Tag Archives: bar chart

A Lifetime at War?

Monday was Memorial Day here in the States. As a millennial, that means I have spent nearly most of my life in wartime. Today’s post looks at a graphic from the Washington Post that explains how anybody born after 2001 has spent the entirety of their life in wartime. Before then, however, and the numbers get fuzzier, because of the subjective nature of when the United States has been at war. But, given the undercounting in the article—as it notes—it is safe to say that the percentages visualised are low.

Lifetimes at war

Lifetimes at war

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


I just returned from my trip to Kansas City last night. Kansas, if you did not know it, exists within what people call Tornado Alley. That means they receive a lot of tornadoes. But what are tornadoes beyond the plot points of mid-90s action films? Basically complicated micro-weather systems. So complicated we still don’t entirely understand them. But the National Post looks at explaining what we do know.

Inside a tornado

Inside a tornado

Credit for the piece goes to Andrew Barr and Mike Faille.

Baseball vs. Basketball vs. Hockey

There was an interesting article in Forbes on Monday that looked at baseball’s popularity. In short, the commonly believed argument is that baseball is becoming less popular vs. sports like football, basketball, &c. Hence, one of the reasons for the pace of play changes. However, last Wednesday, there were three nationally televised playoff games—two in basketball and one in hockey—and one nationally televised baseball game, Mets at the Cubs. The logic of the common argument would have non-playoff baseball falling behind the playoff games. But, in 14 of 24 media markets, the local baseball games drew more television viewers than playoff basketball or hockey, or even national baseball games. Unfortunately, the article in question used some really poor graphics to communicate this story. So, I decided to spend my Monday night making it clearer for you. Compare a snippet of the original to mine. You make the call.

The original chart

The original chart

How the local baseball game did against the national sports games

How the local baseball game did against the national sports games

Credit for the original piece goes to the Forbes graphics department.

Fast Food on the Internets

Let’s aim for something a bit lighter today. Well, lighter in all things but calories, perhaps. Today we have a piece from the Wall Street Journal that looks at the social media presence of several large fast food brands. Overall, it has a few too many gimmicky illustrations for my comfort. But, the strength of the piece is that it does look at some real data, e.g. plotted Twitter response rates, and then contextualises it with appropriate callouts.

Who cares about your tweets?

Who cares about your tweets?

The illustrations are killing me, though.

Credit for the piece goes to Marcelo Prince and Carlos A. Tovar.

The UK General Election

Well for those of you among my British audience, today is the big day. Can Malcolm Tucker save Nicola Murray from—wait, nope, that’s fictional British politics. But that doesn’t mean today’s results won’t be exciting. For those of you now from the UK, a majority of my readers, the UK is looking at what is called a hung parliament. In other words, nobody will win a majority of seats, which means that smaller parties will need to be included in a coalition government, a sort of fairly new—but also not really—development in British politics.

We could dive deep into all of these, but I have not the time. But, let’s start with the Guardian. They have a nice set of polling and prediction guesstimators. What is really nice, however, is the seat changing graphics. These show you where the gains and losses are predicted to originate.

The Guardian's predictions

The Guardian’s predictions

The BBC has a much less involved piece. This is the only thing I can find. However, the BBC will undoubtedly have interesting visuals during their live broadcast of the results. Jeremy Vine can always be counted on for weird presentational things. Oh, and they have the swingometer.

The BBC's poll tracker

The BBC’s poll tracker

Back in April we looked at the Fivethirtyeight predictions. And we might as well throw the latest screenshot up and compare that to the Guardian and the BBC.

Fivethirtyeight's updated predictions

Fivethirtyeight’s updated predictions

The Economist has a nice poll tracker with some simple controls for some simple filtering. But, these are, like the BBC’s, without an impact of number of seats. The Economist does, however, offer a separate build-your-own-majority calculator. 

What the Economist shows on their Election homepage

What the Economist shows on their Election homepage

The New Statesmen has built a site dedicated to May 2015, and their current predictions are as follows below.

