A Nice Cup of Tea

Given the absence of a post yesterday, I took some time to do a small catch-up piece for you all. Those who know me offline are well aware that I document many things about my life including when I happen to drink tea. (And that’s often.) Finding myself with some unexpected time, I looked through the data that I have amassed since 1 January through to 28 March. While I aim to do more with this dataset someday, for now consider this a start. And now a self-surveillance infographic. On drinking tea.

Tea consumption
Tea consumption

It is interesting to note that I have in fact had tea every single day so far this year.

The First Rule Is You Don’t Talk About It

There are two things one is not supposed to discuss in mixed company, and let us face it, the internet is some rather mixed company. One of those things, politics, I frequently mention and bring up on this blog. The other, religion, I do not.

Until now. (I think.)

From the National Post comes this work on the size and distribution of the world’s religions.

World religions
World religions

Credit for the work goes to Richard Johnson.

Comparing Surgeries

We have an obesity problem in the United States. And in some cases, obesity leads to diabetes. A study was commissioned to discover whether surgery is more effective than the usual prescription of drugs, diet, and exercise. It turns out that surgery may very well be more effective.

The New York Times produced an infographic to explain the three types of surgery investigated in the study.

Comparing surgeries
Comparing surgeries

Follow the Money

Follow the money is almost always good advice. And in this case, the journalists over at ProPublica have done just that. They have visualised just where the campaign (and Super PAC) dollars are going using an interactive Sankey diagram.

Who pays what where
Who pays what where

And then for those interested in how this was made, ProPublica provides those details as well.

Via my colleague Lauren Beth.

Credit goes to Al Shaw, Kim Barker, and Justin Elliott.

A Timeline of Deaths in Syria

The civil war in Syria rages on. The following graphic from the New York Times accompanies the article and uses a calendar-style timeline to look at the mounting death toll. The visualisation type appears more and more often for time-based data sets shaped around days; we all (usually) understand how calendars work and are shaped.

In this particular case, specific key dates and images are brought out of the timeline and featured on the left. These provide an additional context to the human side of the story  that may otherwise be left in the dates and deaths on the right.

A problem with such a design is the length of the year, which might preclude users of small screens from being able to see the entire year in one screen-height. I am left to wonder about whether the user can make an adjustment to a horizontally-scrolling calendar and if in the future such arrangements may better take advantage of widescreen monitors.

Syrian casualties by date
Syrian casualties by date

21st Century Prohibition

This map comes from the BBC, which investigates prohibition in the 21st century at the local level, as the national policy ended in the early decades of the 20th century.

Dry vs Wet Counties
Dry vs Wet Counties

Credit for the map goes to John Walton, Harjit Kaura, and Nadzeya Batson.

Heritage Maps

From FlowingData comes a post to an interactive piece by Bloomberg that looks at the geographic distribution of different heritage—read heritage, neither race nor ethnicity—groups. (Its choice of groups, however, is slightly contentious as it omits several important ones, including African-Americans.)

I would say that a typical map like this would simply plot the percent of each county, state, or other sub-division for the selected heritage group. Much like below, as I chose the Irish.

Irish heritage
Irish heritage

Bloomberg’s piece is a bit more interesting than that because of the ability to compare two groups, to see where they overlap and where they diverge. In doing so, they created a divergent choropleth that can show the subtleties and nuances of settlement patterns.

Irish vs German
Irish vs German

Credit for the piece goes to David Yanofsky.

Bringing 19th Century Mapping Techniques to the 21st Century

Charles Booth was a 19th century social scientist living in Britain. He famously investigated poverty and mapped out which parts of London were teeming with vicious, lower-class criminals or well-to-do upper class folks. Today, one might use a simple choropleth style to paint whole swathes of London by postal districts or constituencies or some such. But, Booth went street-by-street and house-by-house colouring blocks of London’s residential areas until he arrived at a map far more complex—and thus ultimately more telling—of the intricacies of London’s social structure.

from Booth's original map
from Booth's original map

Oliver O’Brien has created a modern take on Booth’s approach to investigate the housing demographics of the UK, which ignores the large areas of the British countryside that are devoid of homes and thus focuses on the denser residential areas of the UK’s major cities.

Eastern London
Eastern London
Barking and Dagenham
Barking and Dagenham

Censuses seem to be a natural dataset for such work, but I wonder if in the future we will be able to apply such data visualisations to other geographically-tied data.

What’s Your Drug of Choice?

Over at the Guardian, people are playing with data about drug use. The data comes from the Global Drug Survey, and Ian Taylor and the Guardian worked together to create this interactive piece that lets you either browse drug use comparisons between Americans and Brits or compare two specific drugs between our two peoples. It looks like we al drink though…

Drug use comparison
Drug use comparison

Credit, again, goes to the Guardian and Ian Taylor.