Shared posts

06 Oct 14:04

I do these interactive data vis projects where people use push pins and string to add data to a board, and then I digitize them in Adobe Illustrator afterwards. [OC]

by /u/whiskeyfoxtrot_

This is great!

06 Oct 13:49

Excel is the graveyard of charts, no!

by junkcharts

A good note about excel charts, they're not entirely worthless.

It's true that Excel is responsible for large numbers of horrible charts. I just came across a typical example recently:


This figure comes from Edward Wolff's 2012 paper, "The Asset Price Meltdown and the Wealth of the Middle Class." It's got all the hallmarks of Excel defaults. It's not a pleasing object to look at.

However, it's also true that Excel can be used to make nice charts. Here is a remake:


This chart is made almost entirely in Excel - the only edit I made outside Excel is to decompose the legend box.

It takes five minutes to make the first chart; it takes probably 30 minutes to make the second chart. That is the difference between good and bad graphics. Excel users: let that be your inspiration!

04 Oct 17:56

Cost of living in america - broken up by sector as well

by /u/Tiffany_Aching

There is no reason for this to be a circle.

04 Oct 17:55

Tree of Life Explorer

by /u/omaraltaher

This is a fantastic resource!

02 Oct 19:00

Pleased to Meet You

by Greg Ross

Vito d’Incognito is a very cool name. :)

Unusual personal names collected by onomasticist Elsdon C. Smith for his Treasury of Name Lore, 1967:

  • Dr. Pacifico D. Quitiquit
  • Lala Legattee Wiggins
  • Stanley Toogood
  • Effie Bowleg
  • Polycarp Pridgen
  • Merriweather Trivelpiece
  • Aspidia Snitch
  • Tabaca Blacksheep
  • Iva Headache
  • Marietta Avenue Jeeter
  • Vaseline Malaria
  • Soda Water
  • Ten Million
  • St. Elmo Bug
  • Fice Mook
  • Trammer W. Splown
  • Gulley Cowsert
  • Buckshot Magonicle
  • Teemer Furr
  • Sepnoress Gorce
  • Heathcliff Heimerdinger
  • Honeysuckle Ginsberg
  • Ephraim Very Ott
  • Gladys Whysoglad
  • Park A. Carr
  • Creekmore Fath
  • May June July
  • Melody Tunes
  • Ann Ant
  • Fairy Duck
  • Vito d’Incognito
  • Napoleon N. Waterloo
  • Tressanela Noosepickle
  • Osbel Irizarry
  • Athelstan Spilhaus
  • Weikko Tinklepaugh
  • Twilladeen Hubkapiller

According to the Veterans Administration, Love’n Kisses Love is a deceased sailor formerly of Bremerton, Washington. Walt Disney employed an animator named T. Hee. Outerbridge Horsey VI was named ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1963. (“I am the sixth Outerbridge Horsey and my unhappy son is the seventh. In fact, the only trouble with any new post is explaining the name to people.”) Gisella Werberzerck Piffl was a character actress in Australia in 1948. Two police officers who worked together in Long Beach, California, in 1953 were named Goforth and Ketchum. Jack Benny’s wife said that the firm Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn (now BBDO) “sounds like a trunk falling down stairs.”

And “When Mrs. Rum of Chicago divorced her husband she was allowed to resume her maiden name of Cork.”

See Local Color, Roll Call, Pink Labels, Roll Call, Roll Call, and Bent Handles.

02 Oct 16:21

30 Years of Income Tax in Canada [OC]

by /u/wrkyle

The animation at the top if SUPERB! It very clearly illustrates the concept of a progressive income tax.

02 Oct 16:18



Wow, this is a very trippy Autumn-themed gif!

29 Sep 13:41

In visualization, captions are as important as graphics themselves

by Alberto Cairo

An excellent reflection on the "cone of uncertainty".

(Updated on September 8 and 9. Go to the bottom of the post)

Data visualization isn't just about visualizing data, but also about writing headlines, intros, captions, explainers, and footnotes. I'm right now closely following the news about hurricane Irma —I live in Miami!— and feeling both amazed and terrified by the many great graphics news organizations and independent designers are publishing. As I've just tweeted, beauty is sometimes correlated with terror.

Anyway, I've just read a very good graphics-driven story in The Washington Post. This is its first map:

This is its caption:

I'm no expert in weather forecasting, but I believe that this is inaccurate. To learn why, go to minute 14:30 in my keynote at Microsoft's Data Insights summit. Here's some of what I said there:

Maps based on cones of uncertainty are quite problematic, as this article by Jen Christiansen, and this other by Robert Kosara explain. Among other reasons, some people don't see in that cone the possible range of paths the center of the hurricane can take, but the size of the hurricane itself.

This happens event to those who, like me, do know how to read this kind of map. I need to consciously struggle with my brain's inclination to see a physical object, and not a probability range. Why? I don't know for sure, but I'll make a conjecture: it's because the representation looks pictorial. The rounded shape of the tip of the cone roughly resembles the shape of a hurricane.

