Where Is Pennsyltucky?

So last week I mentioned Pennsyltucky in my blog post about Pennsylvania’s forthcoming importance in the election. And then on Friday I shared a humourous illustrated map of Pennsylvania that led into an article on Pennsyltucky. But where exactly is it?

Luckily for you, I spent a good chunk of my weekend trying to find some data on Pennsylvania and taking a look at it. You can see and read the results over on a separate page of mine.

Where is Pennsyltucky?
Where is Pennsyltucky?

Two Tales of One City

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.

Some of the issues
Some of the issues

Credit for the piece goes to Emily Badger.

Where is Normal America?

Not every graphic information graphic is a sexy chart or map. Sometimes tables communicate the story just as well. Maybe even better. Today’s post comes from FiveThirtyEight, which examined a claim about what places represent “Normal America”. Turns out that when one looks at the data, here age, race, ethnicity, and education, Normal America is found in the eastern half of the country. And it includes some big cities, notably both Philadelphia and Chicago. The whole article is worth a read, as it goes on exploring states representing Normal America and then places that represent 1950s America.

Where is Normal America?
Where is Normal America?

So where is Normal America? New Haven, Connecticut.

Credit for the piece goes to Jed Kolko.

Mapping a New America

The United States of America consists of 50 states and hundreds of cities. In Sunday’s edition of the New York Times Parag Khanna argued for the switch of priority away from the state-level and to effectively the city-level. We have clusters of cities that dominate and drive the national economy.

The classic case-in-point is Bowash, the megapolis of interconnected cities from Boston to Washington, where there is a plan to extend Baltimore’s MARC public transit train to Wilmington, Delaware. If that were to happen, one could take public transit from the northern suburbs of New York City to Washington through Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. But today, those decisions must be taken as many as six different states. What if it were handled by a single, regional body?

The Great Northeast
The Great Northeast

The above map looks at what a New America could look like, as grouped into seven different regions and their urban clusters.

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.

The Middle Class is Getting Poorer

At least relatively speaking. Today’s post is a Bloomberg article comprised primarily of charts with pithy titles summarising the data story. If listicle is a word for articles consisting of the Top-10 things about [whatever], do we start embracing charticle as the word for chart-driven stories? Even if we do, we should take note that this piece was not the work of one person, but four.

The Middle Class' share of wealth
The Middle Class’ share of wealth

The story captures my attention to and dovetails nicely into yesterday’s piece about a possible electoral path for Donald Trump to take the White House later this autumn.

Bonus points for the responsive nature of the post.

Credit for the piece goes to Andre Tartar, Mira Rojanasakul, Jeremy Diamond, and John Fraher.

Party Demographics

Alas, these are not the fun type of parties, but the two main US political ones. But overall, before some more primary and caucus votes tomorrow, I think this Wall Street Journal piece nicely captures and illustrates the changes in and the differences between the bases of the two parties.

The makeup of the two large US political parties
The makeup of the two large US political parties

Credit for the piece goes to the Wall Street Journal graphics department.

The Zika Virus Potential in the United States

We hear ever more about the Zika virus that currently plagues South America. But the fact is that the mosquito that carries it could inhabit some regions of the United States as well as the South American tropics. Over at the Daily Viz, there was an article about just what the potential numbers could be.

The Zika-carrying mosquito's potential range
The Zika-carrying mosquito’s potential range

The piece is a nice reminder that not every important story needs a super-complicated graphic. It just needs a clean, clear, and concise graphic. The threat here is to parts of the American south. But, as yesterday’s post showed, ever more people are moving there and so that puts roughly 80 million Americans in harm’s way.

Also, another validation of my dislike of warm weather.

Credit for the piece goes to Matt Stiles.

Where People Really Want To Go

Sorry for the two-week absence, everybody. I travelled to the UK for work and then stayed there and Ireland on holiday. But I have returned, but with the inevitable jet lag waking me up early this morning, I had no reason not to post something.

Late last year, the Washington Post published a small article examining trends in US migration data. The crux of the article? During the recession, people stopped moving from the Northeast and Midwest to the Sunbelt. (I was a rare exception heading from the Northeast to the Midwest.) But, now that the economy is not so sluggish, that movement of people has resumed. Naturally, there are charts to go alongside it.

Migration between regions
Migration between regions

I selected the above because while generally fine, I quibble with one design decision. In the locator map in the upper right, take the South, which is coloured dark green for a winner in the game of migration. However, in another map earlier in the piece, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana are all losing people. I likely would have left the white states lines off the map. Or reused the same earlier map, but with a thicker stroke to indicate the US Census Bureau regions.

Credit for the piece goes to Darla Cameron.

Urban Homicide

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
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
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.

Credit for the piece goes to Denise Lu.

More on the Muslim Split in the Middle East

Yesterday we looked at the Economist’s work on breaking down the Sunni and Shia split throughout the Middle East. Let’s take a look at that again today, especially since the world’s largest Muslim nation dealt with a terror attack overnight. That’s right, Indonesia is actually the world’s largest Muslim country and it is also largely secular in nature. But, back to the Middle East where the New York Times put together an article exploring the two power blocs and the religious affiliations within.

A map of the region
A map of the region

The map provides a bit more detail on a few different sects that are relevant, especially the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia.

Credit for the piece goes to Sarah Almukhtar, Sergio Peçanha, and Tim Wallace.