A collection of ALL the ‘significant development’ posts

To mark each mid-year and end-of-year milestone I take a reflective glance over the previous 6-month period in the data visualisation field and compile a collection of some of the most significant developments. These are the main projects, events, new sites, trends, personalities and general observations that have struck me as being important to help further the development of this field or are things I simply liked a great deal.

I have been doing this for a number of years now so I felt it was long over due to look to bring them all together in a convenient single location.

10 significant visualisation developments: July to December 2016

To mark each mid-year and end-of-year milestone I take a reflective glance over the previous 6-month period in the data visualisation field and compile a collection of some of the most significant developments. These are the main projects, events, new sites, trends, personalities and general observations that have struck me as being important to help further the development of this field or are things I simply liked a great deal. Here’s the full compilation of all my collections.

Earlier in the year I published a collection for the first 6 months of 2016 and now I’d like to reflect on the second 6 months. I look forward to hearing from you with suggestions for the developments you believe have been most significant.

And so, as ever, in no particular order…

1. The Aftermath of the US Election

We don’t need a new hot-take/think-piece from me offering commentary on what happened and what happens next but there is clearly much to consider for the data visualisation field in light of the experiences of the US Election. From a purely visualisation design perspective I would argue there was some immense work produced. I’ve previously profiled some of the most notable techniques and talked in specific terms about the reaction to the NYT’s gauge chart. In my roundup of the best visualisation stuff from November I also included a range of other great works surrounding the election coverage. It was unquestionably a huge moment in history narrated, across all media platforms, through the prop of the chart. Its a shame to see some stern finger-pointing from within the design community but I do recognise that (regardless of your politics, let’s face it) the hugely shocking outcome has rocked some peoples’ faith in data through the perceived inaccuracy of many of the forecasts/polling models. The ‘success’ of a visualisation cannot be decoupled from the data it represents but, equally, visualisation can only ever be the medium not the end: readers need to take personal responsibility to spend time reading and understanding limits, assumptions and, above all else, uncertainty/probability. Its all rather complex and I feel we’ll see a lot of introspection happening for a while to attempt to unravel some of this. Dealing with people comfortable with operating in this pathetic era of so-called ‘post-truth’ is one thing, but losing the faith of good people is another thing entirely.

2. The Impact of ‘Dear Data’

I included the ‘Dear Data’ project in my 6-monthly roundup for the first part of 2015 but I am selecting this project again now because I feel the impact during 2016 has been quite profound and should be acknowledged. The project has achieved great success through exhibitions, spin-off collaborations, award victories, and now topped off with news of the acqusition of the project’s outputs by MoMA (!) for its permanent collection. However, above all else I feel the greatest repercussion of this work is through the inspiration it offers beginners. For many years it has seemed authors like Tufte, Few, and McCandless were the dominant names whose books had offered a first exposure into this field. Well now we need to add Lupi and Posavec. I feel the release of their book has provided an inspiring new window and entry point into this subject for a whole new audience. Its not about tools. Its not about principles. Its about something that is fresh, creative and accessible/achievable for anyone to understand and practice themselves. From my journeys across the year, anecdotally, I feel it has touched young audiences and, unquestionably, a female audience. Although not limited to this project, Dear Data has cemented Giorgia and Stef’s position as visible role models and it is fully deserved.

3. Data Sketches

Data Sketches is a monthly collaboration between the hugely talented pair Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu. Starting in July, and sharing many of the objectives of ‘Dear Data’ (though it wasn’t explicitly inspired by), each month they choose a topic and aim to have a refined visualisation solution finished by the end of the month. “Within the topic, we’re free to do whatever we want; a perfect opportunity to create, experiment, and have fun.” and as you will see from their growing portfolio of excellent projects, it is quite evident that they are fully exploiting this opportunity.

4. Evolution in Action

Whether it is technically a visualisation or not I don’t really care – as a visual device to reveal or facilitate understanding this video, produced by Michael Baym of Harvard Medical School, was one of the best things I have seen this year. It shows a compelling depiction of evolution in action, demonstrating how ‘disease-causing bacteria and other microbes are increasingly evolving to resist our drugs’. I don’t know how true this is but I liked this line from the Atlantic article covering this piece: “He used to call the dish the Observatory of Microbial Growth (OMG) but more conservative peers forced him to change the name to the Microbial Evolution and Growth Arena plate (MEGA-plate)”. See also Tony Chu’s ‘Antibiotic Resistance Simulation

5. Ship Map

Not much depth in comment required to justify my inclusion of this work other than to say I really loved it. Created by Duncan and Robin from Kiln in partnership with the UCL Energy Institute, it offers a visual window to see ‘movements of the global merchant fleet over the course of 2012’. This is data I’ve never seen visualised before (I’m sure some will correct me!), it is elegantly produced and hugely addictive to sit, watch, and search for avenues of intense shipping and outliers alike.

6. Profiling the Parks

Profiling the Parks is a wonderful hand-drawn video produced by RJ Andrews that presents some fascinating data driven insights about the US National Parks. RJ describes the motivation for the project emerging from a visit to Yosemite, “I tried to picture the Yosemite valley compared to Zion, my favorite Park. Yosemite felt taller (it is) and also wider (yup) – but I couldn’t really tell by how much. I also had no idea which park floor was at a higher elevation. Read more about the background to the project, the methods used and some nice mood board references.

7. Jonni Walker

There are many incredibly smart and talented people pushing the limits of what tools like Tableau can achieve. Each day I see something new being produced that makes me feel increasingly inadequate and driven to find out how they have ‘done that’. It therefore feels rather unfair to shine the light on just one person but I came across Jonni Walker’s portfolio of work this year and feel it is really outstanding. He’s doing things in Tableau I’ve rarely seen before with such creativity and with an aesthetic you might normally associate with that of centres of excellence like National Geographic magazine.

8. ‘Joy Division’ Charts

This is a mention for the first of two techniques I’ve seen popping up in a few places recently. I’m terming them ‘Joy Division’ charts, which is quite lame really, but captures my instinctive visual association with the famous cover design of Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ album, as designed by Peter Saville. Some have termed them 2.5D charts, others horizon graphs, but whatever the name I feel they offer a neat spatial solution to highlight the peaks of change over time when you have many concurrent series/categories to display, with opacity helping overcome any occlusion caused by intrusive shaped values. They have been deployed in different ways to show patterns of insults, the evolution of scientific impact, and for plotting the peaks of political support across America.

9. Map Containers

The visualisation work produced by the Washington Post this year has been particularly exceptional, even for them. With as broad an array of different techniques being used as you can almost imagine, (including rare sightings in the wild of things like the Marimekko), one approach I have seen them use on several occasions (here, here and here) has been a variation on the grid map/tile map whereby the individual geographic containers have hosted smaller charts. The ‘container’ attribute is without question my favourite encoding device of the year (try it! it can be quite liberating to not be bound by axis scales) and I really like this approach that blends the advantages of small multiples with the best-fit properties of geographical layout.