This map is made even more confusing if a black line is placed in the middle of the cone. Just read tweets like this. People may see that line not as a visual aid to emphasize the center of the cone (right), but as the most probable path (wrong).

Going back to the caption, the reason why it sounds wrong to me is related to something most of you probably aren't aware of: the cone of uncertainty doesn't represent the range of all possible paths the hurricane could follow, based on simulations. This excellent paper explains that the most common cone, the one by NHC, “accurately predicts the ultimate path of the tropical cyclone’s center about 2/3 of the time (J. Franklin 2005, personal communication). In other words, one out of three storm centers directly impact areas outside of the cone.” That's a 66%-33% chance.

Therefore, the caption could say something like this: “Based on predictive simulations of past hurricanes, there are 2 out of 3 chances that the path of the center of the hurricane could be anywhere within this cone, and a 1 out of 3 chance it will be outside of it.” This is longer and clunkier —I'm sure that any copy editor in the audience can improve it!— but truer to reality.

This other map shows the actual uncertainty of predictive simulations quite well; notice the faded lines, corresponding to less probable (but still possible) paths:

UPDATE: It seems that NOAA is listening. See the explanation that they have been tweeting. It ought to be published next to every single cone of uncertainty map out there:

UPDATE 2: The map below, by meteorologist Ryan Maue, is far better than any cone of uncertainty map if your goal is to inform the general public about the risks posed by wind. See it animated. The scale is predicted maximum wind speed in mph.

21 Sep 17:12

‘seinfeld’ scriptwritten by 10 people using predictive text...


This is magnificent. I would watch this show.

‘seinfeld’ script

written by 10 people using predictive text keyboards

source: transcripts of episodes from season 3 of seinfeld. source texts specific to character with separate source for stage directions. 18 word options at each step. finished script also includes one or two stage directions generated by a recurrent neural network.

writers: carl s, corey g, elle o, erin m, gabe m, jonah c, joseph p, kai c, rob d

editors me and rob d


What’s the the problem with the
minimalism? You know, if you enjoy
being around alcoholics, I’m gonna
go ahead and never return that
JERRY and ELAINE are carrying leaves in their hands. He tries
to grab a door and she imitates the door.
Well the elevator opens and wrong
side of the door… I thought
maybe the door’s not waiting, but
it said “going down” and Kramer
couldn’t help me move it.  I just
wanted to get out of it, just get
He slams his hand on the door. KRAMER enters dancing with
Hey hey hey, great idea for a big
sponge: Make it so large you think
it’s got a fat clock in the
(takes off his bones)
Kramer, do you have a fun
flashback to do?
George is wearing a $20 hat that says “Hello to Horse.”
I’m kinda like the captain of
Mind the fish, George! Elaine, say
something to George. Look for
anything wrong with him.
Right now I want to find someone
who doesn’t believe George is back
from the bathroom.
(takes the garbage and moves
Elaine isn’t exhausting but I’ll
bet three days of straight fear
I’m not bitter.
First dog to get George will be my
George walks at her seriously.
I’ll pay attention to George when
he talks louder. He never says
anything wrong but his intellect
is dying with him.
George walks back to George’s parents.
Kramer enters quickly, sliding around the floor on his knees.
Jerry is watching TV. Jerry notices something in the
refrigerator. Elaine smoking at the crowd.
Hey I’m thinking Jerry, I’m really
sweating Jerry. Jerry, I have a
woman comin and she does it mean,
you know?
(relaxously handily talking)
Well, the couch is not going to be
washed by me you know, I’ve got
Knick tickets this Wednesday and
George gets soup on the road.
Snacks are piled high in the guest room. Jerry spots them and
takes a photograph.
(cynical voice)
Jerry can you be a big salad and
give me a meal?
George enters acting very strange. He picks up the remote
control and tries to run with it.
Hey George, what’s wrong with you?
Oh Jerry, Jerry just sit there and
try to hear my machine. Jerry I
really have a hot dog in there and
I’m not going to lie to it.
What’s the difference? You became
a legend, I got a big picnic.
George, Elaine and Jerry lean back and forth. Elaine, laughing
hypocritically, sports a couple of muscle relaxers. Jerry
looks at the psychic’s apartment, the phone and George. Helen
walks toward Elaine and George is a double look at the
bathroom. George is touching the cowbanes. Kramer is barely
laughing. Elaine making the newspaper. Jerry looks at Jerry.
Jerry unlocks the hot ends. He like it. Jerry is not heard
with his fingers. Jerry walks out of the blade, with a music
No no no no no no no no god no no
god no you should get out of here
right now. You’re real turkey club
without any crackers, aren’t you?
What’s the deal with this ping
pong guy? He mumbles something
like ya ya huh ha ha oh no no go.
I’ve never been called an egg but
you could do it.

13 Sep 16:54

The little of visualisation design: Part 43

by Andy Kirk

I have never been to any of these. :( Gotta change that!

This is part of a series of posts about the ‘little of visualisation design’, respecting the small decisions that make a big difference towards the good and bad of this discipline. In each post I’m going to focus on just one small matter – a singular good or bad design choice – as demonstrated by a sample project. Each project may have many effective and ineffective aspects, but I’m just commenting on one.

