Tag Archives: New York Times

Tax Day and Income Inequality

Tax Day for Americans seems like a great time to talk about income inequality. The article from which this chart comes talks about a recent book exploring the parallels of the 19th century’s inequality—as the article reminds us, the time of “Please, sir, may I have another?”—and the forecast for the 21st. Anyway, the graphic is a nice use of small multiples and highlights that despite the damage done to capital wealth by Great Depressions and two world wars, it is well on its way back to unequal levels.

Income inequality

Income inequality

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

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Today’s piece does not involve any particularly crazy graphics or forms of data visualisation. Instead, the piece is a novel way of telling a story. People are increasingly familiar with what we might call here scrolling stories. Scroll down the page and suddenly you have glossy photos or high-definition videos. The New York Times, however, has taken this idea in a different direction for a story about motorcycle helmet laws.

Instead of glossy photos, we have clear and concise charts. Instead of lots of text blocks, we have just a few sentences. The story is told by the charts and the text offers the necessary context or background. Not all stories will have the data behind them to allow the story to be told—or shown—in such dramatic fashion. But, I can hope they do.

Motorcycle helmet laws

Motorcycle helmet laws

Credit for the piece goes to Alastair Dant and Hannah Fairfield.

Changing the Minimum Wage

Here’s a piece from the New York Times where I have to quibble with some minor design decisions. The story behind the graphic is various state actions on the minimum wage compared to where President Obama wants the minimum wage raised. This is a good story and broadly I like the execution. But these arrows, these arrows pierce my design heart. (Too much of a metaphor?) Instead, I think a simple dot plot would have sufficed. But as I noted above, this is more of a quibble than a shame-on-you.

Changes to minimum wages at the state level

Changes to minimum wages at the state level

Credit for the piece goes to Alicia Parlapiano.

Maps for the Search of MH 370

Yesterday we looked at the USA Today’s piece on the search for MH 370. Today we look at the New York Times, which has been running a series of maps that offer increasing amounts of detail on the context for the search.

Movement of buoys

Movement of buoys

Credit for the piece goes to Josh Keller, Sergio PeÇanha, Shreeya Sinha, Archie Tse, Matthew L. Wald, Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, and Karen Yourish.

Smoking in the US

Today’s piece comes from the New York Times. It fits within a broader article about smoking in the United States. The map is a choropleth that compares the smoking rate across counties and states in 1996 and 2012. However, as the article talks about how difficult it has been to decrease the smoking rates among the poor, I wonder if even just a third map would be useful. This map could have shown the actual decline, perhaps in percentage points, of counties between 1996 and 2012. Or another related graphic could have tried to correlate income and said change.

Map of Smoking in 2012

Map of Smoking in 2012

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

Income vs. Life Expectancy

Today’s post comes via the New York Times. It’s a simple concept, but shown clearly in this collection of scatter plots. Growth in income for many counties has meant a growth in life expectancy. Unfortunately, not all counties are prospering and so the gap between rich and poor, and therefore the long-lived and shorter-lived, has grown.

Household income vs. life expectancy for men

Household income vs. life expectancy for men

Perhaps the only criticism I have about this piece is that for the highlighting of Fairfax County, Virginia and McDowell Country, West Virginia, an additional component could have summarised the growing gap between the two. For example, a bar chart along the axes of each could measure the growth in income disparity and the growth in life expectancy disparity.

Credit for the piece goes to Alicia Parlapiano.

Living on the Minimum Wage

Last week the New York Times published a nice interactive about the minimum wage and just how difficult it is to live on it. (We will for now spare the charts that show how the actual purchasing power has declined over the years.) First you pick your state because not every state pays the same minimum wage. Then as you begin to enter figures for your expenses, or a hypothetical person as in this screenshot, you find how quickly a minimum wage earner runs out of money. And then how much debt they owe and how much more they have to work to pay it off.

A fictional person in Pennsylvania

A fictional person in Pennsylvania

Credit for the piece goes to Jeremy Ashkenas.

Sochi and the Caucasus

The Olympics opened in Sochi this past weekend. Many of us may well be familiar with photographs of urinals without piping, or unfinished hotel rooms, or many other infrastructure problems, but there is a bigger issue facing Sochi. It exists on what the New York Times terms the edge of a war zone. Their overall piece is more text-heavy than graphic-heavy, but several maps lend context to this complicated region of the Russian Federation. If you’re curious to better understand the region, this is a good primer.

The linguistics of the Caucasus

The linguistics of the Caucasus

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

Brand New Year, Same Old Politics

Today’s piece comes from this past weekend. The New York Times looked at how states fell on various politically sensitive issues, e.g. abortion and same-sex marriage, depending upon the political control of the executive and legislative functions of each state. In other words, which states have passed legislation to regulate abortion or same-sex marriage? States controlled by Democrats, or states controlled by Republicans?

The overall lay of the land and two issues

The overall lay of the land and two issues

I am not terribly keen on the clustered bubbles. Showing the population of each state could be handled better by different chart forms. But to a certain extent in this piece, the population figures are secondary to the aggregate of people living in blue or red states. And in that case, while you cannot easily visualise the number of people living in the aggregates, you can at least get a feel for which group is home to more people.

Credit for the piece goes to Haeyoun Park, Jeremy Ashkenas, and Mike Bostock.

The Future of Data Visualisation

Okay, we have all watched enough science fiction to know that there is not one future, but multiple futures. All options existing as if taken in parallel universes. Today’s post is not about a specific graphic, but rather a short article in the New York Times examining data visualisation. Through the work of Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design, it looks at how we may need to change our current vocabulary, if you will. Naturally the article offers a counterpoint nearer the end about how older forms are still useful.

Visual candy to entice you to read

Visual candy to entice you to read

Where do you fall?