Tag Archives: interactive design

Big Mac Index

For years, the Big Mac Index from the Economist has been a standard of sorts for examining differences in currencies across the world. Well now we have an online, interactive version of the index.

The Big Mac Index

The Big Mac Index

Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s graphics department.

Am I Your Type, Politically Speaking of Course?

Maybe? But thanks to Pew Research, you can see if we align politically. Today’s post comes via Pete, a coworker of mine, and it is basically a survey that works by asking you 23 political questions on topics from big/small government, immigration, climate change, gay rights, defence spending, &c. They crunch some numbers and spit you out on a results page, the image below a crop from the results for your humble author. (For better or worse revealing my political leanings.)

My type

My type

From a survey standpoint, I found it interesting the questions presented only binary responses. In general, I found that I never agreed with either statement entirely and was forced to choose the “closest” response. Since I never see myself on the conservative side of the spectrum, I was surprised to see my “type”, Young Outsiders, coloured with a tint of red. Regardless, I’m still thankful that according to Pew, I am still more in the centre than on the ends as it makes it a lot easier to compromise. I’ve heard that that is an adult thing to do.

By the way, if you want the results of the full survey upon which this quiz was based, you can check out that site here. It’s full of bar charts for those who like the data visualisation.

Credit for the piece goes to the Pew Research Center.

What About the Bees?

Last week President Obama announced a task force to investigate the disappearance of honeybees. While that might sound like something out of a Doctor Who episode—it is—the problem is real since bees pollinate the flowers that become the fruit and vegetables we consume. The Washington Post took a look at what might be responsible for the decline in bees through this illustrated graphic.

Different reasons for honeybee population collapse

Different reasons for honeybee population collapse

Credit for the piece goes to Patterson Clark.

The Cycling Gender Gap

Here in Chicago this week is Bike Week and today Bike to Work Day. So today is a great day for some work from Buzzfeed that highlights the gender gap in cycling (at least in three US cities). To be fair, the data for the statement comes only from urban bike share programmes. But it does hint at a disparity all the same.

Chicago's cycling gender gap

Chicago’s cycling gender gap

Credit for the piece goes to Jeremy Singer-Vine.

Where Guns Are Easier to Find Than Knowledge

I loved the title of this piece from the Washington Post that I had to borrow it myself. Of course all credit goes to that particular copywriter. The Washington Post looked at counties and states where gun stores outnumbered museums and libraries. Thankfully my home county has more knowledge than guns. Sadly, the same cannot be said for large areas of the country.

Guns vs. Museums

Guns vs. Museums

And of note, while Pennsylvania is narrowly more gun than knowledge, the city of Philadelphia ranks second in terms of ratio of libraries/museums to gun stores at 16.93. Only New York City ranked higher.

Credit for the piece goes to Christopher Ingraham.

How ISIS Got This Far

The Washington Post is also helping us understand the spread of ISIS. This time a bit more interactively than we have seen from the Times. This is a step-by-step (ish) explanation. Though, I quibble with the decision to link cities by dotted lines. That can create the illusion that ISIS fighters moved directly from city to city when I highly doubt they took that exact path.

Guide to the spread of ISIS

Guide to the spread of ISIS

Credit for the piece goes to Swati Sharma, Laris Karklis, and Gene Thorp.

Understanding the Boston Subway System

Today’s post is the graduate work of Michael Barry and Brian Card of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The two looked at the available public data of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)—the T to those that know—to better understand the Boston area subway system. Here the subway system refers to the heavy rail lines, i.e. the Blue, Orange, and Red lines.

T stations

T stations

In short, the piece has a lot to look at that is worth looking at. This particular screenshot is an analysis of the stations across all times on average weekdays and weekends. You can see how in this particular selection, the size of the station markers pulse depending upon the time of day and the number of turnstile entries. Meanwhile the charts to the right show you the density through time of said entries and then compares the average number of turnstiles entries per day. Text beneath the system map to the left provides a short analysis of the data, highlighting work vs. home stations.

Credit for the piece goes to Michael Barry and Brian Card.

Blight, not Panic, in Detroit

A little old, but this graphic from the New York Times explores urban blight in Detroit. The interesting feature about the map is the blue, highlighted section. The designers used Google Streetview to show an actual blighted street.

Detroit blight

Detroit blight

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

Growth of the Common Core Standard

Today’s piece is a timeline-driven piece from the Washington Post. It looks at the success the Gates Foundation has had in pushing its Common Core standards as an educational standard across the country.

Common Core's Growth

Common Core’s Growth

Credit for the piece goes to Darla Cameron, Ted Mellnik, and Cristina Rivero.

Viewing the Economy All at Once

Normally I try to reserve Fridays for the lighter stuff. But yesterday, the New York Times published a really fantastic piece about how the Great Recession changed the American economy through job growth or loss in each sector of the economy. Naturally this sounds very difficult because the American economy is both very large and very diverse.

Job growth in the American economy

Job growth in the American economy

If you check the piece out, however, you will find that you are offered a guided tour with analysis to provide context to an otherwise jumble of coloured lines. As a bonus, highlighted words in the text bring up small charts showing the actual job growth history for the particular sector. The jumble, however, is also organised along the x and y axes by two important metrics: wages and jobs since the Great Recession. This allows you to see whether low wage jobs have performed better than higher paying and whether either has created more jobs than the other. Line colouration denotes whether a particular sector has grown and recovered, recovered, not recovered, or recession accelerated a previous decline.

Then at the very end is another really great part of the piece. This is a collection of all the small charts arranged by areas of the economy.

View sectors individually as small multiples

View sectors individually as small multiples

Lastly, for those of you who have to work on smaller screens, don’t worry, they made it responsive. Overall, a great piece.

Credit for the piece goes to Jeremy Ashkenas and Alicia Parlapiano.