Dickens is not my favourite, but that felt an appropriate title for today’s piece from the Washington Post on Chicago residents’ opinions on, well, Chicago. Turns out there is a notable demographic split on how residents feel about various things in the city.
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.
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.
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.
It’s Friday, everybody, so let’s lighten the mood with cruel and unusual punishment.
Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. No, today we look at a simple two-axis plot or matrix used by Jon Stewart to classify means of death and whether or not they would unconstitutional based on the cruel and unusual clause.
Credit for the piece goes to the Daily Show’s graphics department.
Last week’s terror attacks in Paris highlight the tension in Europe between secular Europe and those believing in Islamist values. The Economist looked at some of the available data and noted the gap between Europe’s perception of Islam and its reality. A quick figure called out for France, French respondents thought 31% of the French population to be Muslim. The reality is a mere 8%.
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist Data Team.
Today’s piece comes via a colleague. It is an article about hit-and-run cycling accidents in and around Los Angeles. The data visualisation in the article is not entirely complex—we are talking only about line charts and bar charts—but they support the arguments and statements in the article. And in that sense they are doing their job.
Credit for the piece goes to Armand Emamdjomeh, Laura J. Nelson, and Joseph Serna.
Sometimes complaints about excessive police force are frivolous or vindictive in nature. Sometimes, however, they are legitimate. In New York, the Civilian Complaint Review Board is the first line of investigation. It makes recommendations that the NYPD then takes up. Or not. This piece from WNYC looks at how the NYPD has responded to those recommendations.
In total, the piece is a guided story. Each step morphs the data into a new display. Overall a small, but quite nice piece.
Credit for the piece goes to the WNYC graphics department.
America loves its gun. The big draw of this piece from the Washington Post is the illustration of the guns used in the mass shootings and whether each was legally or illegally acquired. But more interesting from a data visualisation standpoint are the charts below. They show the numbers of killers, victims, and then the demographics of the killers.
Credit for the piece goes to Alberto Cuadra, Richard Johnson, Todd Lindeman, Ted Mellnik, and Kennedy Elliott
Earlier this year the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended changes in the current blood alcohol limits to reduce youth drunk driving. The NTSB wants the limit dropped/increased from 0.08 to 0.05. Fun side note, technically, the NTSB needs to have the states enact this on their own accord because such limits are not federal power. Instead, the federal government uses the threat of witholding federal transport money as a means of urging states to comply.
Anyway, the New York Times took a look at the data on fatal crashes and blood alcohol in two heat charts. The first looks at the ages of drivers. The youth problem is self-evident.
Toggling to time of day shows perhaps a more commonly thought pattern: drunk driving rises significantly after midnight.
In general I think the piece is very successful. In particular, the breakout or separation of the new limits shows in clear relief how important those three hundredths could be in lowering alcohol-related traffic fatalities. And as seems to be increasingly the case with at least the Times, the use of annotations makes the story told by the data far clearer.
Perhaps the only design quibble I have is the shape of the squares. The rounded corners create weird, little white gaps between cells. And especially in the darker fields, they distract me more so than small, thin borders otherwise would.
Credit for the piece goes to Alastair Dant, Hannah Fairfield, and Andrew W. Lehren.
Terrorism is not new to the United States. As this graphic from the New York Times shows, even in recent decades, we experienced quite a lot of it. In 1970 there were over 400 attacks. However, since 2001, the United States has seen far fewer attacks. Fortunately the Boston Marathon bombing is not as bad as it could have been. But even then, thankfully the bombing is a relative anomaly.
Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of the Times.