14 posts
Tracking her boyfriend on Strava

Elizabeth Barber was in a long-distance relationship, and Strava was a way for her to connect with him. It became a point of anxiety when her boyfriend cycled with someone else more and more often. I was curious, and Strava is a joyless data bank for the insecure. When The Washington Post reported in January that US military bases are visible in the GPS shadows of uniformed Stravites, I was...

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Charts, maps, and statistics helped stop gerrymandering in Pennsylvania

Issie Lapowsky for Wired: The change that’s already come to Pennsylvania may not have been possible without the research Kennedy and three other expert witnesses brought to light. They took the stand with a range of analyses, some based in complex quantitative theory, others, like Kennedy’s, based in pure cartography. But they all reached the same conclusion: Pennsylvania’s map had been so aggressively gerrymandered for partisan purposes that it silenced...

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This one takes time to make, takes even more time to read

Reader Matt F. contributed this confusing chart from Wired, accompanying an article about Netflix viewing behavior.  Matt doesn't like this chart. He thinks the main insight - most viewers drop out after the first episode - is too obvious. And there are more reasons why the chart doesn't work. This is an example of a high-effort, low-reward chart. See my return-on-effort matrix for more on this subject. The high effort...

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Light entertainment: Making art by making data

Chris P. sent in this link to a Wired feature on "infographics." The first entry is by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec. These are fun images and I enjoy looking at it as hand-drawn art. But it's a stretch to call them "data visualization," "data," or "data analysis," which are all tags used by the Wired editing staff. (PS. Wired chose a particular example of their work. There are many...

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Seeking solace in data

I think many of us can relate to this during the odd election cycle. Marcus Wohlsen for Wired describes the constant visits and refreshes to FiveThirtyEight for new polls and projections. Evan is a poll obsessive, FiveThirtyEight strain—a subspecies I recognize because I’m one of them, too. When he wakes up in the morning, he doesn’t shower or eat breakfast before checking the Nate Silver-founded site’s presidential election forecast (sounds...

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Size of Minecraft

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. My niece and...

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