10. The NYT’s Composite ‘PhotoVizzes’

(“Oh, he’s profiling the Washington Post and New York Times again”. Yes I am, shut up, make your own list!) With the dominance of the US election coverage it is easy to forget the breadth and quality of visualisation-based reporting of the Rio Olympics by the New York Times. Feast your eyes on this surely-2017-award-winning collection of work that, again, sees them innovating in staggering new ways. I loved the devilishly simple but compelling interactive that randomly simulates how fast an Olympian could travel from your house to nearby locations based on the distances of their specialist events. It makes you feel super slow and inferior as a fellow human being but that’s ok. The works I most loved, however, were the composite ‘photoviz’ style stories showing the key stages of a race or performance in a single merged, annotated photo image.

Special mentions…

Here are the other highlights from the second half of 2016 that deserve a special mention:

Information+ Conference | A brand new conference for 2016, this was one of the few events I attended so am biased but I thought it offered a super blend of speakers that few others have attempted. Robert Kosara has a nice selection of some of the headline talks

The Great Animal Orchestra | This is such a wonderfully absorbing experience, developed by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain unveiling “the mysteries of the acoustic harmony of the animal kingdom, offering an unprecedented interactive experience that reveals the ecology of the soundscape and the forces behind it”

Chart Chooser/Flash Cards | I include these developments – packs of custom designed cards to assist in selecting different visaulisation methods – with a mixture of envy and satisfaction because I too was in the early stages of working on such a thing but Stephanie and Jon/Severino (and collaborators) beat me to it! However, they have done a great job and I’m sure they will be successfully adopted by many

A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature | A typically exceptional explainer from Randall Munroe showing the disturbing story of the increasing temperature

Orchestra guide | Technically from May but I only came across this (I think!) during the second half of the year, an excellent visual device used to help guide audiences of the Toronto Symphony Orchestera through the music being performed

(Translated) ‘Berlin-Marathon 2016 – Your city is going fast’ | A super nice animation simulating runners of the Berlin marathon working their way round the course at the range of different speeds you would expect

Income Inequality maps | Stunning large prints 3D maps created by Herwig Scherabon visualises income inequality in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York

Best of the visualisation web… November 2016

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from November 2016.

Visualisations & Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Washington Post | Inevitably, plenty of US election related visualisations this month, which I’ve covered in part elsewhere, so a few different ones… ‘Americans like XXX more than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump’

Twitter | Perhaps the moment when the course of history was inverted

Bloomberg | ’58 Ways The Race Was Called’

Washington Post | ‘Bringing America together: Find the closest place that voted the opposite of where you live.’

New York Times | ‘Could Trump Really Deport Millions of Unauthorized Immigrants?’

Quartz | ‘10,000 words ranked according to their Trumpiness’

Washington Post | ‘How Trump won the presidency with razor-thin margins in swing states’

ProPublica | ‘Lost Cause: Seeing America Through the Losing Candidates’ Map’

Twitter | ‘Not sure there will ever be a more enduring chart…’

New York Times | ‘The Two Americas of 2016’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘No, Voter Turnout Wasn’t Way Down From 2012’

Twitter | ‘The Post’s A1, as it was developed.’

WSJ | ‘An Animated View of Election Night’

Washington Post | ‘Remix the Election: The results in sound’

Bloomberg | ‘The Bloomberg Politics Poll Decoder’

ProPublica | This was a great idea, ‘Electionland: Monitoring access to the vote in real time.’

LA Times | ‘The last time California tried to legalize weed it failed. What happened?’

Lisa Charlotte Rost | ‘The US Election 2016 in Popular Votes’

Arnold Platon | ‘What if: The EU had presidential elections like the USA’

The Rhythm of Food | ‘How do we search for food? Google search interest can reveal key food trends over the years.’

YouTube | ‘Is a scientific career predictable?’

Volkskrant | ‘1,000 Dagen Plastic’/’1,000 Days of plastic’

Nesta | ‘Bacteria vs. Antibiotics: The fight against antibiotic resistance across Europe’

Hilltop Analytics | ‘Football Analysts on Twitter: Visualisation of follower / following network for football analysis accounts on Twitter’

wbkd GitHub | A curated list of ‘the most outstanding examples of visual and interactive journalism’

Poynter | ‘Here’s (some of) the best political journalism of 2016’

Washington Post | ‘Map: The remarkable distances you can travel on a European train in less than a day’

Reddit | ‘Orientation of international borders by continent’

Elephant Atlas | Visualising ‘The Great Elephant Census’

Swiss Info | ‘The complete history of every No. 1 male tennis player’

Polygraph | ‘Twenty years of the NBA: Redrafted’

Robert Manduca | ‘Where Are The Jobs? Employment in America, 2014’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

New York Times | ‘There Are Many Ways to Map Election Results. We’ve Tried Most of Them.’

Cartonerd | and partly in response… ‘today’s HUGE map in the New York Times warrants some cartonerd attention’

Washington Post | More discussions about maps… ‘Election maps are telling you big lies about small things’

The Engine Room | ‘Dangerous data: The role of data collection in genocides’

Election Data | ‘How do you feel? Don’t ask.’

Stats in the Wild | ‘Silver wins Gold: Ranking the poll aggregators in the 2016 presidential election’

5W Blog | ‘The best world map projection?’

The Functional Art | ‘Now more than ever: Call out data and visualization bullshit’

Wired | ‘Trump’s Win Isn’t the Death of Data—It Was Flawed All Along’

FastCo Design | ‘What Designers Should Do Now’

HBR | ‘Why It’s So Hard for Us to Visualize Uncertainty’

FastCo Design | Some interesting points in this piece despite the unnecessary snarling tone, ‘Why We Had No Idea Trump Would Win: The data failed to predict Trump, and the design didn’t help.’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, academic papers, development opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Fell in Love With Data | ’11 (Papers + Talks) Highlights from IEEE VIS’16′

Nature | ‘Cognitive and psychological science insights to improve climate change data visualization’ by Jordan Harold, Irene Lorenzoni, Thomas F. Shipley & Kenny R. Coventry

Darkhorse Analytics | ‘Data looks better naked: Maps edition’

Learning D3 | ‘Master D3 From the Ground Up: Learn how to build unique and interactive visualizations from scratch’

YouTube | ‘FiveThirtyEight’s data journalism workflow with R’

Darkhorse Analytics | ‘Visualization is not a straight path from vision to reality’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new/new-to-me sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Rock the VizComm | ‘Charting the Chartists: A 2016 Survey of Data Visualization Professionals’

Information is Beautiful Awards | A compilation of the 2016 award winners

Amazon | New Book: ‘Applying Color Theory to Digital Media and Visualization’ by Theresa-Marie Rhyne

Art Lab | Exhibition: ‘Datasquare, immersion into the big data’

Medium | ‘Dear Data has been acquired by MoMA, but this isn’t what we are most excited about.’

Uber GitHub | ‘deck.gl is a WebGL-powered framework for visual exploratory data analysis of large datasets.’

Telegraph | New to me, the Telegraph’s dedicated page for the collection of their team’s data journalism work

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Time | Time’s collection of 100 of the most influential photographs ever taken

A.I Experiments | ‘Introducing A.I. Experiments: Explore machine learning by playing with pictures, language, music, code, and more.’

