• October 19, 2018

    There are many racial disparities in education. ProPublica shows estimates for the gaps:

    Based on civil rights data released by the U.S. Department of Education, ProPublica has built an interactive database to examine racial disparities in educational opportunities and school discipline. Look up more than 96,000 individual public and charter schools and 17,000 districts to see how they compare with their counterparts.

    Using white students as the baseline, compare opportunity, discipline, segregation, and achievement for black and Hispanic students.

    Be sure to click through to a school district or state of interest to see more detailed breakdowns of the measures.

  • October 18, 2018

    The Washington Post provides a flyover view of the barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s a combination of satellite imagery, path overlays, and information panels as you scroll. It gives an inkling of an idea of the challenges involved when people try to cross the border.

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  • Let’s work through a practical example to see how asking and answering questions helps guide you towards more focused data graphics.


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  • October 16, 2018

    When you drink bubble tea, ideally you’d like to finish with the same proportions of boba and tea that you started at. Krist Wongsuphasawat took care of the math and provides a simulator for this ever important challenge:

    This article simulates an optimized sip based on amount of boba and tea in the straw before sipping (method adopted from this post). The simulation assumes that all bobas sit in the bottom of the cup and stack on top of each other nicely. If you put a straw straight down when there are n layers of bobas, you will get n bobas in the straw. The rest of the straw up to the drink’s height is tea. The drinker sips until all n bobas are in his/her mouth then stop. After each sip these n bobas and tea inside the straw are gradually reduced from the cup.

    The final recommendations: use a slim cup, minimize ice, and drink strongly. Mess around with variables here.

  • October 15, 2018

    A few months back, Microsoft released a comprehensive dataset that included the estimated footprints of all of the buildings in the United States. The New York Times mapped all of it.

    The footnote says a lot about their attention to detail:

    In some cases, the building shapes generated by Microsoft’s automated process do not match the existing building footprints exactly. We manually corrected as many of these mistakes as we found, or, where available, replaced the shapes using more precise local data sets. Data was unavailable for much of Alaska.

  • October 12, 2018

    Based on data from the Census Bureau, National Geographic mapped predominant race in 11 million administrative regions in the United States. Many of the regions are the size of a single block.

    Looking at the national overview, the country looks predominantly white (represented blue), but as you zoom in for more details, you start to see the mix.

  • October 11, 2018

    Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec continue on their path of Dear Data with a book that you draw in: Observe, Collect, Draw!

    The first section describes some of the basics of journaling with data and how you can use various visual encodings. However, the main part of the book is a journal that guides you through collection and the visual encodings that Lupi and Posavec used with their postcards. First, there’s an instruction page and then the adjacent page provides blank scales for you to sketch yourself.

    Fun. It seems like a good way to jog your imagination, in case you feel like you’re stuck in a bar chart geometry funk. [Amazon link]

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    Compare distributions side-by-side with a pyramid chart. Observe the change over the years by animating it.


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