The White House released a video of last week’s State of the Union address, with a split screen showing supporting charts, diagrams, and talking points. It’s not a brilliant model of visualization best practices by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a step in the right direction, and represents a recovery from the ridicule that Ross Perot received for using charts on the national political stage in 1992.
For further insight (on both design and economic issues), I HIGHLY RECOMMEND watching this in conjunction with Jodi Beggs critique over at Economists Do it With Models.
Anyone have a better idea of how to visualize this data? It feels like there should be one – but maybe sometimes a table is the right tool for the job.
This FT map illustrates just how packed things are at the Persian Gulf’s bottleneck. The designers wisely chose to allow viewers to select which layers of information they wanted to see, and also provided useful related information as popups.
Here is the map with all layers turned on – which obviously would have been a disaster without the interactive filtering.
(note: some FT features require a subscription to view)
Ushahidi is a non-profit tech developer of free and open source software for collecting and real-time visualization crowd-sourced information. The project originated in a desire to map post-election violence in Kenya back in 2008 – but it has since expanded into a number of free toolsets that can be set up quickly during emergencies. To be honest, I haven’t dived too deep into this, but I wanted to post it in case others have a need.
Answer a series of 11 questions to see which presidential candidate’s views are most like your own. At the end, you can also roll over each candidates columns to see what their specific positions are. Personally, I thought some of the questions were slanted and missing answers that fit my beliefs – no shock, I suppose, considering they had to fit the answers to candidate platforms.
I went to the Newseum this weekend (a great museum – recommend it to everyone) and saw the below wall sized map of freedom of the press. The online version of it isn’t much to look at, but the pop-up/drill down information for each country is very rich.
Online version (which was also available at the Museum at the kiosks you see above):
The Post is doing a great job visualizing the election so far, with a number of clear tools that they are keeping very up to date.
First up: Maps and interactive filtering of spending on ads, including videos of the ads themselves:
A Primary Tracker: mapping out candidate visits, “pre-game analysis”, results by county, and “post-game analysis” – for EACH state!
And a campaign finance explorer:
They also have something called the @MentionMachine that supposedly tracks candidates by twitter mentions and other media references that you can drill down through. Unfortunately, it isn’t working for me on either Firefox or IE.
Each pair of circles shows people who left government service to work/lobby for major corporate interests.
There are a lot of these graphs out there. What I like about this presentation from the WSJ is that each dot in each bar can be clicked on for a short biography of the person who died – a nice combination of information and gravitas.
CNN’s tool maps out where they came from and where they died, and provides an area for others to leave memories for each fallen. While information rich, this one felt very sterile to me, and I couldn’t find anyone that had the “memories” section filled in.
The NYT’s went strangely artsy, with a digitized mosaic menu of the fallen’s faces:
The Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen feature does a good job of presenting summary information, as well as photos of each soldier:
And the Huffington post comes up with the least interactive, self-identified as interactive (ALL CAPS IN THE TITLE!!!), series of charts I’ve even seen. Pretty sad.
These 11 charts appeared on BBC, so they are very Euro-centric, but there are still some gems. My favorite:
For a long time the perception was that the creation of the euro meant sovereign risk was effectively the same across all countries. That of course proved to be wrong. The Lehman’s crisis and financial meltdown that followed affected the deficits and debt levels of different countries in different ways. Interestingly it is much the same countries now with very high yields as it was pre-euro, suggesting little has changed fundamentally in a decade.
An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.