Merry Christmas

What words are more synonymous with Christmas than data visualisation? Okay, well probably any other words. For most people. But for family, friends, and co-workers I printed my usual infographic Christmas card. But for those of you who only come to my blog, I created a digital, online version.

The printed version of my 2012 Christmas card
The printed version of my 2012 Christmas card

The History of Viper’s Dream

My colleague Benjamin Byron plays the upright bass in a few bands, one of which is named Viper’s Dream. We were discussing the flexibility of jazz band rosters and I decided to make an infographic about the membership history of Viper’s Dream. Unfortunately, I know of nobody’s name but Benjamin’s, so they are all listed as [instrument] Guy.

The history of Viper's Dream
The history of Viper's Dream

Electoral College Victories

Despite the claims of a select few, President Obama’s victory in the electoral college last week was not narrow. While it was not a blowout landslide, it was a clear and convincing win. But to show how it compared across American political history, I quickly charted electoral college results since the time of George Washington.

It is worth keeping in mind that prior to 1804, electors did not distinguish their votes between president and vice president, so those numbers look a little bit different than they might seem today.

Electoral College Results
Electoral College Results

The Enemy Amongst Us

Perhaps the greatest danger now facing NATO and US troops in Afghanistan is the age-old wolf in sheep’s clothing, the insurgent dressed in Afghan Army fatigues. As the graphic below shows, the number of fatalities has been increasing along with the number of attacks. The silver lining in the cloud (to mix metaphors) is that the average lethality of the attacks is on the decline as fewer ISAF soldiers are killed per attack.

Where to Live for the Highest Income

So perhaps the title is a bit of a non-sequitor, but the Washington Post released a table of the Top-100 counties by average income. As a Washington paper their focus was on that city’s suburbs, three counties of which are Numbers 1, 2, and 3. But I wanted to get a sense of where other counties were, including that of my hometown.

Where the Rich Live
Where the Rich Live

A Week of Unrest Across the Middle East

Over the last week a video clip on YouTube that mocked the Muslim prophet Mohammad sparked unrest across the Muslim world, from Morocco to Bangladesh and from Turkey to Kenya. While most of the protests were peaceful, a few were not. In Libya, the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked—in circumstances still not entirely clear—and four Americans were killed, including the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens. In Khartoum, Sudan, the embassies of the US, the United Kingdom, and Germany were all attacked. While in Afghanistan, the Taliban successfully attacked the UK’s heavily fortified base of Camp Bastion, nearest to Kandahar, killing two US Marines and destroying six Harrier jets.

Combing through several news sites, including the BBC, AP, and Reuters among others, I mapped where protests occurred and sought to show how much of that country’s population identifies as Muslim. Most nations were, not surprisingly, heavily Muslim. But several countries with rather small Muslim populations such as Kenya, Sri Lanka, and India also hosted protests, some violent. Not included, because of the difficulty in changing the map, is Australia. Sydney experienced protests nearing rioting as protestors marched.

Click the map for the full-sized view.

Map of Muslim Unrest; click for the full-size view
Map of Muslim Unrest; click for the full-size view

Ethnic Comparison of Romney and Obama Voters

A rare mid-day posting. Some interesting figures published on Twitter by Public Policy Polling look at the ethnic breakdown of the—I presume self-identified—voters for both Governor Romney and President Obama. Perhaps we all already knew this, but one voter group is more diverse than the other.

To see whether these align with the national population, I included some quick stats published by the CIA World Factbook on the ethnic breakdown of the United States. The tricky part, however, is that the US Census Bureau does not regard Hispanic as a discrete ethnic group. Instead, it is considered an origin. Thus, you can be a black Hispanic of Caribbean descent or a white Hispanic from Spain. So, in full transparency, my United States figures for Hispanic are a bit suspect.

Red Sox–Dodgers Trade

There was a lot of news this past weekend. So we’ll start with the important stuff first. An infographic about the big baseball trade between my Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The advantage of a story breaking over the weekend is time to get something together for Monday.

The Red Sox–Dodgers Trade
The Red Sox–Dodgers Trade

Olympic Forecast Comparison

During my research for the Olympic medal projections, I came across a few sites that presented a few other projections because, quite frankly, 65 seemed rather high given that the UK won only 47 the year before. The chart below just compares how the other forecasts turned out in the end.

Forecasts Compared
Forecasts Compared

Emily Williams from the Tusk School of Business, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Dan Johnson of Colorado College, and Meghan Busse from Northwestern University.

How the UK Got to the 65 Medals We Correctly Predicted

So the Olympics are over. But before they began, I and some co-workers made a prediction about how the United Kingdom and their Team GB would perform. We predicted 65 medals. How did the United Kingdom fare? They won 65 medals. This is a follow-up infographic about what made the United Kingdom a winner at the 2012 Summer Games. It’s a bit larger than the first version, but this one also includes new data and revisits some of the earlier themes.

Another important (and correct) prediction was that China would slip and not reach 100 medals. This should happen after experiencing the host nation bump. While we did not create a number for China, they scored only 87 medals. Another correct prediction.

We Nailed the Prediction of 65 Team GB Medals
We Nailed the Prediction of 65 Team GB Medals

All in all a very successful series. (Created for my employer Euromonitor International, as the usual disclaimer goes.)