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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Side note, as someone who it could be said uses a lot of purple in his work, I love the colour choices here.
One of the things that irritates me about when people complain about government spending is the comparison against household budgeting. The two are very different. I mean on the surface, I suppose yes, both have income and both spend on stuff and services. But, to put it all in context there is this nice piece from the Washington Post that shows what US federal government monthly spending looks like from the perspective of a household earning $64k.
The government-is-a-household budget
I wish I could get away with that level of spending on housing and transportation…
Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.
Last night, in the States’ time at least, North Korea purportedly tested a hydrogen bomb. How does this differ from their previous tests? Well, those were all nuclear fission bombs, this is a nuclear fusion bomb. (Admittedly, I am simplifying a lot here.) Hydrogen bombs, the H-bomb, are more powerful and more efficient in that they emit less radiation. They are still pretty bad news, though. That bit has not changed.
Anyway, the Washington Post put together a nice piece about nuclear weapons testing. The big feature piece is a map of test sites over time. What I really like about it, however, is that they chose to split the world at a different point—the Pacific Ocean opposite the Prime Meridian. I have occasionally argued for using such maps more often given the increasing relevance of Asia and the relative decline of Western Europe. So it is nice to see it put to good use here.
We go from one crisis to another, as we go back to Syria. This piece from Bloomberg is very nicely designed and is almost entirely in black and white. We often think that because computer, everything needs to be in a rainbow of shiny, shiny colours. But here we have places where the designers smartly used patterns and smart labelling to avoid the need for colour.
A fantastic black and white map
Credit for the piece goes to Cindy Hoffman, Dave Merrill, Chris Nosenzo, Mira Rojanasakul, and Blacki Migliozzi.
So yesterday we reimagined a less-than-stellar BBC chart. Today, we look at a good chart from the BBC about climate change, timed to coincide with the start of the Paris climate talks. This comes from an article with six charts related to climate change, but it is the best in my mind.
The trend…not so good.
Nothing but nice design here with the use of colour to highlight the top ten hottest and coldest years over the last 225+ years. But it really comes alive when animated and tells the story how those coldest years occurred at the beginning of the set and the hottest are among the most recent years.
Credit for the piece goes to Emily Maguire, Tom Nurse, Steven Connor, and Punit Shah.
At the end of the month the world will gather in Paris, France for the next round of climate change talks. In advance of the talks, the Financial Times put together this model of how emissions reductions will help—or not—get climate change under control. The piece is two-fold. The first is a ten-step narrative that showcases the tool’s split of the time series into short-, medium-, and long-term impacts and how those work in the best and worst case scenarios. But it then allows the user to jump right on in and create their own scenarios.
Is it getting hot out there?
Credit for the piece goes to John Burn-Murdoch and Pilita Clark.
Turkey held its elections over the weekend. And so on the way to work this morning I decided to check the results on the BBC. And I saw this graphic—screenshot from my phone.
The BBC results
So I decided to scrap today’s blog post and instead spend all of five minutes tweaking this to make it a bit clearer. Or, a lot clearer. Simple little tweaks can make all the difference in data clarity. Now you can visually see the scale of difference in the votes. You also don’t need to refer to a legend off to the side with tints of the same colour.
My results with their data
Credit for the original piece goes to the BBC graphics department.