Guardian | ‘Dictionary of 50,000 surnames and their origins published’

Figs | ‘Datalegreya is a typeface which can interweave data curves with text.’

Mousarris | ‘The ‘wave city’ coffee table bends a landscape of buildings in half, using the overlapping surface as the tabletop.’

WZ Chen | ‘The Only Probability Cheatsheet You’ll Ever Need’

Best of the visualisation web… October 2016

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from October 2016.

Visualisations & Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Washington Post | ‘100 years of hurricanes hitting and missing Florida, visualized’

Tableau Public | ‘Back with another one of those block rocking streets’ by Jonni Walker

C82 | ‘Colors of the Rails: Every color of every line of every metro system’

The Economist | ‘Greying of the Nobel laureates’

@dsparks | ‘A century of presidential elections, in one GIF’

VizWiz | ‘Fix It Friday: Ten Alternatives Methods for Presenting Alcohol Consumption in OECD Countries’

Data Remixed | … and coincidentally Ben has a piece here including ’10 Ways of Visualizing 2013 UK Exports’

Polygraph | ‘How news media covers Trump and Clinton: Analyzing 12,147 images of the candidates.’

C82 | ‘Seeing music’

Washington Post | ‘Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong’

Column Five Media | ’40 examples of beautiful annual report design’

Reddit | ‘My Shower Temperature per Angle of the Handle’

Washington Post | ‘Most of Trump’s charts skew the data. And not always in his favor.’

MH Infographics | ‘Nerd facts: Asian American population’

Future Ocean | ‘Next Generation: Interactive scientific poster’

Petr Devaikin | Petr’s porfolio page showing some nice work

Medium | ‘New images of complex microbiome environments visualized by Berkeley Metagenomics Lab and Stamen Design.’

Polygraph | ‘The Entire History of Kickstarter Projects, Broken Down by City’

Anthony Veyssiere | ‘The Story of Music: An interactive visualization of the music charts history by genres’

Washington Post | ‘The Top 100 players for the 2016-17 NBA season’

New York Times | ‘Trump Has Spent a Fraction of What Clinton Has on Ads’ (logged particularly because I reckon this is their first streamgraph since ‘Ebb and Flow’)

Urban Demographics | ‘Visualizing the space-time geography of flow data’

Barabasi Lab | ‘Career Paths: Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Spatial.ly | ‘7 Deadly Sins of (Academic) Data Visualisation’

Eager Eyes | ‘A Decade of EagerEyes’ (congratulations Robert!)

FT | ‘A love of maps should mean using fewer to illustrate data better’

Dice | ‘Edward Tufte on Data Visualizations and Art’

Wired | ‘Electoral Maps All Look a Little Different. Here’s Why’

Elijah Meeks | ‘Generating palettes the old-fashioned way’

Questions in Dataviz | ‘Is it OK to steal?’

Medium | ‘Knowledge is More Than a Point of Data’

John Grimwade | ‘Nigel Holmes on humor: A warmer approach to infographics’

Flowing Data | ‘Shorten the Visualization Path Back to Reality’

Journalism | ‘Washington Post series on border barriers aims to break the mould of digital storytelling’

Nieman Lab | ‘Why aren’t local newsrooms innovating digitally? Because the goat must be fed’

FT | ‘Why the FT creates so few clickable graphics’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, academic papers, development opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Steve Haroz | Paper: ‘The Connected Scatterplot for Presenting Paired Time Series’ by Steve Haroz, Robert Kosara, Steven Franconeri

Dropbox | Poster: ‘The power of maps to (mis)communicate: A case study of forecaster’s versus the public’s interpretation of hurricane track maps’ by Gina Eosco

GitHub | ‘This repository contains a selection of campaign speeches given by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.’

Medium | ‘HindSight: Encouraging Exploration and Engagement in Data Visualization’

Maarten Lambrechts | ‘How I built a scraper to measure activity of MPs and got a scatter plot in the newspaper’

Hackernoon | ‘How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016’

Distill | ‘How to Use t-SNE Effectively’

GitHub | The FT’s ‘Visual Vocabulary’ poster

Fell in Love With Data | ‘InfoVis Course Diary: Update on Class Flipping’

Kosara | Paper: ‘An Empire Built On Sand: Reexamining What We Think We Know About Visualization’ by Robert Kosara

UW Interactive Data Lab | Paper: ‘Vega-Lite: A Grammar of Interactive Graphics’ by Arvind Satyanarayan, Dominik Moritz, Kanit Wongsuphasawat, Jeffrey Heer’

Doing Data | ‘Variables in Tableau : Discrete and Continuous (Part I)’

aviz | ‘This site contains links to interactive demos, websites, evaluation data, and other complementary material about research presented at the IEEE VIS conference, Oct 2016, in Baltimore’

Google Docs | Talk: ‘Glitch as a Generative Design Process’ by Romain Vuillemot and Samuel Huron

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new/new-to-me sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Evergreen Data | ‘Announcing Chart Chooser Cards’

Amazon | New book: ‘Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse , and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide’ by Josh Katz

Esri | ‘ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud Gives Photoshop and Illustrator Users Direct Access to Esri Content’

Guerilla Analytics | New Book: ‘Guerrilla Analytics: A Practical Approach to Working with Data’ by Enda Ridge

The Big Book of Dashboards | Announcing a new book: ‘The Big Book of Dashboards’ by Steve Wexler, Jeffrey Shaffer, Andy Cotgreave

Where the Animals Go | New book: ‘Where the Animals Go’, by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti

Good Design Award | ‘Outline of the Good Design Award winners 2016’

5W Blog | New book: ‘LOOK INSIDE: Cutaway Illustrations and Visual Storytelling’ by Samuel and Juan Velasco

TextTile | ‘An Interactive Visualization Tool for Seamless Exploratory Analysis of Structured Data and Unstructured Text’

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Mashable | ‘Admit it: Microsoft is now a braver, more innovative company than Apple’

New York Times | ‘As Crime in the Subway Comes Down, Signs From an Earlier Era Do Too’

Wired | ‘Barack Obama: Now Is the Greatest Time to Be Alive’ (Remember, this was in October…)

TechCrunch | ‘Google and Monotype unveil the Noto Project’s unified font for all languages’

Creative Bloq | ‘Google shares its toolkit for creating beautiful design’

Wired | ’16 Ways to Design a Better Intersection—And Better Cities’

Twitter | ‘6,000 words of Trump insults in today’s NYT. Recommended user experience: read them all, left to right, on a copy you bought yourself’

Twitter | ‘Pretty cool ad design for a kitchen’

Twitter | ‘A page of text where I have removed the words so you can just enjoy the punctuation.’

Reddit | ‘What if the largest countries had the biggest population?’

John McIntyre | ‘Our vanishing heritage: Some terms — hardly an exhaustive list — retrieved from newspaper lingo before these endangered print artefacts vanish like the passenger pigeon and the copy editor.’

