Boing Boing 

Census Dotmap: a dot for every person in the United States

Cartography and data analysis nut Brandon M-Anderson put together this impressive zoomable map of the United States with one dot for each of the 308,450,225 people recorded by the 2010 census: oddities revealed include people living in "abandoned" areas or parks. A Redditor stitched the tiles into a huge image.

Dataviz for "My Ideal Bookshelf"


Fred sez, "My lady, Thessaly La Force, recently published a book with the artist Jane Mount called 'My Ideal Bookshelf.' In it, Thessaly interviews over 100 people and Jane paints their bookshelves. As I observed Jane and Thessaly compile the book over the last year, I couldn't help but think about all the fun opportunities I could have exploring the data behind the shelves. Each of the 101 contributors Thessaly interviewed picked as many books as they thought represented their ideal bookshelf, and I knew some of them would pick identical books. What would the most popular book be (it was Lolita)? On average, how many books did people choose? What would a taste graph linking contributors to each other using the books on their shelves look like? So I pulled the data together into a set of graphs an interactive 3D plot that visualizes the relationships of the contributors based on the books they choose."

The Data Behind My Ideal Bookshelf (Thanks, Fred!)

Silcon Valley's high-tech bus commuter lines visualized

Stamen, a design firm in San Francisco, was commissioned to study the private transport networks that run from San Francisco down to Silicon Valley. The traditional commuter dynamic for cities is suburbanites coming into the city to work, but in San Francisco it runs both ways, as city-dwelling tech workers catch a variety of semi-luxurious, WiFi-equipped buses with power outlets and work tables to tech campuses down the peninsula. I watched this with some amusement when I was in San Francisco this summer, observing how a crowd of googlers with Android handsets would magically converge on a corner near Dolores Park just as a big black Google bus pulled up and whisked them away (A friend at Google tells me that his bus has its own mailing list where they recently had a kerfuffle when some enthusiastic people proposed a weekly festive party-ride on Friday afternoons, to the horror of the more sedate riders).

Fun fact: apparently Twitter employees refer to the entire Mission district as "the campus" (though I assume that this is ironic).

We enlisted people to go to stops, measure traffic and count people getting off and on and we hired bike messengers to see where the buses went. The cyclists used Field Papers to transcribe the various routes and what they found out, which we recompiled back into a database of trips, stops, companies and frequency. At a rough estimate, these shuttles transport about 35% of the amount of passengers Caltrain moves each day. Google alone runs about 150 trips daily, all over the city.

We wanted to simplify that, to start thinking about it as a system rather than a bunch of buses, so we began paring down the number of stops by grouping clusters where the stops were close to each other.

The subway map is the end result of that simplification; it's not a literal representation, but it's much more readable than the actual routes. We also wanted to show the relative volumes, so the map segments are scaled by how many trips pass through them; you get a sense for just how much traffic the highways get, and how the routes branch out from there to cover the city. We only mapped San Francisco shuttles, many of these companies operate additional routes in East Bay, the Pennensula, and around San Jose, including direct routes from Caltrain stations to corporate campuses.

The work was commissioned by ZERO1 and partly funded by the James Irvine Foundation.

The City from the Valley (2012) (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

London mapped by common surnames


James Cheshire (Department of Geography, UCL) produced a series of interactive maps of London that show the relationship of common surnames to different neighbourhoods:

This map shows the 15 most frequent surnames in each Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) across Greater London. The colours represent the origin of the surname (*not necessarily* the person) derived from UCL’s Onomap Classification tool. The surnames have also been scaled by their total frequency in each MSOA.

London Names (via Sociological Images)

Visualizing GOP presidential candidate approval ratings as 3D printed buttplugs

Matthew Epler's Grand Old Party project takes the approval-rating curves of GOP presidential hopefuls and turns them into 3D solids, then turns those into buttplugs.

Grand Old Party demonstrates that as a people united, our opinion has real volume. When we approve of a candidate, they swell with power. When we deem them unworthy, they are diminished and left hanging in the wind. We guard the gate! It opens and closes at our will. How wide is up to us.

In an age of information, we rely on hard facts. Each of the shapes you see here come directly from poll data collected by Gallup. This data reflects approval ratings for each GOP candidate among registered Republican voters from December 10, 2011 to April 1, 2012. Each shape’s girth is a reflection of popularity while their height is a reflection of time.

The contours of these delightful shapes conjure up the waves of amber grain and those lapping at the rim of our great nation spanning from sea to shining sea. As the battle for the Presidency rails on, we must remember that Americans may may have achieved freedom through war, but they are also a people of love. After all, in the end all we have is each other.

3D Printing and wonders of the Internet

Update: Derp. It's a dupe.

Relative size of great grey owl's body to feathers


Here's a diagram that shows the relative size of a great grey owl's body to its feathers. It's hosted on Wikimedia commons, labelled "Cross sectioned taxidermied Great Grey Owl, Strix nebulosa, showing the extent of the body plumage, Zoological Museum, Copenhagen."

File:Strix nebulosa plumage.jpg (via Beth Pratt)

Data viz: whom did the UK government invite to emergency talks about the health reform bills?


Dr Ben "Bad Science" Goldacre sez, "I did a really sophisticated and complex data visualisation. I think you might enjoy it. There's definitely a pattern in there, I just need to decide what statistical tests will best extract the signal from the noise."

