Scientology city takeover

For Tampa Bay Times, Tracey McManus and Eli Murray delve into the purchasing of properties Clearwater, Florida by the Church of Scientology: The Church of Scientology and companies run by its members spent $103 million over the past three years buying up vast sections of downtown Clearwater. They now own most commercial property on every block within walking distance of the waterfront, putting the secretive church firmly in control of...

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Microsoft’s visual data explorer SandDance open sourced

Microsoft just open sourced their data exploration tool known as SandDance: For those unfamiliar with SandDance, it was introduced nearly four years ago as a system for exploring and presenting data using “unit visualizations.” Instead of aggregating data and showing the resulting sums as bar charts, SandDance shows every single row of a dataset (for datasets up to ~500K rows). It represents each of these rows as a mark that...

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✚ Less Time With Methods, More Time With Questions and Context (The Process #61)

Hi, Data represents the real world, and visualization represents data. But sometimes data… Read More

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Techniques for adding context to visualization

When it comes to meaningful visualization, context is everything. Richard Brath, at the 2018 Information+ Conference, looks back on historical visualization approaches and how they might be applied today to make data graphics easier to read and use. Tags: context, Richard Brath, talk

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How Much Commuting is Too Much?

One person's long commute is another's dream. Another person's normal might be someone else's nightmare. What counts as a long commute depends on where you live. Read More

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Study retracted after finding a mistaken recoding of the data

A study found that a hospital program significantly reduced the number of hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Great. But then the researchers realized that the data was recoded incorrectly, and the program actually increased hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Not so great. They retracted their paper: The identified programming error was in a file used for preparation of the analytic data sets for statistical analysis and occurred while the variable...

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FiveThirtyEight launches new NBA metric for predications

FiveThirtyEight has been predicting NBA games for a few years now, based on a variant of Elo ratings, which in turn have roots in ranking chess players. But for this season, they have a new metric to predict with called RAPTOR, or Robust Algorithm (using) Player Tracking (and) On/Off Ratings: NBA teams highly value floor spacing, defense and shot creation, and they place relatively little value on traditional big-man skills....

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Fall foliage colors mapped

For The Washington Post, Lauren Tierney and Joe Fox mapped fall foliage colors across the United States: Forested areas in the United States host a variety of tree species. The evergreens shed leaves gradually, as promised in their name. The leaves of deciduous varieties change from green to yellow, orange or red before letting go entirely. Using USDA forest species data, we mapped the thickets of fall colors you may...

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✚ How Intentions Changed How People Read the Same Map (The Process #60)

Visualization has a way of making things feel more concrete and definite. So how is it that interpretation gets so fuzzy? Read More

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PG&E providing shapefiles, instead of a working map for shutoffs

Here in northern California, PG&E is shutting off power to thousands of households in efforts to prevent wildfires. Luckily, the area I live is just outside of the shutoff areas, but for others, a map of what’s up would be useful, right? However, instead of a map, which is “temporarily unavailable” at the time of this writing, PG&E is providing shapefiles. I mean, that’s kind of nice for people who...

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