Best of the visualisation web… September 2016

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from September 2016.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Transit Oriented | ‘Mini metros’, creating small simplified metro map icons

Harvard Medical School | ‘The Evolution of Bacteria on a “Mega-Plate” Petri Dish’

Blocks | …and here’s a simulation of the ‘antibiotic resistance’ shown in the video above

TwentyTwoWords | ‘Keyboard as a 3-D bar graph showing how frequently each letter is used’

ESA | ‘Star Mapper: A visualisation based on data from the European Space Agency’s Hipparcos star mapper’

XKCD | ‘A timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature’

Financial Times | ‘A visual history of women’s tennis’

BBC | ‘Journey to the centre of the Earth’ – project developed for the BBC by ‘Beyond Words Studio’

Road Trees | ‘The Roads of USA’

Morgenpost | [Translated] ‘Berlin-Marathon 2016 – Your city is going fast’

EagerEyes | Nice new website feature, the ‘Interactive Blog Calendar’

Bloomberg | ‘Decoding Big Pharma’s Secret Drug Pricing Practices’

Visualeyed | ‘Plastic Garbage Islands: Some facts about a world’s production that’s harming our Oceans. And us.’

YouTube | ‘Profiling the Parks is a data-driven, hand drawn exploration of the US National Parks by RJ Andrews’

Adventures in Mapping | ‘Recruitment Neighbourhoods: The Overlapping Turf of the Top 25 College Football Programs’

Umbel | Lots of different ways of visualising the Presidential debates (can’t show them all) but I really like this expressive approach showing the frequency, split and duration of each speaker speaking

Vox | … and here’s a nice visual summary how ‘Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spent most of the debate not answering the questions’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘What Would It Take To Turn States?’

Creative Review | ‘How the Toronto Symphony Orchestra uses graphic design to guide audiences’

Todd W Schneider | ‘The Simpsons by the Data: Analysis of 27 seasons of Simpsons data reveals the show’s most significant side characters, a pattern of patriarchy, declining TV ratings, and more’

New York Times | ‘A Sharp Increase In ‘Sunny Day’ Flooding’

The Upshot | This began in September but has grown somewhat, ‘The 282 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List’

New York Times | ‘The Most Detailed Map of Gay Marriage in America’

World Economic Forum | ‘This visualization shows you 24 hours of global air traffic – in just 4 seconds’

Twitter | ‘Here’s another way of looking at Jeremy Corbyn’s first 12 months compared to other Labour leaders’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Scientific American | ‘Visualizing Polls: A playful, explorable explanation demonstrates the impact of chance on poll results’

NKB | ‘Data-Driven Journalism in a post-truth public sphere’

The Guardian | ‘How algorithms rule our working lives’

The Design Team | ‘How to pretend you’re a great designer’

John Grimwade | ‘When infographic dinosaurs roamed the Earth’

National Geographic | ‘How Mapmakers Make Mountains Rise Off the Page’

Medium | ‘One for the books: information design in the real world’

3danim8 | ‘How To Achieve Better Data Comprehension, Part 1’

John Grimwade | ‘The Hollywood effect: How movies influence the real world of Information Design’

Info We Trust | …and kind of linked, ‘DataViz in the Movies’

Trifacta | ‘Tableau Software from the Early Days: Tableau’s first intern reflects’

Stats Bomb | ‘New Tech and a little story about Neymar, Andros, and Eden Hazard’

The Atlantic | ‘The Age of Entanglement: Why humans should think about technology the way field biologists examine the living world’

Design | ‘Lena Groeger on Discrimination By Design’

Wired | ‘Tech giants team up to fix typography’s biggest problem’

Reddit | ‘Orientation of international borders by continent’

Medium | Remember when Brexit was the most prominent unbelievable thing a huge population of people voted for? ‘Brexit — a story in maps’. Such innocent times.

BBC | ‘Getting a sense of statistics – by eating them’

Medium | ‘Designing for Other (Than Straight, White, Rich Men)’

Robin Kwong | ‘What history can tell us about the future of interactive journalism’

Journalism | ‘Journalism jobs of the near future, according to Amy Webb’

The Upshot | ‘We Gave Four Good Pollsters the Same Raw Data. They Had Four Different Results.’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, resources, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Lisa Charlotte Rost | ‘How I Feel When I Learn To Code’

PolicyViz | ‘Where to Position the Y-Axis Label’

Fell In Love With Data | ‘InfoVis Course Diary: Flipping My Class and Other Innovations’

Clear Science | An occasional reminder of the backlog of ‘Points of View’ columns published in Nature Methods

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Juxtapose | Useful tool I’m sure for some: ‘JuxtaposeJS helps storytellers compare two pieces of similar media, including photos, and GIFs’

Tilegrams | Super nice resource from Pitch Interactive providing a means for creating custom tiled maps (of the USA)

The Slow Journalism Company | ‘Delayed Gratification is the world’s first Slow Journalism magazine’

PowerBI | ‘Announcing ArcGIS Maps for Power BI by Esri (Preview)’

Vimeo | Short video about the exhibition ‘Everyda(y)ta’ – “From statistics to user-generated content, guest curator Thomas Clever (CLEVERºFRANKE) selected an international and current overview of innovative data visualization”

Austin Clemens | ‘Playfair: an open source web app for creating annotated charts’

UnDark | ‘Climate Data for the Masses’

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

BBC | ‘How Britain’s rural routes are mapped’

Better Humans | ‘Cognitive bias cheat sheet. Because thinking is hard.’

YouTube | ‘Where the “comic book font” came from’

The Guardian | ‘How to stay happy when the sky is falling in’

The Guardian | ‘David Hockney on what turns a picture into a masterpiece’

Twitter | ‘The spines of these books are arranged to look like a map of the UK. The titles also have the names of nearby cities’

Washington Post | ‘What life is really like in “America’s worst place to live”‘

Best of the visualisation web… August 2016

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from August 2016.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

WSJ | ‘A Field Guide to Red and Blue America’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Who will win the presidency?’ – here’s the flagship 538 viz for this election

Polygraph | ‘The songs and technique of famed DJ Grandmaster Flash’

Data Sketches | A 12 month collaboration between Nadieh and Shirley ‘Each month, we choose a topic and aim to have a visualization completed by the end of the month.’

New York Times | ‘Decisive Moments at the Rio Olympics, Frame By Frame’

Smoky Mountains | ‘The Fall Foliage Prediction Map: 2016 edition’

New York Times | ‘From the Slowest Swim to the Fastest Bike, Gold Medal Racing Speeds on the Same Scale’

AESM Physiotherapy | ‘Youngest and oldest olympic gold medalists’

The Guardian | ‘How Katie Ledecky obliterated her own world record in the 400m freestyle’ (See whole series, links at the bottom)

ONS | ‘Save the date: Looking at marriage registrations in more detail, by month and by date, shows some interesting patterns.’

New York Times | All their Rio 2016 Interactive Stories in one place…

New York Times | …but I must highlight one of my favourites: ‘Olympic Races, in Your Neighborhood’

Cool Green Science | ‘Migration in Motion: Visualizing Species Movements Due to Climate Change’

PLOS One | Paper: ‘Innovative Visualizations Shed Light on Avian Nocturnal Migration’ (multiple authors)

SRF | (Translated) ‘Thanks to a new survey method linguists have first evaluated the speech habits of around 670,000 German people.’