New Statesmen's predictions

New Statesmen’s predictions

The only drawback to all of these pieces is that I will be busy coaching softball tomorrow night. So I will be unable to watch the BBC’s coverage of election results. And that is most unfortunate, because British politics are far more fascinating than the bland and boring two-party politics of the United States.

Credit for the Guardian piece goes to Caelainn Barr, Helena Bengtssoni, Chia-Jung (Apple) C.Fardel, Seán Clarke, Cath Levett, Alberto Nardelli, and Carlo Zapponi.

Credit for the BBC piece goes to the BBC graphics department.

Credit for the Fivethirtyeight piece goes to Matthew Conien and Ritchie King.

Credit for the Economist piece goes to the Economist’s graphics department.

Credit for the New Statesmen piece goes to the May 2015 graphics team.

America’s Long History with Flip-flopping

Today the Supreme Court takes up gay marriage. Again. This is, you know, after they decided two years ago that the federal government has to recognise gay marriages when performed in states where it is legal. Anyway, last week, Bloomberg Business looked at the United States preference for changing its mind through a nice series of charts.

How interracial marriage changed in the US

How interracial marriage changed in the US

They took six key issues, including interracial marriage shown above, and looked at how the position shifted over time. They identified the basic trend as being early adopter states followed by rapid acceptance to a critical mass, at which time the federal government stepped in, e.g. via the Supreme Court.

Credit for the piece goes to Alex Tribou and Keith Collins.

Friday Baseball Drinking

Your humble author is out of town today. And unfortunately he is not watching a ball game. But if he were, he would be drinking a beer. And even more unfortunately, his favourite team and favourite ballpark has the most expensive beer. And most unfortunate, the other two teams he is perhaps most likely to watch have the…same most expensive beer. Business Insider charted the prices and the price per ounce. To be fair, I am often too busy scoring a game to get drunk during a game.

It's expensive getting drunk at Fenway. And Citizens Bank. And Wrigley.

It’s expensive getting drunk at Fenway. And Citizens Bank. And Wrigley.

Credit for the piece goes to Business Insider.

Baseball’s Pace of Play and ESPN’s Pie in Their Face

Baseball is my sport. I love it. Some of my favourite games are the four-hour long matches between my Red Sox and the scourge of the Earth, the Yankees. Games can take a long time for a number of reasons. But in an increasingly fast-paced world, critics argue that younger generations do not have the patience for even three-hour games. So Major League Baseball this year is actively trying to reduce the time of games through pace-of-play improvements. To do this, they are looking at and collecting more of baseball’s copious amounts of data.

Unfortunately, ESPN in an article about the improvements for this year took the data and did nothing with it.

For the love of god, why?

For the love of god, why?

Above we have survey results. I want to vomit in my mouth. Wait, hold on…sorry about that, I am back now. Some organisations have done some really nice visualisations with baseball data, of which we have a lot because the sport plays 162 games per year. We surely could be looking at more timing data. But, instead we get three-dimensional pie charts from ESPN. The rest of the article is not much better, though their styling of bar charts still leaves things to be desired.

Credit for the piece goes to ESPN’s graphics department.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock Oil

North Dakota’s economy has been booming because of shale oil. Most of that economic growth has been centred on what was the small city of Williston, North Dakota. Economic growth often leads to population growth, however, and that can at times lead to growth in less than wholesome economic activities. The National Journal took a look at the population growth in the area and what has been happening concurrently in a few metrics of the less wholesome sectors of the economy, i.e. drugs and prostitution. Turns out, they are both up.

Population growth in North Dakota

Population growth in North Dakota

Credit for the piece goes to Clare Foran and Stephanie Stamm.

British Parliament Timeline

For those of you who don’t know, the British Parliament was dissolved today ahead of the 7 May elections. In other words, it is now election time. Last week the Economist published a small interactive piece that allows you to look at the composition of the British Parliament from 1870 through today.

Parliament over the years

Parliament over the years

While many (some?) of us would remember times from recent history, e.g. the 1997 electoral victory of Tony Blair, the memory might be a bit foggier one hundred years in the past. But to help you, if you click on a particular year, the view changes from an overview to a focus on Parliament in that particular year.

Parliament in 1915

Parliament in 1915

Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s Data Team.