Check out A Year In The Life of Earth's CO2, a visualization of greenhouse gases swirling in the atmosphere. A voice-over explains what you're seeing as the months roll by, such as summer carbon monoxide blooms in the southern hemisphere. Tip: change the projection by dragging the map. Read the rest
This video lets you hitch a ride on a photon emitted from the sun. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Jupiter.
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In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it's unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.
I've taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually "sees" or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I've kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.
Inspired by the "evolutionary tree diagram" format, Talking Heads vocalist, artist, and writer David Byrne drew numerous tree diagrams meant to "explain" everyday phenomena, terminology, and the irrationality of life. For example, above is the diagram of "Romantic Destiny" (2003). Ten years ago, Byrne collected his diagrams in a wonderful book titled Arboretum.
Möbius Structure of Relationships:
Legacy of Good Habits:
History of Mark-Making:
See more on Byrne's site: "Tree Drawings/Arboretum"
At the dawn of the 19th century, naturalist Alexander von Humboldt invented the "thematic map," pioneering infographics through the likes of maps annotated with zoological life, temperature, elevations, and other data meant to present an area's "physical phenomena into one image," according to this profile on Atlas Obscura.
Above, "a plate from Atlas of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos, illustrating the composition of the Earth's crust via color-coding."
Below, "a snowflake of clocks illustrates world time zones, with Dresden at the center. "
Chris Walker created a fascinating interactive graphic of migration patterns within the United States. It's based on US Census Bureau's 2012 American Community Survey estimates. Here are a few insights that Walker gleaned: Read the rest
If you're the type of person who really needs some good visuals to make a concept stick in your head, this series of YouTube videos made by the British Psychological Society Media Centre will help you remember the meanings behind statistical concepts like "correlation", "frequency distributions", and "sampling error". There are four videos in the series so far, and they do a great job of painting pictures around abstract ideas. Bonus: Soothing music.
Big Data meets Bigfoot in Penn State PhD candidate Joshua Stevens's visualization of nearly a century of Sasquatch sighting reports in the US and Canada. Stevens mapped and graphed more than 3,000 sightings included in the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organizations's database of geocoded and timestamped reports. Stevens writes:
Right away you can see that sightings are not evenly distributed. At first glance, it looks a lot like a map of population distribution. After all, you would expect sightings to be the most frequent in areas where there are a lot of people. But a bivariate view of the data shows a very different story. There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population. On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare."‘Squatch Watch: 92 Years of Bigfoot Sightings in the US and Canada" (Thanks, everyone!) Read the rest