Swim Swam | ‘Was there a problem with the Rio pool?’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Medium | ‘About Trump’s hands… Are they really that tiny? We do the stats!’

Ann K Emery | ‘How the sketching process works’

Guardian | ‘Can you get to know a person through data alone?’

Medium | ‘Data design & comics — What Alan Moore and the red thread can teach us about information design’

Source | ‘How we rebuilt the Wall Street Journal’s graphics team’

ProPublica | ‘Looks Can Kill: The Deadly Results of Flawed Design’

Michael Babwahsingh | ‘Saving Information Design History: Part 2’ (with link in there to Part 1)

FT | ‘Simple techniques for bridging the graphics language gap’

EagerEyes | Grumpy Kosara Part 1: ‘Stacked Bars Are the Worst’

EagerEyes | Grumpy Kosara Part 2: ‘The Repetitive and Boring History of Visualization’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, resources, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

D3 in Depth | ‘D3 in Depth (by the excellent Peter Cook) aims to bridge the gap between introductory tutorials/books and the official documentation.’

Google Sheets | ‘This spreadsheet tracks the items published in Data Is Plural, a weekly newsletter highlighting useful and curious datasets’

Medium | ‘Design Better Data Tables’

Vimeo | Paolo Ciuccarelli’s talk from Eyeo Festival 2016 ‘The Poetics of Data Experiences (and How to Teach it)’

Questions in DataViz | ‘How should you prepare a visualisation project?’ (Perhaps a shameless inclusion because Neil references my book extensively but very nice to see it in practice)

Poynter | ‘How The New York Times used its archives to make the past a (virtual) reality’

ONS | ‘In a relationship – it’s complicated: A strategy for choosing the right chart.’

Facebook | From 2014 but worth another bump ‘Methods for Exploratory Media Analysis’ by Lev Manovich

YouTube | ‘News Lab Data Visualization Round Up with Alberto Cairo August 2016’

ProPublica | ‘Here are all of the materials we used to teach the 2016 ProPublica Data Institute: slides, exercises, links, and homework.’

Ben Collins | ‘Recreating Tufte’s famous weather chart with Google Sheets and Charts API’

Oceanography | ‘True Colors of Oceanography: Guidelines for Effective and Accurate Colormap Selection’

ViljamiS | ‘Typography for User Interfaces’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Kyrandale | New book: ‘Data visualization with Python and JavaScript’ by Kyran Dale

Mapbox | ‘Announcing the Mapbox Studio dataset editor’

John Grimwade | New blog! If you had a wish list of people who you would want to see starting a blog, John would be in the top 5

Winning With Analytics | New Blog by Dr Bill Gerrard on the use of analytics in sport

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

New York Times | ‘Can You Beat Usain Bolt Out of the Blocks?’…

FT | … as well as ‘On Your Marks! Can you react faster than an Olympic athlete?’

Variance Explained | ‘Text analysis of Trump’s tweets confirms he writes only the (angrier) Android half’

Robert Grant Stats | ‘Want some data that look a certain way or have certain stats, but don’t have the time to look for a suitable data set or write a program to simulate it? Draw it’

Mewo2 | ‘Generating fantasy maps’

Lisa Rost | ‘How I Feel When I Have A Conversation’

Font Squirrel | ‘Upload an image with type and we’ll identify the fonts that match.’

New York Times | ‘Driving tips: How You Can Help Limit Traffic Jams’

c82 | ‘National Parks Posters: Celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service with beautifully detailed posters of every park.’

Mother Jones | ‘This Is What’s Missing From Journalism Right Now’

The Verge | ‘Welcome to Airspace: How Silicon Valley helps spread the same sterile aesthetic across the world’

Best of the visualisation web… July 2016

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from July 2016.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

LA Times | ‘Pitch by pitch: How Clayton Kershaw dominates hitters’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Gun Deaths in America’

Instagram | Mona Chalabi’s handdrawn data sketches (via EagerEyes)

Washington Post | ‘How Fox News fans keep Donald Trump afloat’ (includes a Marimekko chart, rarely spotted in the wild)

Project Linework | ‘A library of handcrafted vector linework for cartography, each designed in a unique aesthetic style.’

Ventusky | Another beautiful real-time portrayal of meteorological patterns across the globe (not super thrilled about the colours but I’ll get over it)

UC Lab | ‘City Flows – Comparative visualisation of urban bike mobility’

New York Times | ‘Who Will Be President?’ – the updated, live reporting on how likely the end of civilisation is

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Hip-Hop Is Turning On Donald Trump’

Thematic Mapping | ‘A range of exemplar maps to demonstrate the use of different thematic mapping approaches.’

The Intercept | ‘How the U.S. Trains the World’s Security Forces’

Facebook | Marking the two billionth Uber ride

PewResearchCenter | ‘Republican voters’ path to backing Donald Trump’

Washington Post | ‘A visual history of Donald Trump dominating the news cycle’

Adventures in Mapping | ‘Five Years of Drought’

MFViz | ‘This is an attempt to visually explain the core concepts of the Central Limit Theorem’

New York Times | ‘Hillary Clinton Broke One Glass Ceiling. When Were Others Broken?’

Bloomberg | ‘London Property Sales Fall Back to 2009 Levels’

The Guardian | ‘The new Republican center of gravity’

New York Times | ‘‘Stronger Together’ and ‘I Am Your Voice’ — How the Nominees’ Convention Speeches Compare’

FlowingData | ‘Most Common Family Types in America’

Ordnance Survey | ‘Britain’s most popular routes’

Washington Post | ‘Inside the echo chamber: The common rhetoric of the 2016 Republican National Convention’

Le Grand Orchestra Des Animaux | ‘The Great Animal Orchestra’ is exactly what you want something with that name to be

The Guardian | ‘Where is the riskiest place to live?’

Shirley Wu | ‘Film flowers: Top summer blockbusters reimagined as flowers’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Math With Bad Drawings | ‘Why Not to Trust Statistics’

The Functional Art | ‘Talking about visualization with John Burn-Murdoch’

VizCandy | ‘Where Does Inspiration Come From?’

Data Assist | ‘How not to visualize like a racist (Data viz designing across cultures)’

Eager Eyes | ‘The Bits Are Rotting in the State of Data Journalism’

Steven G Braun | ‘We are not null’

Storybench | ‘How the Guardian used pixel art mini Trumps, Bernies and other candidates to display election results’

Stats, Maps n Pix | ‘From CartoDB to CARTO – the future of interactive mapping?’

The Verge | ‘Why are Republicans red and Democrats blue?’

ProPublica | ‘5 Things I Learned Making a Chart Out of Body Parts’

DataRemixed | ‘Building a thriving data visualization community’

Questions in Dataviz | ‘Speed or substance?’

