• # Why the subway isn’t getting a move on already

May 29, 2015

### Topic

Infographics  /  ,

You’re headed to the subway platform and you hear a train coming. The warm musty air that blows directly into your nostrils is near. So you speed up your steps. Oh forget it, who are you trying to impress? You run to make sure you get to the platform. Yes, you made it! You hop on with your heart rate up a few beats. Nice.

But the doors stay open.

The train isn’t moving.

What gives? ARGH.

Of course, there’s a perfectly logical explanation. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority provides a scenario in 8-bit format.
Watch the video

• # Size of Minecraft

May 28, 2015

### Topic

Infographics  /  , ,

I tried playing Minecraft a couple of times but quickly lost interest. Clearly not the case for millions of others. Wired did a bunch of back-of-the-napkin math on how big Minecraft is and put it in an 8-bit video. Find answers to such burning questions such as the volume of the Minecraft world or the time it would take to explore the entire world in real life.
Watch the video

• # Science formally retracts LaCour paper

May 28, 2015

### Topic

Mistaken Data  /  ,

Last week, graduate student Michael J. LaCour was in the news for allegedly making up data. The results were published in Science. LaCour’s co-author Donald Green requested a retraction, but the paper stayed while the request was considered. Today, Science formally fulfilled the request.

• # Compare your curve to reality for income versus college attendance

May 28, 2015

### Topic

Statistical Visualization  /  , ,

Those who grow up in poorer families are less likely to go to college, and those who grow up in richer families are more likely. The question is: How much does the likelihood of college attendance increase as family income increases? Gregor Aisch, Amanda Cox, and Kevin Quealy for the Upshot ask you this question. Draw a curve on a blank chart, and then compare your guess to reality and other readers’ guesses.

• # Homicide Monitor shows distribution of violence worldwide

May 28, 2015

### Topic

Maps  /  ,

It’s difficult to grasp the severity of homicide around the world. Homicide Monitor attempts to at least provide a little bit of sense of what’s going on.

• # Interactive documentary connects World War II data to the events

May 27, 2015

### Topic

Infographics  /  ,

Millions of peopled died during World War II, but it’s difficult to grasp what all the big numbers associated with the war mean. Neil Halloran explains in The Fallen of World War II, a hybrid between interactive visualization and documentary.

• # Why buses bunch at single stops

May 26, 2015

### Topic

Infographics  /  , ,

Maybe you’ve waited at a bus stop for longer than usual, and your bus finally shows up. And then, immediately after, a second bus on the same route pulls up right behind. What gives? Why can’t they stay evenly spaced to improve everyone’s waiting time? Lewis Lehe provides an explanation in a small interactive game.

• # Statistics PhD ranked as best graduate degree

May 25, 2015

### Topic

Statistics  /  ,

I usually don’t read much into job and degree rankings. The criteria are often arbitrary based simply on data that happens to be available. Or, a bulk of the rankings are based on survey answers where the population is questionable or there is a strong bias towards a specific field. But Fortune got PayScale to rank the top graduate degrees and Statistics PhD came out as the best. So boom. I’ll take it.

The pay is similar to other STEM degrees but it’s the lower-than-average stress that puts Statistics at number one.

Woo hoo. Statistics doesn’t suck.

Maybe this is a good time to revisit my PhD survival guide. [Thanks to my ever so proud wife, Bea]

• # Every NBA team rated over several decades

May 25, 2015

### Topic

Visualization  /  ,

Which NBA basketball team is the greatest ever? Instead of a circular debate at the bar, Reuben Fischer-Baum and Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight used the Elo rating system to rank teams over time.

• # How far Frodo and Sam walked compared to real geography

May 22, 2015

### Topic

Maps  /  ,

If you read the books or watched the movies, you get the sense that Frodo and Sam walked pretty far to toss that ring in the fire. Imgur user mattsawizard compared the journey distance with some rough real-life geography. The journey was 1,350 miles, which is kind of like walking from Los Angeles, California to Austin, Texas.

• # Rise of data art

May 22, 2015

### Topic

Data Art  /  ,

Data art is on the rise. Jacoba Urist for the Atlantic gets into the beginnings and its current prevalence.

Art is a constant march of expansion, according to Harvey Molotch, a professor of sociology and metropolitan studies at New York University, whose research includes the sociology of art. Pop art incorporated comic books and ordinary soup cans. Edvard Munch’s expressionist painting, The Scream captured the anxiety and isolation of modern life. “Now there’s the digital self, the newest kid on the block and so of course, artists are there,” he explained. “Art and environment are very much in cahoots.”

