World Bank—Mobile Phones

A little while ago the World Bank, generally a rich-country club that doles out loans to the developing world, published an infographic looking at mobile phones and their presence in the developing world.

The piece supplemented a report and is rather large. It actually exists as two separate images. The cropping below focuses just on how people in the developing world use mobile phones. Overall the piece is a bit weak in terms of data visualisation types and some of it is a bit confusing, but the story is clearly worth telling. And fortunately there are more hits than misses.

Developing world usage
Developing world usage

 

Patrolling the US–Mexican Border

If you haven’t heard, we share a border with Mexico. And we patrol it. And the Washington Post published a graphic looking at the patrolling of the US–Mexican border.

Border patrol staffing
Border patrol staffing

Credit for the piece goes to Anup Kaphle and Bill Webster.

Missions to Mars

Curiosity shall soon be exploring the surface of Mars seeking to understand the geological history of the planet. But in this infographic, see the cropping below, from the National Post we can see previous missions to Mars. We have not always been successful in operations in and around Mars, but our recent track record is much improved.

Missions to Mars
Missions to Mars

 

 

Credit for the piece goes to Mike Faille.

The Muslim World

Today’s post comes via a co-worker of mine and is from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. The infographic is of the long-running image type, but in this case is neatly sliced into digestible morsels of tasty infographic-ness. Below is a cropping of the longer piece. It looks at how Muslim populations in different countries feel about the importance of their religion in their daily life.

The Muslim World
The Muslim World

How the UK Got to the 65 Medals We Correctly Predicted

So the Olympics are over. But before they began, I and some co-workers made a prediction about how the United Kingdom and their Team GB would perform. We predicted 65 medals. How did the United Kingdom fare? They won 65 medals. This is a follow-up infographic about what made the United Kingdom a winner at the 2012 Summer Games. It’s a bit larger than the first version, but this one also includes new data and revisits some of the earlier themes.

Another important (and correct) prediction was that China would slip and not reach 100 medals. This should happen after experiencing the host nation bump. While we did not create a number for China, they scored only 87 medals. Another correct prediction.

We Nailed the Prediction of 65 Team GB Medals
We Nailed the Prediction of 65 Team GB Medals

All in all a very successful series. (Created for my employer Euromonitor International, as the usual disclaimer goes.)

Surveys of Swing States for the 2012 Presidential Election

The New York Times has been conducting surveys or polls of voters and likely voters in swing states, i.e. the states where the 2012 election will be decided. The nice thing about the piece is that it allows the user to select different sets of demographics through which one can view the questions asked. Furthermore, the user can mouse over the individual bar of a response and see the whole set.

Election Polling
Election Polling

Olympic-sized Appetites

The Olympics bring out the best. Well, at least in athletics. In terms of infographics, not always so much. This piece from CNN is a fairly unorganised mess with lots of individual datapoints. It’s a shame to see this at CNN when so many other news outlets are doing quality graphic work for the Olympics.

Olympic nutrition
Olympic nutrition

Weekend Work

Here’s a rare weekend post to showcase some Olympic-related work.

The following graphic looks at how the ranking changes for the Top-10 countries if medals are weighted. To me it is ridiculous that Kazakhstan is ranked higher than Russia because Kazakhstan has won 4 gold medals compared to Russia’s 3 when Kazakhstan has a total of 4 medals whereas Russia has 24. (All counts current as of this post.) So while I have been ranking countries according to their total medal count, what happens if I weight the gold and silver medals against the bronze?

It turns out that the leaders don’t change, but the rest of the Top-10 ranking gets shuffled a bit. For example, Japan has performed well at an overall level with 21 medals thus far. But only two of those have been gold medals and so its rank in the system below fell three positions.

Change in Rank for a Weighted Score
Change in Rank for a Weighted Score

Olympic Performance vs Economic Performance

The Olympics are now fully underway and we can begin to see some patterns about who is doing well and who is, well, not. This infographic has a lot more to say about who had been doing well up through 2008. That is important because that was the last year before the fiscal/financial crisis brought about the first global recession since World War II. Stay tuned for the post-Olympic piece where I look at medal performance in 2012 compared to GDP per capita. Some interesting stories appear to be happening.

One can clearly see that GDP per capita is (generally speaking) a good variable for estimating Olympic success. So the countries in this graphic are three major economic regions. The G7, BRIC, and the Future-7. The G7 are the world’s richest/most productive countries. BRIC are supposed to become the next G7. And the Future-7 is a Euromonitor International grouping that looks at a group of countries that are expected to become the next BRIC-like group of countries.

Economic Groups Compared
Economic Groups Compared

It is probably worth noting that despite this being an infographic for work, where I generally am not allowed to write analysis, the written analysis is mostly mine with some key ideas brought to my attention by co-workers.

Comparing Ad Spending in Three Key Election States

In this infographic about campaign ad spending in three battleground states, the New York Times shows that small multiples can work to create effective comparisons through an efficient use of space.

Campaign Ad Spend
Campaign Ad Spend