FT | ‘Communicating with data — How the FT explained Brexit’

Pappubahry | ‘The rectangularness of countries’

Data Assist | ‘Most People Have More Than The Average Number Of Feet’

ProPublica | ‘Set It and Forget It: How Default Settings Rule the World’

Ensia | (Linked to the last article) ‘From air conditioning to urban planning, defaults and standards create dysfunction by design’

FastCo Design | ‘How To Use Color To Prove Your Point, From A Data Viz Expert’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, resources, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

The Functional Art | Alberto’s video tutorials & resources, linked to the design of several of the graphs and maps showcased in The Truthful Art

After The Flood | Describing some of the behind-the-scenes thinking for the ‘Citizen Ex’ project

FiveThirtyEight | (Linked to the piece listed above) ‘How We Charted Trump’s Fall From Grace In Hip-Hop’

District Data Labs | ‘Time Maps: Visualizing Discrete Events Across Many Timescales’

The Guardian | ‘Our nine-point guide to spotting a dodgy statistic’

Interworks | A collection of useful web data connectors for Tableau

Misc Magazine | ‘Q&A with Catherine D’Ignazio’

Tableau | ‘How We Designed the New Color Palettes in Tableau 10’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

DataRemixed | ‘A First Look at Google Data Studio’

Mearso | Detailed reviews of UK university logos

Carto | ‘Introducing Carto Builder: A new way to analyze and visualize location data’

Medium | ‘Sightline is an automatic data visualization collection and discovery service that leverages the rich visualization ecosystem of the internet and puts it in one place’

Amazon | New Book: ‘New Scientist: The Origin of (almost) Everything’
by New Scientist, Graham Lawton, and illustrated by Jennifer Daniel

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Brian B’s Climate Blog | Love this attempt to travel around North America pursuing a constant temperature – ’70°F Road Trip’

Morgenpost | ‘Huh! for Iceland’

QZ | ‘The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule’

The Guardian | ‘How technology disrupted the truth’

Quesabesde | ‘Ornitografías’ (Site in Spanish but contains some lovely abstract images formed by bird flight patterns)

NY Mag | ‘The Marshall Project’s Bill Keller on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media’

Best of the visualisation web… June 2016

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from June 2016.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Salmon Explorer | ‘A data-driven look at salmon habitat and populations’

Guardian | Great scrutinising of different Brexit/remain related claims ‘Brexit: how can the same statistics be read so differently?’

Guardian | …unfortunately it didn’t help swing the vote, here are the EU referendum results in full

Tampa Bay Times | A haunting but brilliant 3D journey around the scene of the Orland shootings

New York Times | ‘Watch the Orlando Shooting Story Take Shape’ – how the NYT front page changed during the course of the developing story

NZZ | ‘All Euro 2016 matches, Visualised Mondrian-style’

Google Transparency Project | ‘Google’s Revolving Door Explorer (US)’

WSJ | ‘How does ‘Hamilton,’ the non stop, hip-hop Broadway sensation tap rap’s master rhymes to blur musical lines?’

After The Flood | Developing the ‘UEFA Euro 2016 Player Barometer’

Under the Raedar | ‘City Footprints’ looking at commuting patterns into UK cities

Interworks | ‘Politics Viz Contest: Plotting Political Polarization’

Pollyvote | Tracking voting patterns and predictions for the US Presidential Election 2016′

WSJ | ‘Setting the Pace: The Fed Acts, Markets Move’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Who will win the presidency?’

R Graph Gallery | Exactly as the site title suggests, a gallery, of graphs, made using R and with the associated code

De Tijd | ‘The Oracle of De Tijd predicts the Euros’

New York Times | Big interactive that let’s you look in fine detail at the patterns of voting by different demographic groups in the 2012 and 2004 US elections.

Lisa Charlotte Rost | ‘Which Cities Are On Similar Latitudes?’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Perceptual Edge | ‘Data Visualization Lite’ – a ringing non-endorsement of contemporary data visualisation books by Mr Few

Excel Charts | … a response from Jorge – ‘Get off my shoulders, said the giant’

Bocoup | ‘Building a Better Lyra’

The Functional Art | ‘There is no “perfect” visualization, but some are more appropriate than others’

Justin O’Beirne | ‘Cartography comparison: Google maps and Apple maps’

FT | Latest piece from Alan Smith, The Chart Doctor, ‘Communicating with data – timelines’

Excel Charts | ‘Excel vs. Tableau vs. PowerBI’

DigitalHO | ‘Interactive health data visualization approaches: good practices and examples’

Information Architects | An essay on icons

Rud.is | ‘On Whether Y-axis Labels Are Always Necessary’

University of Utah | ‘POEMAGE: A Visualization Tool in Support of Close Reading’

SignalvNoise | ‘Real-time dashboards considered harmful’

Medium | ‘The Coming Age of Calm Technology’

The Functional Art | ‘Defying conventions in visualization: Should time always be on the horizontal axis?’

Periscopic | ‘The Shadow of Data’

HBR | ‘Visualizations That Really Work’

Medium | ‘What’s False About True Color’

Vis4.net | ‘Why we didn’t use a cartogram in the Brexit map’

ProPublica | ‘Too Human (Not) to Fail: How design keeps you from screwing up and prevents disaster when you do.’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, resources, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

UW Interactive Data Lab | Paper: Interesting study about techniques for visualising uncertainty ‘When (ish) is My Bus? User-centered Visualizations of Uncertainty in Everyday, Mobile Predictive Systems’

ResearchGate | Paper: ‘An Exploratory Visualization Tool for Mapping the Relationships between Animal Movement and the Environment’

Eager Eyes | ‘An Illustrated Tour of the Pie Chart Study Results’

SITE | Paper: Many interesting snippets from this student paper from 1994 by Pam Lott ‘Informational Graphics: Are non-lead visual displays beneficial to the reader?’

Source | ‘How we made “Make it Stop”‘ looking at the Boston Globe’s statement on gun control

Simon Rogers | ‘How we made a VR data visualization’

Storybench | ‘How the Financial Times built a story on invasive insects that buzzes with interactivity’

DB Vis | Paper: ‘SpaceCuts: Making Room for Visualizations on Maps’

PLOS | Paper: ‘Beyond Bar and Line Graphs: Time for a New Data Presentation Paradigm’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Github | Release of D3.js v4.0.0

Stats Life | ‘Statistical Excellence in Journalism awards 2016 – winners’

WWD | ‘The New York Times Looks to Visual Journalism for Growth’

Nieman Lab | ‘The Telegraph is trying to streamline soccer live blogging with an automated graphic system’

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Xerox | ’35 Interface Innovations that Rocked Our World’

Tulp Interactive | Make custom, generative spirographs

FiveThirtyEight | ‘The 25 Most Rewatchable Movies Of All Time’

The Verge | ‘The Internet of Things has a dirty little secret: it’s not really yours’

10 significant visualisation developments: January to June 2016

To mark each mid-year and end-of-year milestone I take a reflective glance over the previous 6-month period in the data visualisation field and compile a collection of some of the most significant developments. These are the main projects, events, new sites, trends, personalities and general observations that have struck me as being important to help further the development of this field or are things I simply liked a great deal. Here’s the full compilation of all my collections.

At the end of last year I published a collection for the latter 6 months of 2015 and now I’d like to reflect on the first 6 months of 2016. I look forward to hearing from you with suggestions for the developments you believe have been most significant.

