President Obama has made a big deal recently about income inequality. The story in short is that the rich in the country are getting rich; the poor are getting poorer; and the people in the middle are fewer in number. Here in Chicago, this has meant that over the last few decades, many of the former middle-class neighbourhoods have been gutted of, well, the middle class. Daniel Kay Hertz has created a series of maps to show just how drastic the change has been since 1970.
Today’s piece comes from the New York Times. It fits within a broader article about smoking in the United States. The map is a choropleth that compares the smoking rate across counties and states in 1996 and 2012. However, as the article talks about how difficult it has been to decrease the smoking rates among the poor, I wonder if even just a third map would be useful. This map could have shown the actual decline, perhaps in percentage points, of counties between 1996 and 2012. Or another related graphic could have tried to correlate income and said change.
Map of Smoking in 2012
Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.
Today’s post is not news-related for a change. (Don’t worry, I’ll likely get back to that next week.) Instead, we have a new collection of mobile data visualisations curated by Sebastian Sadowski. You can choose to see either smartphone or tablet visualisations and then filter by visual form.
Smartphone Data Visualisation
Credit for the site goes to Sebastian Sadowski, to the various works to the various designers.
So Ukraine is even more of a mess and in less than a week’s time, the Crimean people will vote in a referendum on whether they want to remain a part of Ukraine or rejoin Russia. This graphic of mine is an attempt to answer some questions—though hardly all I wanted—about Ukraine, Crimea, and about what the Russians have been doing. (To be fair, the Russians still don’t admit that the troops and soldiers are theirs. But really, I mean come on, we all know they are.)
A lot of things happened in Ukraine this past weekend. Unfortunately, I was not able to quite capture all of the events and the background I wanted. So, until I do, this quick graphic will have to suffice. In short, Ukraine is a big European country, one of the largest prizes remaining in the struggle between the West/EU and the East/Russia. I took a look at the forecast for Ukraine in 2050 for both number of people and the size of the economy and put that in the context of Europe. And while forecasting that far out clearly has risks, one can see with a grain of salt that Ukraine is set to be an important middle-sized European nation.
A quick introduction to Ukraine
But, like I said, there is more to do. I just was not able to do it.
Last week, the Swiss people narrowly rejected the principle of freedom of movement. This principles serves as one of the foundations of the European Union. And while Switzerland does not belong to the EU, its economy benefits from access to the single market via that freedom of movement principle. That may be an oversimplification perhaps, but it provides some context to the consternation in Europe over the Swiss people rejecting the principle.
This graphic is not particularly complex. It is a choropleth of the vote results. However, it does show that the vote was not unanimous. Rather it was contained to the cantons (analogous to states in the US) more rural in character, i.e. less urban places like Geneva.
Swiss immigration vote results
Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.
Not “the Ukraine” as it is (admittedly) fun to do in pop-culture references to Seinfeld. This comes from the Washington Post and the article tries to show that the protests in Kiev are not necessarily a vast majority against the government. Certainly the opposition is strong, but there is also a very strong pro-government movement. Why? Because in the broadest of senses, Ukraine is where the West, i.e. the European Union, meets the East, i.e. Russia.
A divided Ukraine
Credit for putting this all together goes to Max Fisher. Credit for each of the original graphics is to their respective designers whom I cannot identify.
This piece from the Washington Post examines the idea of economic mobility. That is, what is the likelihood that children born and raised in an impoverished family will surpass their parents’ standard of living.
Credit for the piece goes to Darla Cameron and Ted Mellnik.
As I noted in my Friday post, I spent last week in Lithuania for work. That same Friday night, I had a conversation with a few coworkers over dinner and a beer about credit cards. They teased me that for all of America’s technological advances and advantages, even in Lithuania they were using more secure forms of bank card payment: chipped cards. And that story seems a perfect segue into today’s post from the Washington Post.
Through a combination of charts, maps, and illustrations—a cropping of which is shown below—the Post details the advantages of using microchipped cards in preventing certain types of fraud. Additionally, because of the integration of the visuals with the written explanations, text can be used to provide longer anecdotes to explain exceptions and outliers when and where necessary.