• January 20, 2010

    Topic

    Sponsors

    Thank you, sponsors. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do on this blog without you. It seems like FlowingData is growing faster every month, and you guys make that possible.

    Check out what these fine groups have to offer. They help you understand your data:

    Tableau Software – Data exploration and visual analytics in an easy-to-use analysis tool.

    InstantAtlas – Create and present compelling data reports on geographic maps.

    NetCharts – Agile Performance Dashboarding™ for business users.

    Xcelsius Engage – Create insightful and engaging dashboards from any data source with point-and-click ease.

    Business Intelligence – Visual data analysis made easy. Try 30 days for free.

    FusionCharts – Convert all your boring data to stunning charts. Download your free trial now.

    Xcelsius Present – Transform spreadsheets into professional, interactive presentations.

    Email me at nathan [at] flowingdata [dot] com if you’d like to sponsor FlowingData, and I’ll send you the details.

  • January 19, 2010

    Topic

    Infographics

    In 1903, Crayola had eight colors in its standard package. Today, there are 120, along with special packs like Gem Tones and Silver Swhirls. What happened? Above, from Weather Sealed, shows the growing color selection (and a few color retirements) in the standard package from 1903 to now.

    In 2101, Crayola will hit a color peak and revert to a simpler time. The standard pack will have just two colors: black and Tickle Me Pink (#FC89AC).

    [via Waxy Links]

  • Data Underload #5 – The Portfolio

    Lazy Bob called himself an information designer, but everyone else knew the truth.

  • January 15, 2010

    Topic

    Data Art

    It’s funny how data is finding it’s way into everyday objects. There was jewelry a few months ago and coins last month. Now we’ve got this experiment with Christmas ornaments from Really Interesting Group (RIG). The snowman’s head is sized by the number of followers on Twitter; the (rain) bars represent miles traveled per month on Dopplr; the red shows listening habits on last.fm; and finally, the blue one shows apertures you’ve used over the year for photos uploaded to Flickr. Read More

  • January 14, 2010

    Topic

    Maps, Site News

    Unless you live under a rock inside a cave in the remotest area in the world, you know a huge quake struck Haiti on Tuesday, and much lies in ruins. The New York Times just posted some before and after satellite images, and it’s a horrible thing to see. Buildings gone. People gone.

    It pains me to think about what if that were to happen to me or my family.

    To this end, I’m donating all proceeds from World Progress Report orders, along with this month’s FlowingData revenues, to UNICEF’s relief efforts. The Report, after all, is an effort to relate to the rest of the world. It only seems fitting. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, I guess, but at least it’s something. As they say, every little bit counts.

    Again, I’m taking orders for one week – through January 21. Do some good and get something good too. I’m including How America Learns with all orders now. Buy a print now.

    Or if the World Progress Report just isn’t your thing, you can donate directly to UNICEF.

    I mean, seriously, there are 27,000 of you + me. We can make a big difference together.

  • January 14, 2010

    Topic

    Projects

    Want the report? Details at the end on how to get a print. (Update: All proceeds go to UNICEF towards relief effort in Haiti.

    UNdata provides a catalog of 27 United Nations statistical databases and 60 million records about the past, present, and future state of the world. Topics include demographics, life expectancy, labor levels, poverty, and a lot more. What does all that data mean though? World Progress Report, the latest from FlowingPrints, offers a look into the expansive UN collection.

    In whole, the report tells a story of how we live and die, and the stuff in between.
    Read More

  • January 13, 2010

    How do you compare music visually? You can break it down into data by quantifying the notes, volume, etc and then visualize it with timescapes (above). The horizontal axis represents musical time, from the beginning to end of a piece. Large blocks show similarities to other pieces and smaller noisy chunks show more “fleeting” similarities.
    Read More

  • Data Underload #4 – Little Things

    Your age versus how easy it is to amuse you.

  • January 11, 2010

    Topic

    Maps

    Some movies are popular everywhere. Others are popular only in certain regions. The New York Times, in a nice team effort, maps rental popularity by zip code for large regions in the US.
    Read More

  • January 8, 2010

    Topic

    Infographics

    Randall of xkcd has been having fun with data visualization lately. In his latest data-ish comic, Randall explores gravity wells. The height of each well is sized relative to the amount of energy (on Earth) it would take to escape that planet’s gravity. The width of wells are scaled by planet size.