And so, as ever, in no particular order…

1. Climate spirals

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Produced by Dr Ed Hawkins, Climate scientist at the University of Reading, this animated spiral plot of global temperatures since 1850 to date went viral on social media, providing what some observers described as the most compelling illustration of the dramatic changes in our climate.

2. PolicyViz podcast

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Whilst the PolicyViz podcast, hosted by Jon Schwabish, has been going for over a year, I feel it is has really established deserved prominence across the field over the past 6 months in particular. Jon is a natural, charismatic host and interviewer and he has developed a terrific rhythm, both within the episodes – through the style, angle and pace of the conversations – and between episodes – skilfully navigating around his Rolodex of contacts to cover the field’s diversity from all angles. He’s also landed some major names rarely heard elsewhere, with appearances from Edward Tufte and William Cleveland to mention just a couple. At roughly 20/25 minutes in length it offers a bite-sized companion to the enduringly popular Data Stories episodes that tend to be closer to 60 minutes in duration.

3. Lisa Rost

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Lisa is a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellow in the NPR visuals team, based in Washington, DC. Whilst I’ve been aware of Lisa and her work long before this recent period, it is certainly over this last 6-months that she has become increasingly prolific and visible in her contributions to discourse around the subject. Just two contrasting examples of her outputs include (1) a truly wonderful piece of work comparing the task of creating the same chart in 12 different tools and using 12 different libraries and (2) during her time at NPR she is blogging every single day about her work. I also loved this comparison of the latitudes of notable cities across the planet’s continents.

4. Polygraph

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Polygraph is not new to me but I feel the quality and ‘interestingness’ (genuine word) of work emerging from Matt Daniels and his team of collaborators during 2016 has been really superb. The purpose of Polygraph is to offer “a publication that incites water cooler discussion about complex topics”. What separates their from many others, in my opinion, is the clarity of the core curiosities that drive their fascinating array of data-driven investigations into subjects around popular culture, looking into subjects like the evolution of music taste, Hollywood’s gender divide and its effects on films and the most timeless songs of all time. There is a terrific Data Stories episode 74 profiling and discussing Matt’s work.

5. Lena Groeger’s ‘Visual Evidence’ articles

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For eagle-eyed readers of my site, it will come as no surprise to hear I am a huge fan of Lena Groeger’s thinking around data vis. I’ve celebrated her work in previous review posts (2014, 2015) and have included her again this time because of her excellent new series of astute, long-form ‘Visual Evidence’ articles (Update: Flipboard collection also here) where she goes in to depth about quite niche slices of interest about ‘data and visual design in everyday life’. Put the kettle on, make yourself a cuppa and set aside some time to read them.

6. Spies in the Skies

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This is already an award-winning data journalism project by Peter Aldhous and Charles Seife of Buzzfeed News, analysing the patterns of U.S. government aircraft, piloted by agents of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that routinely take to the skies over American cities. As the project article explains “the government’s airborne surveillance has received little public scrutiny — until now. BuzzFeed News has assembled an unprecedented picture of the operation’s scale and sweep…”. It has justifiably received many plaudits from across the spectrum of commentators for hitting that sweet-spot again of excellence in data handling, compelling angle of investigation and terrific visuals.

7. Makeover Monday

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This has been a super concept developed by Andy Kriebel and Andy Cotgreave based on a weekly challenge to take the data from an existing project and invite the Tableau community to propose makeover redesigns to explore the different potential creative avenues. Over the course of the year it has grown a loyal and committed following of people creating redesigns of works, importantly, in the entirely appropriate spirit of constructive critique rather than unsubstantiated criticism.

8. Pie chart studies

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Co-authored by Robert Kosara and Drew Skau, some important new research about pie charts. “Pie charts? Don’t we know everything about why pie charts are evil and really dumb?”, might be the words uttered by a few. However, this work is really significant because, in response to the question “do we know how we read pie charts? Is it actually angle, as is usually claimed, or is it really arc length or maybe area?”, Robert and Drew discovered that there was no actual research to back up the claims that it was indeed angle. Furthermore, “the common wisdom about how we read these charts is almost certainly wrong, and that things are much more complicated than we thought”. The pair of research papers looked at (1) ‘Arcs, Angles, or Areas: Individual Data Encodings in Pie and Donut Charts’ and (2) ‘Judgment Error in Pie Chart Variations’.

9. Interactive approaches at the (New York) Times, they are a changin’

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When any folks from the New York Times speak, you listen and you learn, but when Archie Tse speaks at Malofiej 24, and the title of his talk is about ‘Why we are doing fewer interactives?‘, you really know it is time to listen and learn. I wasn’t there to watch this talk, let me establish that upfront, but it is clear from the contents that this is something significant. I’m not going to repeat the main takeaways from this, just go through it yourself (it is quite short) and you’ll learn about ‘three rules for visual storytelling’ and the main ways the NYT graphics team are changing their approach to creating the types of experiences their users are clearly demanding/responding to.

10. Data Journalism’s ‘Dirty little secret…’

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On the topic of newspaper based visual journalism, this article by Christopher Ingraham on the Wasington Post’s Wonk Blog really struck a chord with me. It talks about the ‘veneer of authority and objectivity’ that numbers and graphical representations can convey to readers, despite the fact that, as makers of these things, we introduce so many subjective decisions about what to show, what to include and how to show it.

Special mentions…

Here are the other highlights from the first half of 2016 that deserve a special mention:

Kennedy Elliott’s OpenVis talk | Whilst we are discussing the Washington Post, two more special mentions for their work/colleagues. Firstly, this super interesting talk/article created by Kennedy discussing her reflections on investigating ’39 studies about human perception’.

NFL Draft History | Secondly (or should it be thirdly), this incredibly in-depth, highly customisable and hugely varied analysis of the NFL’s draft history.

FT’s changing approach | I already noted the changes and quality of visualisation work coming out of the FT in last year’s 6-monthly review but this is a really nice account, a few months on, of the changes being made, in particular, since the arrival of Alan Smith to the team.

Chriming | Just a beautiful piece of work by Seoul-based Sook Ko visualising bird song through the metaphor of branches, trees and forests.

Nadieh Bremer | Like Lisa, mentioned above, Nadieh is a (self-described) ‘Astronomer-turned-Data-Scientist-turned-self-taught-Data-Visualization-Designer’ who has been very active and visible this year, producing a wide range of fascinating visual projects, tutorials, talks and resources reviews.

WSJ’s Hamilton | A really innovative piece about the musical “Hamilton” and looking at “how some of the most densely packed, complex rhyming lyrics in the history of musicals actuallyl work”.

Nicholas Rougeux | Nicholas is another designer who has really appeared consistently on my radar in recent months with his interesting, inventive and wonderfully elegant visualisation explorations.

Flag Stories | A very simple subject in theory but a super nice and super dense array of visual analysis studying the attributes of the flags of the world, created by Denmark-based studio, ferdio

Tamara Munzner’s new blog | Tamara has started a blog and things are better because of it.

Best of the visualisation web… May 2016

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from May 2016.

Visualisations/Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

Climate Lab | ‘The animated spiral presents global temperature change in a visually appealing and straightforward way.’

