A free/open tool for making XKCD-style "hand-drawn" charts

Tim Qian, a "full stack developer and open source activist," has published chart.xkcd, a free/open tool that lets you create interactive, "hand-drawn" charts in the style of XKCD comics. It's pretty fabulous! (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

Donor maps show just how widespread Sanders' support is

Bernie Sanders has raised more money than anyone else standing for the Democratic nomination; more importantly, he's raised that money from more people than anyone else in the race, and even more importantly, he's raised that money from more people in swing states that the Democrats will have to flip or hold in order to take the presidency in 2020. Read the rest

Six charts that illuminate the state of US immigration

Working with The Hamilton Project, the BBC has drawn six charts that serve as both a snapshot of the state of US immigration and provide historical context for migration today versus US immigration in both the recent and distant past. Read the rest

Triple Chaser: a short documentary that uses machine learning to document tear gas use against civilians, calling out "philanthropist" Warren Kanders for his company's war-crimes

Laura Poitras (previously) is the Academy Award-winning director of Citizenfour; she teamed up with the activist group Forensic Archicture (previously), whose incredible combination of data-visualization and documentary filmmaking have made them a potent force for holding war criminals and authoritarians to account: together, they created Triple Chaser, a short documentary that uses novel machine-learning techniques to document the ways in which tear gas and bullets made by companies belonging to "philanthropist" Warren Kanders have been used against civilians to suppress anti-authoritarian movements, and even to murder innocents, including children. Read the rest

Using university syllabi to map the connections between every scholarly and scientific discipline

Joe Karganis writes, "This is the 'Co-Assignment Galaxy' created by David McClure. It maps the top 160K titles in the new Open Syllabus 2.0 dataset, based on the frequency with which those texts are assigned (reflected in the size of the dot) and assigned together (reflected in the location and clustering of the dots). It's US centric given the composition of the syllabus collection, but also a unique representation of human knowledge as a collective, connected project. Read the rest

Show Your Stripes: visualizing climate change in your location by displaying 100 years of average temperatures in color bars

Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist, created Show Your Stripes as a way to easily visualize the past century's climate change: give it a location and it will render a series of stripes representing a century's worth of average annual temperatures (above: global average temperature); as Kottke notes: "The warming patterns for particular regions are not going to be uniform…some places are actually forecast to get cooler and wetter rather than hotter and dryer." (via Kottke) Read the rest

The Economist's visual data journalist fixes magazine's "crimes against data visualisation"

Sarah Leo is a visual data journalist at The Economist. In this Medium piece, she gives some past examples of Economist charts and graphs that were confusing or misleading and shows her revisions.

Mistake: Truncating the scale

This chart shows the average number of Facebook likes on posts by pages of the political left. The point of this chart was to show the disparity between Mr Corbyn’s posts and others.

The original chart not only downplays the number of Mr Corbyn’s likes but also exaggerates those on other posts. In the redesigned version, we show Mr Corbyn’s bar in its entirety. All other bars remain visible. (Avid followers of this blog will have seen another example of this bad practice.)

Another odd thing is the choice of colour. In an attempt to emulate Labour’s colour scheme, we used three shades of orange/red to distinguish between Jeremy Corbyn, other MPs and parties/groups. We don’t explain this. While the logic behind the colours might be obvious to a lot of readers, it perhaps makes little sense for those less familiar with British politics.

Image: Medium Read the rest

Infographic: buying games vs pirating them

Back in 2010, I linked to a superb infographic showing all the ways that official DVDs were worse than their pirate equivalents (unskippable ads and FBI warnings, etc); now Dnd01 has updated the graphic with a version highlighting all the ways that the games industry has encrufted their products with DRM that make them into a worse deal than the pirated versions. Read the rest

The Handbook of Tyranny: stark infographics on human cruelty

Handbook of Tyranny tells the story of human cruelty in a series of beautifully designed inforgraphics, like this chart showing methods of crowd control. Read the rest

A crypto primer in the form of Ikea instructions

"Idea-instructions" bills itself as "An ongoing series of nonverbal algorithm assembly instructions", with a half-dozen illustrations of popular computer science concepts covered to date; the latest covers Public-Key Crypto, one of the most important and elusive concepts from modern crypto. Read the rest

Comic-strip contracts, so no one argues they’re too confusing to be enforceable

University of Western Australia Law professor Camilla Baasch Andersen has helped businesspeople draft legally binding contracts that take the form of simple comic-strips, arguing that their simplicity not only promotes understanding, but also insulates companies from the risk of courts finding their contracts unenforceable because they were too confusing (an Australian court has forced insurers Suncorp and Allianz to refund AUD60m paid for insurance that was of "little or no value," but which Australians purchased thanks to confusing fine-print that made it hard to assess). Read the rest

Anatomy of the human head in the style of a London tube-map

Jonathan Simmonds, an MD in Boston, MA, created these Map Anatomy illustrations that represent a detailed, functional diagram of the human head's anatomy in the style of a London tubemap; you can buy downloads and posters from his Etsy store, but act quickly, because Transport for London are notorious, humourless assholes about this kind of thing! (via Reddit) Read the rest

London's amazing underground infrastructure revealed in vintage cutaway maps

Londonist's roundup of cutaway maps -- many from the outstanding Transport Museum in Covent Garden -- combines the nerdy excitement of hidden tunnels with the aesthetic pleasure of isomorophic cutaway art, along with some interesting commentary on both the development of subterranean tunnels and works and the history of representing the built environment underground in two-dimension artwork. Read the rest

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars: a child's garden of infinity

In A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, Seth Fishman and illustrator Isabel Greenberg (previously) present a the astounding, nearly incomprehensible size of the universe in a picture book that even the very youngest readers will delight in; when I blurbed it, I wrote "Dazzling: the astounding, mind-boggling scale of the magnificent universe and our humbling and miraculous place in it, rendered in pictures and words that the youngest readers will understand."

Are pop lyrics getting more repetitive? (hint: yes)

Colin Morris at The Pudding analyzed the repetitiveness of a dataset of 15,000 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1958 and 2017. It's true: pop music lyrics are increasingly repetitive. Read the rest

Trump vs Leakers: the infographic

A handy guide from Chartlike Charts, whose return from its hiatus is both welcome and overdue. Read the rest

Stunning 23-foot wall chart of human history from 1881

Sebastian C. Adams's Synchronological Chart from the late 19th century presents 5,885 years of history (4004 BCE - 1881 AD) on a magnificent 27 inch x 23 foot illustrated and annotated timeline. What a stunner. You can zoom and pan through the whole thing at the David Rumsey Map Collection or order a scaled-down print.

According to the book Cartographies of Time: History of the Timeline, the Synchronological Chart "was ninetheenth-century America's surpassing achievement in complexity and synthetic power."

(via Clifford Pickover)

Read the rest

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