The ‘little’ of this next design concerns z-sorting and how you manage the depth-arrangement of overlapping value series. The chart in question comes from an article by FiveThirtyEight titled ‘The National Parks Have Never Been More Popular‘.

The bump chart plots the relative popularity, in ranking terms, of the US national parks going back over 100 years. With an increasing range of recognised parks and, one must assume, an ever-expanding register of visitor data, there is a lot to plot in one chart and a risk of creating lots of noise and limited signal.

Three key things happen here. Firstly, only 11 of the parks are coloured, creating editorial emphasis versus all the other categorical series, which are included but presented in grey and without labels. Secondly, you will see there is a white outer-stroke wrapped around the coloured lines to help them pop-out a little further. Thirdly, and the main thrust of this post, is the decision to apply z-sorting on the coloured lines whereby the most recent rankings influences the overlapping order when lines meet back through the timeline. So, for example, The Great Smoky Mountains line is always on top, the Grand Canyon will then be on top of all other lines apart from the Great Smoky Mountains etc.

The post The little of visualisation design: Part 43 appeared first on Visualising Data.

13 Sep 16:53

Infographic design sins in meme form

by Nathan Yau


Visual editor Xaquín G.V. recently used the distracted boyfriend meme to represent our attraction to novel visualization methods when a simple and visually sound method is right there at our disposal.

Then he ran with it to illustrate his professional sins as an editor for a news desk.

Tags: meme, sins

11 Sep 15:49

How much home can you buy for 200k in every state?

by /u/VaporizerWizard

Indiana wins.

11 Sep 15:43

Radar of Hurricane Irma Passing Through the FL Keys [oc]

by /u/waltc97

Another radar animation with a longer timescale.

11 Sep 15:41

Timelapse of predictions vs actual paths for Irma, Jose, and Harvey, updated with help from reddit [OC]

by /u/savagedata

I wish this would be available for all hurricanes.

07 Sep 12:20

Bubbles.  Twitter, Facebook.


Twitter, Facebook.

28 Aug 15:29

Let’s enjoy some eclipse content from Tumblr


That last image is fantastic. :)





image (see also this 1-bit conversion by


“The eclipse is beautiful,” raves

hope you enjoyed the eclipse if you were lucky enough to be in its path :)
07 Aug 14:29

My Car’s Fuel Economy [OC]

by /u/scizormytimbers

Seasonal variations in fuel efficiency.

07 Aug 14:23

Map of the population density in the Arab Republic of Egypt as of 2010 [2952x2716] [OC]

by /u/Poutchika

Basically, live along the Nile Delta ... or don't live at all.

07 Aug 14:22

Months 3 to 17 of my baby's sleep and breastfeeding schedule [OC] (data collected manually and visualized in Excel)

by /u/jitney86

It's really remarkable to see the initial static and randomness turn into regular cycles. If this continues I wonder how the nap times in the middle of the day will eventually fade away.

07 Aug 14:17

Interactive shows map projections with a face

by Nathan Yau

The ability to click and drag then see the faces all distort in different ways... quite interesting!

We’ve seen faces as map projections before, but this is 63 projections on one page. Plus, you can click and drag to change the center points to see how different parts of the face change.

Tags: projections

31 Jul 12:55

How does the US healthcare system compare with other countries?

by /u/Jholder112233

A straightforward and easy to understand overview of healthcare around the world.

27 Jul 16:03

szimmetria-airtemmizs:If you look closely you will see that I...


Beautiful bit of symmetry!


If you look closely you will see that I only used one type of quadrilateral to make this. 

I made a print based on this one. Its on my door now:)  

26 Jul 18:17

Every solar eclipse in your lifetime (Washington Post)

by /u/DLC204

Simple and easy to understand visualization of solar eclipses.

17 Jul 13:28

Your Guide to the Great American Eclipse of 2017


Informative, concise, and full of excellent diagrams. Be safe - please don't stare at the sun without a proper filter!!

The Moon will totally eclipse the Sun for the first time as seen from the continental United States in more than 40 years on August 21, 2017. What are eclipses, and what's special about this one?
14 Jul 17:05




12 Jul 16:53

chequered waves


Bees & Bombs is a wonderful animated gif blog. Check out his other work!

chequered waves

30 Jun 19:13

Worldwide public transportation visualized in real-time

by /u/smith2017

This is amazing! It works for Baltimore. :)

30 Jun 19:08






26 Jun 12:47

pr1nceshawn: Stop Clickbait.


Eventually one learns to do this without even reading the article. :)


Stop Clickbait.

26 Jun 12:46

How to animate cube in HoudiniA friend of my friend (XAPKOHHEH)...


I thought this would be a simple tutorial...

How to animate cube in Houdini

A friend of my friend (XAPKOHHEH) just made this.
I’m totally into Houdini the last Months - I had to share 

while this is extremely funny, still, it’s showing perfectly what is Houdini capable of. Made in 1 day :o
Note: he shared source file in the description - if interested