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Showing posts from August, 2010

Animated map of Afghan engagements from 2004-2009

See it now.

Based on the recent Wikileaks release of military documents, Mike Dewar and Drew Conway created this animated month-by-month infographic showing the number and location of engagements over five years in Afghanistan. Beautiful work and very sobering.

Animated Heatmap of WikiLeaks Report Intensity in Afghanistan - Zero Intelligence Agents

Representation of taxation

Regular readers of this space may recall that I'm partial to tax-relatedinfoviz. So imagine my excitement in coming across this beaut from the Washington Post:

How the fight over tax breaks affects your bottom line

Here in the US, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire soon, and the government has several possible courses of action. This graphic interactively depicts three scenarios, and the impact that each would have on the federal budget as well as the taxpayers'.

Why it's great:
Clean, spare, streamlined. The options are clearly delineated (via tabs) and the change in outcomes is evident and easy to understand.Needless details about taxpayer cohorts (homeownership, filing status, that sort of thing) are wisely avoided; the captions on the vertical axis provide the necessary macro context.The attractive tan-to-red color scheme/progression is subtle yet distinct; though the colors hang together to keep the graphic unified, each of the seven subsets is quite distinct.Putting on…

Piggybacking off of Kaiser Fung

At his blog Junk Charts, statistics jock Kaiser Fung cleans up the clunkers. And very well too, I might add.

Here's a revamp he did of an eyecatching-but-not-very-useful graphic depicting Americans' changes in religious affiliation (data via Pew).

I like his clever format, with the arrows pointing in all directions.

However, at some point a data set is too small to be worth visualizing, per Tufte, and should be displayed as a table instead. Here, ET does a rethink of a statistical table that molds the numbers into an elegant and useful hybrid, a "table-graphic."

I wondered if a hybridized display would work well for the Pew data set, so I gave it a try.

Usefully simple, or too simplistic? Comments welcomed.

Data-driven journalism:
an idea whose time has come

On August 24 in Amsterdam the European Journalism Centre is running a conference called "Data-driven journalism: What is there to learn?"

Oh, man. I hope the American journalists are listening in. Because there's a lot to learn, in both senses: 1) what patterns and insights can we get from the data, and 2) how can we better deploy the technology?

Infoviz is finally gaining widespread renown as a storytelling technique/analysis tool, and I predict that publications will eventually need to use it if they aim to keep current readers and entice new ones.

As a longtime journalist and infoviz evangelist, I've been looking forward to this convergence. It may sound corny, but I believe that when information is depicted clearly and intelligently, the graphical evidence really can help people understand the problems they share and point the way to new solutions.

Communication breaks down all around us -- why not use as many effective techniques as possible?

A salute to David McCandless

The auteur of Information is Beautiful has created a wry visualization of Wikipedia's Lamest Edit Wars (excerpted above). It is a thing of beauty.