categories and individual donations.

    It starts with an individual point and keeps zooming out more and more. Then when you think it’s done, it zooms out more.

  • Most television shows don’t get past the first season, but there are some that manage to stick around. These are the 175 longest running shows on IMDb that have ratings.


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