New York Times | ’40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today’

Nuclear Secrecy | ‘American Nuclear War Plan, 1956’

athenahealth | ‘A visualization of athenahealth network data’

ABC | ‘Vote Compass is a tool developed by political scientists for exploring how your views align with those of the candidates’

BBC Earth | ‘How much of your body is your own?’

Guardian | Small-multiple grid map of sankeys. (That’s right, you read that correctly)

Polygraph | ‘How music taste evolved’

Washington Post | ‘How the economy is doing this month’

Creative Review | ‘How the Toronto Symphony Orchestra uses graphic design to guide its audiences though its music’

FT | ‘Leicester’s incredible run: Started from the bottom, now they’re here’

Vimeo | ‘Kung Fu Motion Visualization’ by Tobias Gremmler

Guardian | ‘How Leicester City’s triumph compares with other title winners’

Stamen | ‘Introducing the Atlas of Emotions, our new project with the Dalai Lama and Paul & Eve Ekman’

Polygraph | ‘The Universe of Miles Davis: His legacy, represented by every Wikipedia page that mentions him’

Tech Insider | ‘These mind-blowing comparisons put Earth’s true size into perspective’

NASA Earth Observatory | ‘Natural Beauty at Risk: Preparing for Climate Change in National Parks’

Utah.edu | ‘Poemage is a visualization system for exploring the sonic topology of a poem.’

Tableau Public | ‘Look back at US presidential election results from 1920-2012 utilizing a small multiples approach’

Quantified Selfie | ‘Quantified Selfie is a project that explores identity through data’

VeloViewer | ‘Road Orientation Distributions’

New York Times | A new VR project: ‘Set foot on an alien world, three billion miles from the warmth of the sun.’

BSC | ‘Simulados: A documentary around the lives of a prehistoric virtual family trying to survive the moody conditions imposed by the scientists studying them.’

National Geographic | ‘Sizing up sharks, the Lords of the sea’

Swanh | ‘Star Wars Episode IV in one picture’

Tableau Public | ‘What if superheroes visualized data…’

Vimeo | ‘A projected mapped interface for a ping pong table to show data visualisations for trainers and players.’

Flowing Data | ‘The Changing American Diet’

City Lab | ‘Mapping the Incredible Spread of Million-Dollar Homes Across San Francisco’

Five Thirty Eight | ‘The Sumo Matchup Centuries In The Making’

Morgenpost | ‘These are Germany’s greenest cities’

WSJ | ‘What’s Your Pay Gap?’

Flowing Data | ‘Who is Older and Younger than You’

Articles

The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Medium | ’39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes’

Eager Eyes | Helmets on… ‘3D Bar Charts Considered Not That Harmful’

Medium | ‘A guy just transcribed 30 years of for-rent ads. Here’s what it taught us about housing prices’

Eager Eyes | ‘A Pair of Pie Chart Papers’

PolicyViz | ‘An Interview with Jorge Camões’

ProPublica | ‘An Unintended Side Effect of Transparency’

Uber | ‘Engineering intelligence through data visualization at Uber’

DPR Barcelona | ‘Honeycomb City Networks: What if bees had mobile phones?’

Washington Post | ‘How this year’s ‘it’ colors came to be’

ProPublica | ‘How Typography Can Save Your Life’

Nesta | ‘The state of interactive data visualisation’

The Memo | ‘Making big data beautiful’

Medium | ‘Mobile-First News: How People Use Smartphones to Access Information’

Nautilus | ‘Science Should Be Totally Beautiful’

Journalism | ‘How the data team at the FT is moving forward as audiences go mobile’

Vox | ‘The bad map we see every presidential election’

Quartz | ‘The data visualization tweet that made my head explode, and the women who put it back together’

Tiny Letter | ‘The Dataviz Pioneer You’ve Never Heard of’

Scientific American | ‘The Feynman-Tufte Principle: A visual display of data should be simple enough to fit on the side of a van’

The Functional Art | ‘”Our reader” won’t understand something as complicated as that!’

Eager Eyes | ‘The Scrollytelling Scourge’

HBR | ‘Visualizations That Really Work’

Nieman Lab | ‘Want to start a small data journalism team in your newsroom? Here are 8 steps’

The Visual Communication Guy | ‘What Does Your Font Choice Say about You (and your document)?’

Medium | ‘What I learned about doing great data journalism in 3 hours at the New York Times and ProPublica’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, resources, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Ben Collins | ‘Excel tutorial: build a dynamic bump chart of the English Premier League’

Storybench | ‘How to build an interactive county level map like the New York Times’

sirvizalot | ‘How To: Small Multiple Tile Map in Tableau’

Lisa Rost | Brilliant pair of investigations by Lisa Rost, firstly… ‘One Chart, Twelve Tools’

Lisa Rost | …and secondly, ‘One Chart, Twelve Charting Libraries’

Visual Cinnamon | ‘Which books to read to learn more about data visualisation’

Royal College of Art | Paper: ‘Visualising Cultural Data: Exploring Digital Collections Through Timeline Visualisations’, by Florian Kräutli

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

PolicyViz | Details of Jon Schwabish’s upcoming book (available for pre-order) ‘Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks’ which will be great

Exploratory/ | New tool I’ve come across: ‘Exploratory Desktop provides an interactive and reproducible real data wrangling and analysis experience powered by R and visualization.’

St Andrews | ‘iVoLVER (Interactive Visual Language for Visualization Extraction and Reconstruction) is a tool that allows users to create visualizations without textual programming’

Caleydo | ‘Pathfinder is a visual analysis tool for the exploration of paths in large networks that was built with Caleydo Web’

Questions in Dataviz | New site: Always good to see a new data visualisation blog emerge and here’s a new one from Neil Richards

FT | Launch of ‘The Chart Doctor’ a column about visualisation and infographics’

Terrapattern | ‘The alpha version of Terrapattern, a visual search tool for satellite imagery’

iTunes | New podcast (to me): ‘What’s The Point: A show about our data age’ by FiveThirtyEight

Sundries

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Sploid | ‘100 Years of Film History Retold with the Best Shot in Each Year’

Twitter | ‘YouGov surveyed voters on how they think fictional characters would vote in the #EUref…’

Spicytec | ‘Deconstructed buildings looks like Fair-Tale Houses’

Nerdist | ‘Does Sean Bean really die more than other actors?’

Twitter | ‘The next kind of #infographics might need a new kind of page layout. 2D graphics in 3D space, who would have thought’

Vox | ‘I fly 747s for a living. Here are the amazing things I see every day.’

DataPhys | ‘Jller: A Robot Rearranges Pebbles by Geologic Age’

Vimeo | ‘Michael Bay: What is Bayhem’

Quartz | ‘Programmers imagine the most ridiculous ways to enter a phone number into a form’

Guardian | ‘Quiz: can you identify the city from the blank street map?’

Reveal | ‘Image Verification Assistant helps you to analyse the veracity of online media’

xkcd | ‘Guide to figuring out the age of an undated world map’

WSJ | ‘The phrase “the Leicester City of” has appeared in numerous news reports this year…’