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

Mexican Drug Cartels

Mexico has some serious problems. Primarily with the drug cartels. About two weeks ago the National Post created an infographic that looked at the northern spread of Mexican drugs into the United States. The infographic also included details on the transit and transportation networks the different drugs take along with the geographic spread of the various cartels from the Tijuana, Federation, Juarez, and Gulf Cartels as reported by US cities.

Foreign Policy magazine rates countries as to how close they may or may not be to becoming failed states. Mexico is among those that have fallen into the “Warning” category over the recent years. The second half of the infographic looks at why. In short, in the past few years over 50,000 people have been killed in drug-related homicides and several more thousand have simply disappeared. The police, military, civilian officials, journalists, &c. have become targets of the cartel if they oppose the cartels.

Mexico has some serious problems. Sadly problems have a tendency to spill over borders.

Cropping of the Mexican Cartel infographic
Cropping of the Mexican Cartel infographic

Credit for the piece goes to Jonathan Rivait and Richard Johnson.

Supreme Court’s Real Impact on Health Insurance

In a small piece, the New York Times looks at the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Fewer people are insured and total cost for the programme falls.

Impact
Impacy

England and Wales: 500k More People Than Expected

Census data fascinates me from a data visualisation perspective; one can look at it so many different ways. Last week I looked at some of the Slovakian census data on the Carpatho-Rusyns that live in the northeastern mountains of Slovakia. But yesterday, the British Office of National Statistics released the results from their census of England and Wales (Scotland reports later and Northern Ireland did so already, yay devolution.) One of the big news stories was that England and Wales had 500,000 more people than had been expected. That doesn’t sound like a lot of people, but to put it roughly into American proportions, that would be like finding that there was a whole new city the size of Chicago somewhere in the United States.

But while many organisations and individuals will certainly be looking at the census data in the coming days, weeks, and months, the ONS released its own interactive application. Basically it looks at the population pyramid for England and Wales from 1911 to 2011, a century’s worth of data. But what makes this different from the GE population pyramids, for example, is the context that the ONS has added that strict data pulls lack.

1921 pyramid
1921 pyramid

Here in 1921, rolling over a particular cohort reveals the details of those aged 30 in 1921. There is a clear difference between the number of men and women. But why? The text block’s first note details how 700,000 men aged 20–40 died during World War I and thus altered the basic structure of the English and Welsh population.

1951 pyramid
1951 pyramid

And in 1951 we begin to look at the British baby boom in the post-war era. Again, while the Baby Boom might be expected, the ONS also points out that the NHS, the British National Health Service, had also recently started and was positively affecting life expectancy and the general health of the British public. These are again things that would not likely appear in more data-focused pieces.

But everybody loves to compare things to other things. So, the ONS also released a more data-focused application that allows the user to select two different census geographies and compare them. This is more as one would expect, comparing overlays vs. side-by-side looks at different population pyramids. The example below compares London to Birmingham.

Credit for the pieces go to the ONS Visualisation Centre.

The Future of Those Without Health Insurance

As the Supreme Court is likely to scrap the mandate provision of the health care law—without which sick people are left to pay higher premiums if they can get coverage at all—later today, the New York Times looks at the impact of removing the health care law changes the number of people without health insurance.

The numbers of the uninsured
The numbers of the uninsured

Credit for the piece goes to Lisa Waananen.

Greece vs. Germany

It appears as if the Greeks, who voted in parliamentary elections for the second time in as many months, have narrowly voted for pro-bailout parties. But whether the pro-bailout parties can put aside their other political differences and form a coalition government remains to be seen.

Until we see that, thanks to the National Post, we can see an infographic comparison between Greece and Germany, arguably the worst and the best European economies.

Greece and Germany compared
Greece and Germany compared

I appreciate the mirror approach, but wonder if the comparisons might not have been clearer if measured directly? Or what would have happened without the mirror approach and compared the two countries in single but slightly larger charts? Regardless, one can easily see that Greece has some serious problems.

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

Canadian Military Spending

Canada is spending more than ever on its military. The question is, to what end? Canada shares a land border with only two countries. And one of them is us…

From the National Post comes an infographic looking at the rising expenditures on defence and how it currently ranks in the world.

Canadian military spending
Canadian military spending

Credit for the piece goes to Tristin Hopper and Richard Johnson.

Cracking Down on Unemployment Benefit Fraud (in Canada)

Nobody likes people cheating the unemployment system for benefits. Especially Canadians apparently. So this is a proposal to encourage the unemployed to start working.

Legislative draft proposal
Legislative draft proposal

Credit for the piece goes to Steve Murray.