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.
A nice illustration of the popularity swings among Republican presidential nominees. (via)
An interesting comparison of state primary and caucus dates 2000-2012, both for the Democrats and Republicans. You can watch Iowa and New Hampshire keep moving back the opening day to stay before other states trying to steal the spotlight. The bad news: Super Tuesday isn’t until March 6th – so we have 3 more months to go of lame media coverage of the Republican field.
This jumps around a little too much for my taste – but it is a good example of using simple facts to put things in perspective.
Here’s a slightly more in depth, much more tongue-in-cheek version (from two years ago):
Finally, an even more tongue in cheek SNL skit about which god is in charge of Greek finance:
Congress is less popular than the IRS, lawyers, banks, and Nixon – but just above Fidel Castro. Hahaha!.
Opinion polls are probably the mostly worthless statistics out there. However, they can sometimes be amusing: In the 1990s, Michael Moore’s television show “TV Nation” paid for a number of entertaining polls to be professionally conducted:
65% of all Americans believe that frozen pizza will never be any good and there’s nothing science can do about it.
15% of Americans wish Dennis Hopper would go back on drugs.
29% of Americans believe that Elvis was right to shoot TV sets.
60% of Americans say that if they could push a button that would make Larry King disappear, they would “keep pushing it and not stop.”
17% of college graduates would punch themselves really hard in the face for $50.
16% of all Americans believe that the world is out to get them. Of those, 46% are gun owners.
An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.