    So you’d need one big arse rocket to escape Jupiter.

    I know it’s a comic, hand-drawn, and all stick-figurey and stuff, but Randall actually explains the concepts really well. There’s good annotation, clear examples, and he’s made an obscure topic easy to understand.

    It’s also entertaining in the Bill Nye the Science Guy (i.e. best Saturday morning show ever) sort of way.

    [Thanks, Ricki and Thomas]

  • January 7, 2010

    Topic

    Projects

    FYI: A new edition on the current state of the world is coming soon from FlowingPrints. Join the mailing list to be first to know when it’s available. I’m only going to take orders for one week this time around, so please please make sure you sign up. More info coming next week.
    Read More

  • 11 Ways to Visualize Changes Over Time – A Guide

    Deal with data? No doubt you’ve come across the time-based variety. This is a guide to help you figure out what type of visualization to use to see that stuff.

  • January 6, 2010

    Topic

    Infographics

    Old graphics are awesome. We saw some from the 1930s already. These are even older.

    Other than the maps, I don’t exactly know what I’m looking at (knowing French would help too), but who cares? Mmm, hand-drawn goodness.
    Read More

  • January 5, 2010

    Topic

    Infographics

    All Things Considered discusses why music sounds worse than it did a few decades ago. Through a practice using compressors, the quiet parts of a song are made louder and the louder parts quieter so that the song as a whole sounds louder to your ear. The purpose: to make the song stand out when you hear it on the radio.

    As a result, tracks have gotten louder over the years.
    Read More

  • Data Underload #3 – The Resolution Cycle

    Late at night, the new year’s resolution longed for a straight line.

  • January 1, 2010

    Topic

    Maps

    The Known Universe from the American Museum of Natural History shows a view of the universe, starting from the Himalayas and quickly moving out to the edge where all is black and scary – made possible by the records in the Digital Universe Atlas.
    Read More

  • December 30, 2009

    Topic

    Infographics

    Did we all see this? Phillip Niemeyer of Double Triple pictures the past ten years in this Op-Chart for The New York Times. Each row is a theme, and each column represents a year. For example, the champion rep for 2007 is Tiger Woods or collagen as the fad of 2002. Oh how times change.

    Have a happy new year everyone. Be safe.

    [via WeLoveDataVis]

  • December 25, 2009

    Topic

    Site News

    Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re having a great holiday season so far. Good food, good company, and more good food.

    This will be my last post for the year, but don’t fret. FlowingData will return to its regularly scheduled programming January 1. Take a look through the archives if you start to go through withdrawl. Don’t worry – it’s all going to be okay.

    See you all next year.

  • December 24, 2009

    Topic

    Data Art

    This experiment (below) by graduate student Pedro Miguel Cruz shows the decline of Maritime empires during the 19th and 20th centuries .

    Pedro explains:

    I don’t wanna call this small experiment of information visualization neither information art. Either way sounds too pretentious – as the visuals are not very sophisticated or elegant, and the way that the information is treated doesn’t enable the extraction of advanced knowledge. Although, it works very well as a ludic narrative. I ultimately found it very joyful.

    So sit back and enjoy. It’s fun to watch.

    Let’s for a second consider an alternative to view this data more analytically for some more insight and what not. I’m thinking an area graph ala Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg’s History Flow for Wikipedia dynamics could be interesting. What do you think?

  • December 23, 2009

    Topic

    Infographics

    In celebration of Information Aesthetics’ birthday, Moritz Stefaner of Well-formed Data adapted his elastic lists concept to all five years of infosthetics posts. Each white-bordered rectangle represents a post, and colors within rectangles indicate post categories.

    Select categories on the right, and the list updates to show related categories. Similarly, filter posts by year, author, and/or number of categories. Select a rectangle to draw up the actual post.

    Go on, give it a try for yourself. Excellent work.

    And then head over to infosthetics and wish it a happy birthday.