Who is, and is not, invited to Cameron's emergency NHSbill summit? A data visualisation.

Money is the dark matter of American elections: visualizing political donations since Citizens United


Mike from Mother Jones sez, "For our upcoming "dark money" print package, we chartified the known galaxy of outside political spending groups by their size. As you can see, we ended up with red giants and blue dwarfs."

If Citizens United was the Big Bang of a new era of money in politics, here's the parallel universe it formed: rapidly expanding super-PACs and nebulous 501(c) groups exerting their gravitational pull on federal elections. A group's size in the chart below is based upon all known fundraising or spending since 2010…so keep an eye out for dark matter. Come back for regular updates.

The Crazily Expanding Political Money Universe (Thanks, Mike!)

Dataviz as defacement: OCCUPY GEORGE


Occupy George presents data about US wealth disparity as a series of data-visualizations that are intended to be overprinted on US dollar bills. The visualizations are available as templates to turned into rubber stamps, or inkjet-printed overtop of US currency that is first lightly affixed to sheets of paper.

(via Beth Pratt)

Keyboard whose keys are raised in proportion to their frequency of use


Mike Kneupfel, a student at NYU's Interactive Technology Program, made a 3D model showing the keys he presses most frequently when typing, composed of raised keys on a keyboard. It's a fun and eye-catching way of visualizing data by using the thing whose data you're analyzing.
Conclusions - This was just a first go at trying to create a data driven 3d sculpture. I wound up scaling the keys a little bit too much in the vertical direction. The weight of the tall keys caused the towers to tilt at an angle. I plan on showing this prototype to a few people that will hopefully give me more ideas for new data sets to look at. I want to try and use the CNC for future data driven sculptures. I also want to try and include color into the sculpture somehow.
Keyboard Frequency Sculpture (via Neatorama)

Worst PowerPoint slides


The winners of InFocus's Worst PPT Slide Contest are astonishing examples of unintentional obfuscation, baffling bullshit and design nightmares.

Worst PPT Slide Contest Winners (via Neatorama)

(Image: via @pinwale)

UK gov't launches terrorism-attack dashboard contest

Glyn sez, "The UK government has launched a competition to improve gathering and analysing publicly available data to gain an understanding of current events": "The aim of this competition is to stimulate development of innovative tools that allow the collection and analysis of live data streams in real time in order to identify trends, build a common picture and monitor, manage and influence events as they occur. INSTINCT is particularly interested in applying these tools to the analysis and management of terrorist incidents." (Thanks, Glyn!)

Visualizing the deletion process on Wikipedia


David Weinberger sez, "Notabilia has visualized the hundred longest discussion threads at Wikipedia that resulted in the deletion of an article and the hundred that did not. The visualized threads take on shapes depending on whether the discussion was controversial, swinging, or unanimous. For those whose brains can process visualized information (as mine cannot), you will undoubtedly learn much. For the rest of us: Oooooh, pretty! They also have analyzed data using words. E.g., Delete decisions tend to be unanimous."

Visualizing Deletion Discussions on Wikipedia (Thanks, DavidJoho, via Submitterator!)

Dataviz: 200 years' worth of economic and health data from 200 countries

From an episode of BBC Four's The Joy of Stats, watch as charming and animated Swedish statistician Hans Rosling runs through 200 years' worth of augmented-reality data-visualization telling the story of economic development and health in 200 countries over 200 years in a mere four minutes.

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four (Thanks, Alan!)

23 years' worth of soap opera romance condensed into 6 minutes

Here's a sweet little animation spelling out 23 years' worth of the complex interpersonal relationships on The Bold and the Beautiful, a soap-opera, visualized with artists' maquettes and liberal use of connecting lines and narration.

Beautiful LAB - EPISODE 0 in English: The Bold and the Beautiful in 6 minutes

Charts of UK Parliamentary language usage, 1935-


Amy sez,
We analysed the use of language in UK parliament debates from December 1935 to March 2010. The terms of recent Prime Ministers are highlighted at the bottom of each graph for reference. It's also worth keeping in mind that Alistair Campbell became Director of Communications for the Labour Government in the year 2000.

We used the parliamentary debates raw data provided by the excellent They Work For You website. Common words (the, at, honorable, minister, in, of, order, debate, sir, and so on) and infrequently used words were removed, with the remaining words grouped into a database by year. Note that the data for the years 1935 and 2010 is incomplete -- we only used the data from the 26th November 1935 to 31st March 2010 -- and so the statistics for the first and final years may not be reliable.

Each year differs in the number of debates, and hence volume of data. Therefore, rather than analysing the absolute count of usage for each word, we instead compared the count of each word against the total number words recorded in our database for the year -- resulting in a percentage, which is more reliably comparable across years.

An Analysis of UK Parliamentary Language: 1935-2010 (Thanks, Amy!)

BBC to project real-time election results on Big Ben's tower

This is pretty cool: The BBC is going to project the real-time UK election results on the sides of Big Ben's tower, as a skinny bar-chart showing the progress of the three front running parties as individual lines, with the independent parties lumped into a combined bar. BBC to beam general election results on to Big Ben (via O'Reilly Radar)