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February 08 2018

12:33

How Different Income Groups Spend Money

After living expenses, where does the money go, and how does it change when you have more cash available? Read More

February 07 2018

22:47

Olympians in your living room through augmented reality

Well this is awesome. The Winter Olympics start this Friday, and The New York Times published this piece using augmented reality. Point your phone’s camera somewhere flat in your room, and you see four olympians in a still action shot. Walk around them, walk up to them, and see the details.

My four-year-old got a kick out of it.

For the last Winter Olympics, The Times aimed to make the extreme scales that athletes compete on more relatable. So it’s interesting to see them go the other direction, zooming in close to individuals.

I’m looking forward to the 2022 Winter Olympics when I get to experience the events through the athletes themselves and then pick the tricks that they do Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style.

Tags: augmented reality, New York Times, Olympics

08:38

Roger Federer career in rankings and wins

Professional tennis player Roger Federer won his 20th Grand Slam title recently. He’s in year 20 of his career, and over time, he rose, he dominated, he declined, and he came back. Schweizer Radio and Fernsehen visualized Federer’s achievements over the years and compared him to other tennis stars in the process.

It reminds me of the Serena Williams piece by The Los Angeles Times a while back. This one is more refined though. I especially like the updating time series line that stays with you as you scroll. It shows where you are contextually, and provides progression for different parts of Federer’s career.

Tags: Roger Federer, sports, tennis

February 06 2018

08:35

Scissors congruence

The Wallace–Bolyai–Gerwien theorem says that if you have two polygons of equal area, you can cut one into pieces, and then place them back together to form the second piece. Dima Smirnov and Zivvy Epstein made an interactive to demonstrate. Draw two shapes and watch the magic happen.

Tags: geometry, theorem

February 05 2018

12:36

Statistics crash course

Odds are if you’re reading this, you know what statistics is already, but if not (or you want to explain to someone else), Crash Course just started a series to explain the basics. Watch below.

Tags: learning, video

February 02 2018

11:15

Redistricting the congressional map with different goals

FiveThirtyEight asks, “There’s a lot of complaining about gerrymandering, but what should districts look like?” Looking for an answer, they imagined redistricting with different goals in mind, such as gerrymandering favoring Republicans or Democrats, promoting competitive elections, and maximizing majority-minority.

Check out the possibilities for the nation or zoom in to a specific state. The latter provides a further breakdown by district and then race. So yeah, if you’re into this stuff, set aside some time to poke at this one.

Tags: FiveThirtyEight, gerrymandering, government

February 01 2018

10:16

Bruises

Musician Kaki King’s daughter suffers from a condition (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) where her body attacks her own platelets, which leads to spontaneous bruising and burst blood vessels. In coping with the stress as a parent who can only do so much for her suffering child, King collaborated with information designer Giorgia Lupi.

The result: a mix of personal data collection, reflection, music, and data art entitled Bruises — The Data We Don’t See.

Watch the full piece below:

Love Lupi’s continuous path towards less sterile data.

Tags: Giorgia Lupi, health, human, Kaki King

08:12

[For Members] How I Made That: Animated Square Pie Chart

Also known as waffle charts. Using animated transitions between values, you can allow for comparisons between categories. Read More

January 31 2018

10:02

Secret army bases seen in public fitness tracking map

Last year, fitness tracking app Strava released a high detail map of public activity data. Looking more closely, security student Nathan Ruser noticed activity in various parts of the globe that revealed secret US army bases.

Alex Hern for The Guardian reports:

Zooming in on one of the larger bases clearly reveals its internal layout, as mapped out by the tracked jogging routes of numerous soldiers. The base itself is not visible on the satellite views of commercial providers such as Google Maps or Apple’s Maps, yet it can be clearly seen through Strava.

Outside direct conflict zones, potentially sensitive information can still be gleaned. For instance, a map of Homey Airport, Nevada – the US Air Force base commonly known as Area 51 – records a lone cyclist taking a ride from the base along the west edge of Groom Lake, marked on the heatmap by a thin red line.

While Strava certainly needs to be responsible for what they’re mapping (especially because they know how many of their users publicly share routes by default), the users need to take better care in what they share.

