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A view on despair

Sonja Kuijpers used abstract imagery to represent some sobering numbers: You might be wondering what you are viewing here. This landscape, each element in it represents a person who committed suicide in the Netherlands in the year 2017. The cityscape leads into more traditional views, which in turn feel much more heavy. Tags: nature, suicide

Machine boss

For The New York Times, Kevin Roose on the possibility of machines becoming your boss: The goal of automation has always been efficiency, but in this new kind of workplace, A.I. sees humanity itself as the thing to be optimized. Amazon uses complex algorithms to track worker productivity in its fulfillment centers, and can automatically...

Four Cs of data and design

Ben Fry using the “tropiest of design tropes”, describes his goals for visualization. On communication: Communication is the most basic part: the table stakes of information design. If the piece doesn’t communicate, then it’s useless. A lot of time, attention, and effort goes into creating PDF documents that few people will ever read. In the...

The Periodic Table, a challenge in information organization

Reader Chris P. points me to this article about the design of the Periodic Table. I then learned that 2019 is the “International Year of the Periodic Table,” according to the United Nations. Here is the canonical design of the Periodic Table that science students are familiar with. (Source: Wikipedia.) The Periodic Table is an...

A view on despair

Sonja Kuijpers used abstract imagery to represent some sobering numbers: You might be wondering what you are viewing here. This landscape, each element in it represents a person who committed suicide in the Netherlands in the year 2017. The cityscape leads into more traditional views, which in turn feel much more heavy. Tags: nature, suicide

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Machine boss

For The New York Times, Kevin Roose on the possibility of machines becoming your boss: The goal of automation has always been efficiency, but in this new kind of workplace, A.I. sees humanity itself as the thing to be optimized. Amazon uses complex algorithms to track worker productivity in its fulfillment centers, and can automatically generate the paperwork to fire workers who don’t meet their targets, as The Verge uncovered...

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Four Cs of data and design

Ben Fry using the “tropiest of design tropes”, describes his goals for visualization. On communication: Communication is the most basic part: the table stakes of information design. If the piece doesn’t communicate, then it’s useless. A lot of time, attention, and effort goes into creating PDF documents that few people will ever read. In the past this was even more expensive, because the result was elegant printed reports that would...

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The Periodic Table, a challenge in information organization

Reader Chris P. points me to this article about the design of the Periodic Table. I then learned that 2019 is the “International Year of the Periodic Table,” according to the United Nations. Here is the canonical design of the Periodic Table that science students are familiar with. (Source: Wikipedia.) The Periodic Table is an exercise of information organization and display. It's about adding structure to over 100 elements, so...

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Scale of the Hong Kong protest

You know those sped up videos where there’s a long line for something and someone walks the length of it? The New York Times did the scrolly equivalent for the recent Hong Kong protest, using snaps from aerial video and stringing them together geographically. A lot of people showed up. Tags: Hong Kong, New York Times, photography, protest

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Fact-Checking The Vegan Netflix Documentary ‘What The Health’

I’ve been vegetarian for 26 years. Never managed to make the leap to vegan though. Cheese and eggs. Cheese and eggs. I’m working on it. Here’s my motivational breakdown: It’s been interesting to witness the abrupt mainstreaming of vegan and plant-based diets in recent years. But less interesting to have so many friends suddenly start lecturing me how cruel the meat industry is, how unhealthy red meat is, how environmentally...

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✚ Publishing Data Graphics Online (The Process #45)

After you've made your carefully designed data graphics, you probably want to share them online at some point. This is how I do it. Read More

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Millions of dollars in tax breaks — because of a mapping error

A small discrepancy in a couple of shapefiles led to a misclassification of land. Wealthy investors are taking advantage. For ProPublica, Jeff Ernsthausen and Justin Elliott: They have President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul law to thank. The new law has a provision meant to spur investment into underdeveloped areas, called “opportunity zones.” The idea is to grant lucrative tax breaks to encourage new investment in poor areas around the...

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A chart makes an appearance in my new video

Been experimenting with short videos recently. My latest is a short explainer on why some parents are willing to spend over a million dollars to open back doors to college admissions. I even inserted a chart showing some statistics. Click here to see the video.   Also, subscribe to my channel to see future episodes of Inside the Black Box. *** Here are a couple of recent posts related to...

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Information is Beautiful Awards 2019

Rejoice! The Information is Beautiful Awards are now open for 2019. It’s our eighth year celebrating the planet’s most awesome information design and we have $27,500 in cash prizes to give away, courtesy of our wonderful sponsor Kantar. Twenty-five expert judges, plus a public vote, will decide who takes home our coveted, 3D-printed trophy. We have gold, silver and bronze awards in ten different categories plus six special prizes awarded...

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