A lot of good stuff and worth the read.

Although I’m not sure about the categorization of data artists in either the scientific data arena or quantified self one. I’m pretty sure it’s a much wider and continuous spectrum.

• # Power of the reveal

May 21, 2015

### Topic

Infographics  /  ,

Hannah Fairfield, who does graphics at the New York Times, talks about using visualization to show specific narratives. Something more than just “here’s some data.”
Watch the talk

• # Testing broken computer colors

May 21, 2015

### Topic

Design  /

Computers can calculate an infinite number of colors, but our brains can only process and see so much. This is why color spaces are important in visualization. Your code might dictate different shades, but they might look the same when you look at the visual.

And it’s why Scott Sievert explored the various spaces and provides an interactive for comparing various shades.

We see that certain color spaces are constrained by device limitations (RGB, HED). We see that other color spaces emphasize the pigments (HSV) or other elements like additive/subtractive color (LUV, LAB). We see that certain color spaces play nicely with addition and perform a smooth gradient between the two colors (XYZ, RGB2 aka the method described above).

• # Graduate student makes up data for fake findings

May 20, 2015

### Topic

Mistaken Data  /  ,

Last month, This American Life ran a story about research that asked if you could change people’s mind about issues like same-sex marriage and abortion — with just a 22-minute conversation. The research was published in Science, but Donald Green asked the publication to retract the paper recently. It seems his co-author and UCLA graduate student, Michael LaCour, made up a lot of data.

• # Brewing Multivariate Beer

I was toying around with the idea of multivariate beer, where the ingredients varied by county demographics. Could I taste the difference? Here’s how the experiment went.

• # Satellite time-lapse shows changes on the ground

May 19, 2015

### Topic

Maps  /  ,

Since the 1970s, NASA has used satellites to take pictures of the Earth’s surface. This is an ongoing process, so when you string together the photos and play them out like a flip book, you see dramatic changes where cities boom, bodies of water dry up, and forests disappear. This is the motivation behind Earthshots, available for viewing via USGS.

• # Time-lapse using photos online

May 19, 2015

### Topic

Statistics  /

Think of time-lapse photography, and you imagine someone sets up a camera in a single spot to take photos at set periods of time. Researchers from the University of Washington and Google tried something else.
See it in action

# Data Visualization with D3.js →

May 18, 2015

Thank you to Metis for sponsoring the feed this week.

June 23 – July 30
Tuesdays and Thursdays
6:30 – 9:30pm
Enroll here

Enrollments opened today for Data Visualization with D3.js.

Designed and taught by Kevin Quealy, Graphics Editor for the New York Times, this course is for anyone who wants to be proficient in the use of D3 and seeks expertise visualizing quantitative information. You’ll learn to tell stories and communicate information interactively in ways that are simply not possible outside a web browser.

The 6-week course is held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 9:30pm at Metis, 79 Madison Avenue, New York City where the Metis Data Science Bootcamp is also held.

#### Course Outcomes

• Proficiency in using D3 to make static and interactive charts and documents, and in using JavaScript to process and manipulate data.
• A working conceptual understanding of the field of data visualization, particularly as it relates to the internet and mobile devices.
• Deep knowledge of the forms and techniques of data visualization and effective display of quantitative information; especially, bar charts, scatterplots, area charts, line charts, choropleth and bubble maps, small multiples, annotation principles; and the strengths and weaknesses of each.

#### About Kevin Quealy

Kevin Quealy is Graphics Editor at The New York Times and a contributor to The Upshot, the Times’ data-centric vertical about policy, politics and everyday life. He has taught journalism and data visualization courses at N.Y.U., the University of California, Berkeley and the City University of New York.

Before coming to The New York Times, Kevin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa. He has a Master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and a B.A. in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

• # Running through digital particles

May 18, 2015

### Topic

Data Art  /  , ,

Force of Nature by FIELD is a running installation commissioned by Nike. It uses data fed from Kinect and sensors hooked up to a treadmill to create an experience as if you were running through a sea of particles.
Watch the video

• # Upgraded self, but there’s a catch

May 18, 2015

### Topic

Self-surveillance  /  ,

With wearables and cheaper and advancing tech, the how part of personal data collection is fairly straightforward. So now we move into the more socially complex questions around privacy, money, and usage. Ariana Eunjung Cha for the Washington Post looks a bit closer at the quantified self.