Mobile Phones

Earlier this year, the mobile phone (or cell phone for many Americans) turned 40. Today’s infographic comes from the National Post and looks at the history and the near future of the mobile phone market, mobile phones, and related technologies. A nice touch is a actual-scale drawing (best seen in print) comparing a modern iPhone to an “old school” mobile phone, as shown in the cropping of the original below.

The history of the mobile phone
The history of the mobile phone

Credit for the piece goes to Mike Faille and Kristopher Morrison.

Recapping the Boston Marathon Bombing

After the capture this weekend of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the Washington Post published an interactive piece that looked at the entirety of the story. It captured the bombing, looked at the investigation, then the manhunt, and finally the capture of one of the suspects.

The piece incorporated static diagrams along with video and interactive navigation to tell the story in day-sized chunks on the screen. When taken together as one whole piece, it is quite impressive.

The capture of one of the suspects
The capture of one of the suspects

Credit for the piece goes to what may well be the entire graphics staff of the Washington Post: Wilson Andrews, Darla Cameron, Emily Chow, Alberto Cuadra, Kat Downs, Laris Karklis, Todd Lindeman, Katie Park, Gene Thorp, and Karen Yourish.

The Universe Keeps Getting Bigger

The Kepler observatory is responsible for finding Earth-like planets in distant solar systems. It was launched only in 2009, but has been incredibly successful. Earlier this week scientists announced the discovery of Kepler 62, a star system that has five planets. Two of those planets exist within the Goldilocks zone, where conditions are just right for habitable planets (for Earth-like organisms) to form and exist. Of course, not all planets in such zones are habitable, look at Venus and Mars for examples. But still, the news is quite significant.

Over at the New York Times, Jonathan Corum plotted all the data on all the systems so far discovered by Kepler, including that new information on Kepler 62. The result is a mesmerising view of star systems beyond our own. The stars are planets are enlarged for visibility and the orbits are made a bit more circular, but the overview is still fantastic.

The chart shows the relative sizes of the stars and their temperatures and allows you to compare the orbits of the planets so far known. You can also sort the chart either by size or time of discovery. It also shows the relative times of the planets’ orbits. That is, they move…

The Kepler star systems
The Kepler star systems

Fans of this will remember that in 2011, the New York Times used a similar, albeit static, method to explain the discovery of planets at Kepler 20, whose planets all orbit closer to their star than Mercury to ours.

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathan Corum.

The Boston Marathon Bombing in More Detail

Today’s post comes from the New York Times and offers more detail on the twin terror bombings Monday. While the topic is surely gruesome, the interactive graphic is clean without the inclusion of photos or videos of the violence. It focuses on the facts without the fanfare or sensationalism to which we are accustomed from a media that too often needs it to draw and sustain viewership. A sober and informative piece from the New York Times.

Details of the Boston Marathon Bombing
Details of the Boston Marathon Bombing

Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of the Times.

The ABCs of the F-35

Certainly in the more illustrative range, a few weeks back the Washington Post published a small piece that looked at the F-35. Somehow it has survived budget cuts and become a monstrous $400 billion defence project. Partly that is because it is being built in three different versions for all the main aircraft-flying service branches: the Air Force (A), the Marine Corps (B), and the Navy (C). The Post piece highlights some of the key differences between the  versions.

The F-35A
The F-35A

Credit for the piece goes to Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Alberto Cuadra, and Bill Webster.

Pro Tip #314: Don’t Stare Into the Sun

Don’t stare into the sun. It’ll burn your eyes out, kid. Okay, so maybe that’s a stretch of a reference, but, seriously, don’t. Let the professionals do it with (properly shielded) telescopes and such. This piece from the New York Times looks at a solar flare from 2012 and shows how quickly it developed. The bottom of the piece then shows the reader the frequency of solar minimums and maximums along with some explanatory graphics about just what flares and sunspots are and how they are created.

Also note the centre panel in the top row for the relative size of Earth. Yeah, who’s feeling big now? (Not me.)

Don't stare into it…
Don't stare into it…

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathan Corum.

Counting Zombie Kills in the Walking Dead

I watched the first season of the Walking Dead, but I have not followed the show closely since. That is not to say it is a bad show or is not entertaining, I just haven’t had the time. Fortunately Richard Johnson and Andrew Barr of the National Post have been following along. Otherwise, they would have not been able to create the infographic from which this cropping comes.

Who Killed What When and How
Who Killed What When and How

The piece examines which character killed which zombie and with what weapon. They then pivot the data to examine the total kills by type and by character. What is interesting, however, is that when the image is reduced and rotated, you get a quick overview of the amount of carnage.

Reducing the image and rotating it provides a concise view of the carnage
Reducing the image and rotating it provides a concise view of the carnage

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

The Sky Is Falling…No…Wait…It’s Just a Dream(liner)

Boeing has been having some problems with its new aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner from cracked windshields to oil leaks to perhaps most problematic battery problems. Over the course of the last week, the New York Times has published a series of small graphics to complement stories about the problems and the investigations.

The first graphic looked at the Dreamliner and where its batteries are located. Unfortunately for Boeing, the Dreamliner is critical to its success moving forward and the remainder of the graphic shows just how important.

The importance of the Dreamliner
The importance of the Dreamliner

The next day a graphic about total deaths on US airline flights supported a piece about the Dreamliner.

Fatalities aboard US flights
Fatalities aboard US flights

Then yesterday the NYT published a graphic about the specific battery type (lithium ion) and what role it played in aircraft incidents, be them cargo or passenger related.

Battery incidents
Battery incidents

Fighter Jets

A large-scale infographic with lots of drawings of fighter jets. That’s pretty much what this is. And that’s cool enough for me. The background is that the US fighter programme for the F-35 is increasingly ridiculously expensive and beyond budget. Some nations, like Canada, are starting to have second thoughts. This post outlines potential options and adversaries.

Not all of these aircraft are really options. For example, the US has banned the export of the F-22 and it is highly unlikely that Canada would purchase the Raptor. Will the Russians ever build the PAK FA? They’ve been trying to build them for years and the aircraft has yet to go into production. Regardless of the likelihood of facing the adversaries or procuring the options, they’re still pretty cool illustrations and side-by-side comparisons.

Fighter jet options and adversaries for Canada
Fighter jet options and adversaries for Canada

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathon Rivait, Mike Faille, and Matt Gurney.

More Evidence on Why You (I) Need a Good Night’s Sleep

The Washington Post looks at sleep and how lack thereof may lead to various health problems, including Alzheimers, diabetes, and others. Maybe this means I have a reason to sleep in the mornings now…probably not.

Credit for the piece goes to Bonnie Berkowitz and Alberto Cuadra.