For when you want to show or compare several distributions but don't have a lot of space.
Lidar, which is like radar but with lasers instead of radio waves, can provide high-detail surveys of the land. The state of Washington is using the tool for beautiful results.
In 2015, the Washington State Legislature mandated that the Department of Natural Resources, Washington Geological Survey collect, analyze, and publicly distribute detailed information about our state’s geology using the best available technology – lidar. The main focus of this new push for lidar collection is to map landslides, but there are innumerable additional benefits and applications of this data both inside and outside of the field of geology.
[via National Geographic]
This looks like a fun Processing tutorial by Etienne Jacob. Use noise to draw organic-ish loopy GIFs. I bet the logic could be ported to R.
Judith Duportail, writing for the Guardian, requested her personal data from dating service Tinder. She got back 800 pages of all the information she voluntarily gave away.
As I flicked through page after page of my data I felt guilty. I was amazed by how much information I was voluntarily disclosing: from locations, interests and jobs, to pictures, music tastes and what I liked to eat. But I quickly realised I wasn’t the only one. A July 2017 study revealed Tinder users are excessively willing to disclose information without realising it.
Is it bad that all I can think of is Facebook sitting in front of a fireplace with a glass of scotch muttering under its breath: “800 pages? Child’s play.”
Of course after hearing some big number or quantity that defines how much information a company has on an individual, everyone raises their eyebrows. And then they go right back to plugging in more information about themselves.
Good times ahead, I am sure.
I hate that this feels like something civilians should know. Bonnie Berkowitz and Aaron Steckelberg, reporting for the Washington Post, describe with a graphic how the United States might counter a nuclear missile fired by North Korea.
In a fun piece by Reuben Fischer-Baum, reporting for The Washington Post:
In the past three decades, the United States has seen staggering technological changes. In 1984, just 8 percent of households had a personal computer, the World Wide Web was still five years away, and cell phones were enormous. Americans born that year are only 33 years old.
Here’s how some key parts of our technological lives have shifted, split loosely into early, middle and current stages.
There will always be a place in my heart that longs for the good ol’ days of my Walkman, modem sounds, and the phone-less outdoors. Tear.
A lot of tax debate centers around the “average” American family, with focus on both tax cuts and increases for what seems like the same groups of people. The difficulty in these arguments is that there’s a ton of variation within the same income brackets because of the various factors to consider in tax calculations.
Quoctrung Bui and Ben Casselman, reporting for The Upshot, explain with 25,000 example households plotted by the tax delta and income.
Anna Vital, in collaboration with the Google News Lab, shows the search popularity of chart types, books about charts, and tools for charting. The project is called The Visualization Universe. It surprises me to see some chart types so high on the list, such as the Gantt chart and Ishikawa diagram, but maybe that’s more of an indicator of where I am in the visualization spectrum.
This is fine. Totally normal. Eric Newcomer reporting for Bloomberg:
Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers.
Last year, ProPublica revealed that Facebook allowed housing advertisers to exclude races in their campaigns. Facebook said they would address the issue. ProPublica returned to the topic. Facebook didn’t do a very good job.
All of these groups are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to publish any advertisement “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Every single ad was approved within minutes.
Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.
Google says they didn’t store or use the data. But still. If you’re Google, you should know better.
The administration’s current pick for deputy director of the United States Census Bureau is Thomas Brunell. He is a political science professor outside of the Bureau and argues against “competitive elections.”
Since 2005, he has worked at the University of Texas at Dallas, where his research and writing has focused on redistricting and voting rights cases. He has frequently advised states on redrawing their congressional maps. In his 2008 book, “Redistricting and Representation,” he argued that partisan districts packed with like-minded voters actually lead to better representation than ones more evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, because fewer voters in partisan districts cast a vote for a losing candidate. He has also argued that ideologically packed districts should be called “fair districts” and admits that his stance on competitive elections makes him something of an outlier among political scientists, who largely support competitive elections.
I’m not familiar with Brunell’s research, but shouldn’t the pick for deputy director of the giant statistical, nonpartisan agency be, um, a statistician? Someone who is familiar with how the Bureau and its 5,000-plus employees function day-to-day?
A few years back, cycling and running app Strava mapped the paths of its users. Now with a lot more data and the challenges that come with that, Strava provides a more fine-tuned rendering of where the world cycles and runs.
Beyond simply including more data, a total rewrite of the heatmap code permitted major improvements in rendering quality. Highlights include twice the resolution, rasterizing activity data as paths instead of as points, and an improved normalization technique that ensures a richer and more beautiful visualization.
Russell Goldenberg released Scrollama.js in an effort to make scrollytelling more straightforward to implement.
Scrollytelling can be complicated to implement and difficult to make performant. The goal of this library is to provide a simple interface for creating scroll-driven interactives and improve user experience by reducing scroll jank. It offers (optional) methods to implement the common scrollytelling pattern to reduce more involved DOM calculations. For lack of a better term, I refer to it as the sticky graphic pattern, whereby the graphic scrolls into view, becomes “stuck” for a duration of steps, then exits and “unsticks” when the steps conclude.
Bookmarked for later.
Collective Debate from the MIT Media Lab gauges your moral compass with a survey and then tries to “debate” with you about gender bias using counterpoints from the opposite side of the spectrum. The goal isn’t to be right. Instead, it’s to try to understand the other side. At the end, you see how you compare to others.
The House Republicans will vote on a tax bill soon that adds about $1.4 trillion to the federal debt. Alicia Parlapiano and Adam Pearce, reporting for The New York Times, look at every change in this scroller.
I like that the visual is kept simple with a two-column, stacked bar chart as the backdrop. The chart provides scale, but the focus in on the text.