We hear ever more about the Zika virus that currently plagues South America. But the fact is that the mosquito that carries it could inhabit some regions of the United States as well as the South American tropics. Over at the Daily Viz, there was an article about just what the potential numbers could be.
The piece is a nice reminder that not every important story needs a super-complicated graphic. It just needs a clean, clear, and concise graphic. The threat here is to parts of the American south. But, as yesterday’s post showed, ever more people are moving there and so that puts roughly 80 million Americans in harm’s way.
Also, another validation of my dislike of warm weather.
When I was over in London and Dublin, most days were cool and grey. And a little bit rainy. Not very warm. (Though warmer than Chicago.) But, that is weather—highly variable on a daily basis. Climate is longer-term trends and averages. Years, again, can be highly variable—here’s looking at you kid/El Niño. But, even in that variability, 2015 was the warmest year on record. So the New York Times put together a nice interactive piece allowing the user to explorer data for available cities in terms of temperature and precipitation.
You can see the big chart is temperature with monthly, cumulative totals of precipitation. (I use Celsius, but you can easily toggle to Fahrenheit.) Above the chart is the total departure of the yearly average. Anyway, I took screenshots of Philadelphia and Chicago. Go to the New York Times to check out your local cities.
Credit for the piece goes to K.K. Rebecca Lai and Gregor Aisch.
Sorry for the two-week absence, everybody. I travelled to the UK for work and then stayed there and Ireland on holiday. But I have returned, but with the inevitable jet lag waking me up early this morning, I had no reason not to post something.
Late last year, the Washington Post published a small article examining trends in US migration data. The crux of the article? During the recession, people stopped moving from the Northeast and Midwest to the Sunbelt. (I was a rare exception heading from the Northeast to the Midwest.) But, now that the economy is not so sluggish, that movement of people has resumed. Naturally, there are charts to go alongside it.
I selected the above because while generally fine, I quibble with one design decision. In the locator map in the upper right, take the South, which is coloured dark green for a winner in the game of migration. However, in another map earlier in the piece, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana are all losing people. I likely would have left the white states lines off the map. Or reused the same earlier map, but with a thicker stroke to indicate the US Census Bureau regions.
Today we look at a really nice piece from the Washington Post on urban homicide. It combines big, full-width images that use interactivity to promote exploration of data. But as you can see in the screenshot below, the designers took care to highlight a few key stories. Just in case the reader does not want to take the time to explore the data set.
But the piece uses scale to provide contrast throughout the article. Because in addition to the three or four big graphics, a similarly well-thought-out and well-designed approach was taken towards smaller, inline supplemental graphics. Here is an example about the homicide rate for New York.
What I really enjoy about these small graphics is the attention paid to highlighting New York against the background averages provided for context. Note how the orange line for the city breaks the grey lines. It is a very nice detail.
Overall, this is a really strong piece marrying written content and data visualisation.
Yesterday we looked at the Economist’s work on breaking down the Sunni and Shia split throughout the Middle East. Let’s take a look at that again today, especially since the world’s largest Muslim nation dealt with a terror attack overnight. That’s right, Indonesia is actually the world’s largest Muslim country and it is also largely secular in nature. But, back to the Middle East where the New York Times put together an article exploring the two power blocs and the religious affiliations within.
The map provides a bit more detail on a few different sects that are relevant, especially the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia.
Credit for the piece goes to Sarah Almukhtar, Sergio Peçanha, and Tim Wallace.
Turning away from selfies and returning to the upbeat world of the Middle East, today we look at a graphic from the Economist that breaks down the Middle East into the Sunni and Shia sects. See anything that looks familiar? Do you know how Saudi Arabia and Iran are feuding at the moment? Well, take a look at the predominant sect in each country.
Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s Data Team.
Last night, in the States’ time at least, North Korea purportedly tested a hydrogen bomb. How does this differ from their previous tests? Well, those were all nuclear fission bombs, this is a nuclear fusion bomb. (Admittedly, I am simplifying a lot here.) Hydrogen bombs, the H-bomb, are more powerful and more efficient in that they emit less radiation. They are still pretty bad news, though. That bit has not changed.
Anyway, the Washington Post put together a nice piece about nuclear weapons testing. The big feature piece is a map of test sites over time. What I really like about it, however, is that they chose to split the world at a different point—the Pacific Ocean opposite the Prime Meridian. I have occasionally argued for using such maps more often given the increasing relevance of Asia and the relative decline of Western Europe. So it is nice to see it put to good use here.
We go from one crisis to another, as we go back to Syria. This piece from Bloomberg is very nicely designed and is almost entirely in black and white. We often think that because computer, everything needs to be in a rainbow of shiny, shiny colours. But here we have places where the designers smartly used patterns and smart labelling to avoid the need for colour.
Credit for the piece goes to Cindy Hoffman, Dave Merrill, Chris Nosenzo, Mira Rojanasakul, and Blacki Migliozzi.