Iowa Caucus Results by Demographic Types

Back to the Iowa Caucus results for a moment. A lot of the day-of forecasting for elections is done by entrance and exit polls. So in this piece from the Washington Post, we take a look at entrance poll results. This is basically a two-parter. The first is showing each candidate and the group they won and a number indicates by how much they won the demographic group.

Select the 30–44 age group

Select the 30–44 age group

If you click on any of the demographic groups in particular, you are brought to the part of the page with the actual full results for the demographic. The format is simple a basic heat map with table. Nothing fancy, but nothing fancy is required for that type of data. Interestingly, the colour denotes not the share, but the result. I am not sure I would have done that, but it is a minor quibble.

The 30–44 age group results

The 30–44 age group results

Credit for the piece goes to Lazaro Gamio and Scott Clement.

T-shirt Sizes

It’s Monday, folks. And for most of us that means going back to work. Which means dressing appropriately. And that’s about as far as I’ve got introducing this subject matter, because I wear a dress shirt and tie everyday. Not a t-shirt. But we’re talking t-shirts. Specifically their sizing.

Threadbase is a New York startup looking to do some cool things with data about t-shirts. But that requires having data with which to play. And they are starting to do just that. Their opening blog post has quite a few data visualisations.

Comparing actual sizes via a dot plot

Comparing actual sizes via a dot plot

The dot plot above charts the sizes by dimension for various brands and makes. I might quibble with the particular colours as the red and purple are a bit on the difficult side to distinguish. Symbols could be away around the issue. But the only real issue is that on my monitors the full image runs long and I lose the reference point of the actual dimensions in inches.

But the piece is worth the read for the cyclical changes in dimensions.

Mostly it’s just a pity that I’m not a jeans and t-shirt sort of guy.

Credit for the piece goes to Threadbase.

Watching the Iowa Caucus Results

Last night I watched the caucuses from my dinner table via the internets. And I used this handy piece from the Washington Post. The screenshot is from early in the evening before most of the results had arrived.

The early results

The early results

What is really nice is that the site refreshed every thirty seconds. Sometimes nothing happens in a county. But if something did, they used a nice white line within the county borders to indicate a county within which an update had occurred.

Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.

The Iowa Caucuses

If you did not realise it, today is the first day of the second phase of the American presidential election process. Phase 1 was all the posturing and getting-to-know-me stuff from every candidate. A few dropped out, but now the first votes will be placed in the cold and later tonight snowy town centres of Iowa. The big story for Iowa is can Trump fend off Cruz and can Hillary fend off Bernie. (I like how we can clearly delineate the two parties by whether we use surnames or given names.)

I love election season and in particular the visualisations that go along with them. But I have been making a conscious effort not to go overboard. But that phase is over, so today we look at FiveThirtyEight’s range plots that I have enjoyed for some time now.

Who will be first in Iowa?

Who will be first in Iowa?

They are sort of like a more intuitive version of the familiar box plot. Your highest probability falls within the red—what other colour did you expect—and the average value is denoted. But you can also see that the curves are asymmetric. In short, anybody from Carson up really has a shot. But expect to see Trump or Cruz on top in Iowa.

The race, however, is not quite as exciting on the Democratic side. However, much like I am surprised that Trump is not just still running, but leading, I am surprised about Bernie Sanders’ strength. While he is further behind than Cruz is behind Trump, it is still quite possible for Iowa to “feel the Bern” as they say.

The Democratic plots

The Democratic plots

There are of course other visualisation pieces out there—on this page even—but how about we ease into the commentary? After the presidential election is much more a marathon than a sprint. Anyway, I guess we will all see how accurate these plots are come this time Tuesday.

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight design team.

Urban Homicide

Today we look at a really nice piece from the Washington Post on urban homicide. It combines big, full-width images that use interactivity to promote exploration of data. But as you can see in the screenshot below, the designers took care to highlight a few key stories. Just in case the reader does not want to take the time to explore the data set.

The growth rate is an interactive piece

The growth rate is an interactive piece

But the piece uses scale to provide contrast throughout the article. Because in addition to the three or four big graphics, a similarly well-thought-out and well-designed approach was taken towards smaller, inline supplemental graphics. Here is an example about the homicide rate for New York.

New York's homicide rate as an inline graphic

New York’s homicide rate as an inline graphic

What I really enjoy about these small graphics is the attention paid to highlighting New York against the background averages provided for context. Note how the orange line for the city breaks the grey lines. It is a very nice detail.

Overall, this is a really strong piece marrying written content and data visualisation.

Credit for the piece goes to Denise Lu.

Dude Where Did I Park My Car?

Mother Jones had a lengthy but fascinating piece on urban parking. (I mention the lengthy bit only lest you think it a quick lunch read.) While the design uses a few factettes as sidebars to the main body copy:

Sidebar factette

Sidebar factette

The more interesting piece is the illustrative comparison of a 1.5 vehicle parking space to the size of a 2-bedroom flat. This is the main and really only graphic of the whole piece. However it does a great job comparing the sizes required for humans and for vehicles. We use a lot of space for vehicles.

2 bedrooms vs 1.5 vehicles

2 bedrooms vs 1.5 vehicles

Not that I have any intention of getting rid of my car.

Credit for the piece goes to Chris Philpot.

Blizzard of 2016 Snowfall Totals

You may have heard that the East Coast received a wee bit of snow. Here is the snowfall map from the Wall Street Journal.

Where the snow fell

Where the snow fell

I can report that my family received 30 inches. Which makes sense, because they live somewhere near here. That’s a lot of snow.

My hometown

My hometown

Credit for the piece goes to the Wall Street Journal graphics department.

Snowmageddon Round 2?

For those of you like myself from the East Coast—even if some of us have unfortunately moved away from civilisation—terms like Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse draw upon memories of lots and lots of snow. So with all the hype about today’s snowstorm about to pummel the East Coast, the Washington Post took a look at the forecast range of snow and compared that to Snowmageddon.

Attack of the 6-ft tall snowman

Attack of the 6-ft tall snowman

Side note, as someone who it could be said uses a lot of purple in his work, I love the colour choices here.

Credit for the piece goes to Kat Downs.