Blowing Things Up (Or Shooting Them Down)

After an odd two short weeks—imagine two weeks with each only having a Monday and a Friday—we (in the royal sense of I) are back to the routine. So what better way than to look at American awesomeness in blowing things up. Through air strikes launched from US aircraft carriers.

This graphic comes from the New York Times and looks at the changed nature of air warfare in Afghanistan. No longer are US fighters dropping bombs all over the place—during the early days of the war, aircraft would take off laden with so many bombs that they needed to drop some before returning to the carrier—instead they use cannon fire and use it far more sparingly.

Carrier strikes
Carrier strikes

Credit for the piece goes to Sergio Peçanha.

Crossing the Detroit River (Panic in Detroit)

The National Post’s business section, branded separately as the Financial Post, posted a comment about a proposed bridge that would span the Detroit River and add a third major crossing to the Detroit–Windsor area. The comment used a graphic to explain one of the key points of the story, that early 21st century traffic projections haven proven to be very much incorrect. Unfortunately, it took me a little bit of time to realise that in the graphic.

Crossing Options Original
Crossing Options Original

So without access to the raw data provided by United Research Services I have made a quick attempt to improve the graphic within the confines of Coffee Spoons’ main column space, i.e. 600 pixels. The original locator map is quite useful and therefore not included in my effort.

Detroit River Crossing Traffic Revisited
Detroit River Crossing Traffic Revisited

My main issues with the charts are the separation of the estimates from the actuals and the spacing between the estimates. I would have preferred to have seen, as in my example, how the actuals for 2010 fell far short of the 2004 projections. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen the original estimates for the intervening years between 2010, ’20, and ’30, however that data was not provided in the comment if it is even available from the original source. Consequently, unlike the original, I have kept the spacing of the actual data in the estimates with the intervening gaps.

The subtle effect of this increased spacing is to reduce the visual speed, if one will, of the projected growth. Over the original and narrower space the rate of increase appears fairly dramatic. However when given the correct spacing the ‘time’ to reach the projections lengthens and thus the rate ‘slows down’.

Credit for the original piece goes to Richard Johnson. The reinterpretation and any errors therein are entirely my own.

Cancer

From the Sydney Morning Herald, we have a link to an interactive infographic published by the Cancer Council of Australia, a non-profit that seeks to reduce the impact of cancer upon Australia. It is not the most graphical by way of charts, but offers the user “playful” interactions with statistics to better inform him or her about the causes and impacts of cancer. The format is also interesting in that it mimics the fad in infographics of the long, vertical scroll page. But here it is done to much better and ostensibly more useful effect. Useful in the sense of trying to help people.

Bowel cancer
Bowel cancer

 

Brotherly Love

From the New York Times we have a graphic that looks at homicides across several different US cities. And in Chicago, they are up significantly from this point last year. So too is Philly, but I like to think of that as an outpouring of brotherly love.

Homicides
Homicides

Opening the Window

The Washington Post brings us a look at the mess that is our Congressional representatives buying and selling stocks affected by the legislation they write, discuss, and upon which they vote. None of the charts in this piece are of themselves particularly complex—we are looking at a pie chart after all—but they do come together to tell a story of…wholly ethical behaviour…

Trading stocks
Trading stocks

Credit for the piece goes to Wilson Andrews, Emily Chow, David Fallis, Dan Keating, Laura Stanton, Sisi Wei, and Karen Yourish.

Exoplanets

Sometimes an infographic needs to put us in our place. Humanity is but one of many species on one of many planets in one solar system. Over at xkcd, we can see how only now are we beginning to expand our knowledge of how many other solar systems and planets there are (and that are just waiting to be discovered).

Exoplanets
Exoplanets

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Where Your Bacteria Live

People are nothing more than dirty stinking apes. Especially when it comes to microbes. On Monday the New York Times published an infographic that visualised the data on the prevalence and abundance of different microbes across a sample of over 200 individuals. That is to say the visualisation looks at where microbes are most common and just how common they are in that location.

Microbes
Microbes

Revisiting the End of the Shuttles

This is a post that goes back a little bit in time, but that I stumbled upon and found worth a post. Last summer the United States ended the Space Shuttle programme by retiring all of our orbiters. And of course this prompted many to attempt infographics about the history of bringing liberty and freedom to space.

Amidst the fond farewells, I missed this interactive piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer about the history and the future of Americans in space.

Interactive history
Interactive history

The interactive piece contains three separate sections. The first looks at the individual Americans who made it into space. The second compares the Space Shuttle to the Russian Soyuz craft that we now must use to get into space. The third looks at the future, and what we might use.

But, the Inquirer also had a print edition to worry about, and published a static version of the piece. Is it perhaps a bit cluttered, yes, but the addition of the photographs and the annotations (even though the annotations are available as rollover conditions in the interactive piece) makes the print version more welcoming to explore and read at leisure. Additionally, the difference in scale of the three segments of the piece give a clear importance to the individuals rather than to the technology. This distinction is lost in the interactive piece because each segment is the same size and receives the same scale of treatment.

Static shuttle
Static shuttle

Credit for the interactive piece goes to Kevin Burkett and Rob Kandel. Credit for the print piece goes to Kevin Burkett.

Greece vs. Germany

It appears as if the Greeks, who voted in parliamentary elections for the second time in as many months, have narrowly voted for pro-bailout parties. But whether the pro-bailout parties can put aside their other political differences and form a coalition government remains to be seen.

Until we see that, thanks to the National Post, we can see an infographic comparison between Greece and Germany, arguably the worst and the best European economies.

Greece and Germany compared
Greece and Germany compared

I appreciate the mirror approach, but wonder if the comparisons might not have been clearer if measured directly? Or what would have happened without the mirror approach and compared the two countries in single but slightly larger charts? Regardless, one can easily see that Greece has some serious problems.

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