✚ Chart Components and Working On Your Graphics Piece-wise

Before you can form a set of steps to visualize data, you need to know the components of a chart that you can separate. Like making an outline for an essay, you look for sections that make sense rather than define how many periods and question marks you need to show. Once you can form that data graphics outline, that complex visualization project doesn't seem so daunting. Read More

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Judging connectedness of American communities, based on Facebook friendships

We talk about geographic bubbles a lot these days. Some areas are isolated, in their own bubble. Other areas seem more connected. Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui for The Upshot looked at this geographic connectedness through the lens of Facebook friendships. In the millions of ties on Facebook that connect relatives, co-workers, classmates and friends, Americans are far more likely to know people nearby than in distant communities that share...

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Watch rising river levels after Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence brought a lot of rain, which in turn made river levels rise. The New York Times animated the rise over a five-day period. The height of the bars represents the rise of the river level, as compared to levels on Thursday. I like the visual metaphor of bars going up with river levels. I’m not sure the sudden rise and falls in such short periods of time would...

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Cuisine Ingredients

What are the ingredients that make each cuisine? I looked at 40,000 recipes spanning 20 cuisines and 6,714 ingredients to see what makes food taste different. Read More

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Changing size analogies and the trends of everyday things

When you try to describe the size of something but don’t have an exact measurement, you probably compare it to an everyday object that others can relate to. Using the Google Books Ngram dataset, Colin Morris looked for how such comparisons changed over the past few centuries. I especially like the bits of history to explain why some words fell into and out of fashion. Tags: language, n-gram, size

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Endangered species that could fit in a train car

There are endangered species where the remaining few in the world could fit on a single car train. Mona Chalabi for The Guardian imagined such a scenario. Usually when we talk about scale and putting numbers into perspective, it’s about imagining the large ones. What does a million look like? A billion? Chalabi’s illustrations take it the other direction. Tags: animals, endangered, Guardian, scale

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3-D view inside Typhoon Mangkhut

Typhoon Mangkhut went through the northern end of the Phillipines a few days ago. At least 25 people died. The New York Times provides a scrolling 3-dimensional view using data collected by NASA satellites. Tags: 3-d, New York Times, typhoon, weather

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My chat with Data Stories

I talked with Moritz and Enrico on Data Stories, my favorite visualization podcast. They’ve been providing a healthy balance of practice and research since 2012. I don’t dare listen to myself, but based on the show notes we talked about FlowingData over the years, some of the changes in visualization, and answered listener questions. You can listen here. Tags: Data Stories

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Realistic storm surge depicted in Weather Channel forecast

The Weather Channel is using a realistic 3-D depiction surrounding a reporter to show what a storm surge might bring. Here, just watch it: Tags: flood, hurricane, weather

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Waffle House index as a storm indicator

Waffle House activated their storm center in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Their restaurants are open 24/7, so they need to keep track of which ones need to close or limit their menus. This might also have to do with an informal Waffle House Index that FEMA described last year: If a Waffle House can serve a full menu, they’ve likely got power (or are running on a generator). A limited...

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