Or maybe this isn’t sensitive information and is blown out of proportion. I don’t know. I feel like it is though. In which case I’d argue that they should avoid public-facing GPS-based services, which are essentially social media for location.

Tags: military, privacy, Strava

January 30 2018

12:58

Visualizing Incomplete and Missing Data

We love complete and nicely formatted data. That's not what we get a lot of the time. Read More

January 29 2018

21:20

Finding fake followers

This fake follower piece by Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel J.X. Dance, Richard Harris, and Mark Hansen for The New York Times is tops. In search of shortcuts to greater influence, many buy followers, likes, and retweets on Twitter. The numbers go up, but a lot of extra “influence” is just automated fluff.

The Times focuses on one company, Devumi, and investigates the follower pattern of some of the customers, as shown above. The scroll-y explanation is good. It’s even got pseudocode in there to explain the type of bots.

Good stuff.

Tags: bot, fake, Twitter

13:21

Hand-drawn how-to instructions using zero words

Inspired by Dear Data, the data drawing pen pal project, designers Josefina Bravo, Sol Kawage, and Tomoko Furukawa use the postcard medium to send each other weekly how-to instructions for a wide variety of everyday things. The only rule is that they can’t use words.

As of writing this, they’re on week 37, which covered how to roll maki, how to eat an apple like a boss, and how to make mayonnaise.

Tags: illustration, postcards

January 26 2018

10:02

Release strategies for Oscar-nominated films

Evie Liu and William Davis, reporting MarketWatch, looked at release strategies of Oscar nominees over the past few years. Some go for the wide release with the movie playing in over 1,500 theaters, whereas others choose a platform release with the movie playing in fewer than 50 theaters. The last seven of eight Best Picture winners went with the latter route.

Tags: movies, Oscars

January 25 2018

10:48

Is there something wrong with democracy?

Max Fisher and Amanda Taub, for The New York Times, answer the question with a video and charts. And if you’re wondering how they generated a high resolution chart to video, Adam Pearce has you covered.

Tags: democracy, New York Times

January 24 2018

08:21

World population estimator and gridded data from NASA

Population data typically comes in the context of boundaries. City data. County data. Country data. With their Population Estimate Service, NASA provides data at higher granularity. You can request estimated population in the context of a world grid.

Here’s an interactive map to demonstrate the API. Click and drag a shape across any region in the world and get an estimate of the population within that shape. [via kottke]

Tags: NASA, population

January 23 2018

10:29

The Demographics of Others

I think we can all benefit from knowing a little more about others these days. This is a glimpse of how different groups live. Read More

January 22 2018

09:34

Surprise, the world was warmer again in 2017

According to NASA estimates, 2017 was the second warmest year on record since 1880. Henry Fountain, Jugal K. Patel, and Nadja Popovich reporting for The New York Times:

What made the numbers unexpected was that last year had no El Niño, a shift in tropical Pacific weather patterns that is usually linked to record-setting heat and that contributed to record highs the previous two years. In fact, last year should have benefited from a weak version of the opposite phenomenon, La Niña, which is generally associated with lower atmospheric temperatures.

Good times ahead.

Tags: environment, global warming, New York Times

08:27

Data to identify Wikipedia rabbit holes

New data dump from the Wikimedia Foundation:

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Analytics team is releasing a monthly clickstream dataset. The dataset represents—in aggregate—how readers reach a Wikipedia article and navigate to the next. Previously published as a static release, this dataset is now available as a series of monthly data dumps for English, Russian, German, Spanish, and Japanese Wikipedias.

Tags: Wikipedia

January 19 2018

17:08

Porn traffic before and after the missile alert in Hawaii

PornHub compared minute-to-minute traffic on their site before and after the missile alert to an average Saturday (okay for work). Right after the alert there was a dip as people rushed for shelter, but not long after the false alarm notice, traffic appears to spike.

Some interpret this as people rushed to porn after learning that a missile was not headed towards their home. Maybe that’s part of the reason, but my guess is that Saturday morning porn consumers woke earlier than usual.

Tags: missile, porn

January 18 2018

08:30

Compare your fears against reality

From ABC News, this is a clever comparison between people’s worst fears and the number of deaths caused by the things that people fear. It starts by getting the reader to think about his or her fears and then places them in the context of causes of death.

Tags: fear

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