Washington Monument

Last summer an earthquake rattled the East Coast; I felt it while lounging on the beach at the Jersey shore when I was on holiday. But Washington got hit pretty hard. The Washington Monument lost some stones. I just lost an iced tea that spilled. But, the Monument is now going to be closed until perhaps 2014 for repairs. This infographic from the Washington Post details where the damage is found on the Monument and how the slabs will be repaired.

Damage to the Washington Monument
Damage to the Washington Monument

Credit for the piece goes to Cristina Rivero.

Opening the Window

The Washington Post brings us a look at the mess that is our Congressional representatives buying and selling stocks affected by the legislation they write, discuss, and upon which they vote. None of the charts in this piece are of themselves particularly complex—we are looking at a pie chart after all—but they do come together to tell a story of…wholly ethical behaviour…

Trading stocks
Trading stocks

Credit for the piece goes to Wilson Andrews, Emily Chow, David Fallis, Dan Keating, Laura Stanton, Sisi Wei, and Karen Yourish.

Visualising Panda Mating

Animals need to reproduce. Well, except perhaps some of our own species…and so today’s infographic from the Washington Post looks at the birds and the bees. Or rather the pandas and the pandas. Or is that the pandas on pandas? Regardless, the reader can see that panda mating is not easy.

Visualising panda mating
Visualising panda mating

Credit for the piece goes to Cristina Rivero.

The Election in the Burbs

One area of particular contention for the American presidential candidates this year will be in the suburbs of major urban areas. This was where Romney in particular was able to defeat his Republican rivals, but is also home to large number of potential Obama supporters. Given his likely support in cities, Romney will need to well in the suburbs this time around.

The Washington Post looks at how suburban counties voted over the past two elections.

Cropping of the map
Cropping of the map

Credit for the piece goes to Ted Mellnik, Laura Stanton, and Karen Yourish.

Power Pitching (And Who’s Paying)

And the baseball season is kicking off (perhaps a bit slowly for my 1–3 Red Sox, but I’m not worried…yet). The Washington Post, the newspaper for those most likely to be following the Washington Nationals, put out a little while ago an interactive graphic looking at the payroll figures for the Top-3 starting pitchers in each team’s rotation.

Comparison of AL East and Central Pitching Contracts
Comparison of AL East and Central Pitching Contracts

Credit for the piece goes to Sisi Wei and Todd Lindeman.

The Science of Cherry Blossoms

The Washington Post explains the science—or is it art—of the cherry blossom in D.C. though an illustrated video. Certainly this is literally more illustrative in concept than some other posts here, but the illustrations nonetheless match the audio explanations and parallel nicely with the aesthetic qualities of the cherry trees.

the early stages
the early stages
along the tidal basin
along the tidal basin

Drawings by Patterson Clark and narration by AJ Chavar.

The 2013 Budget Proposal Visualisation Comparison

Yesterday’s post was about the administration’s 2013 budget proposal as visualised by the New York Times. This morning we have a brief comparison to the visualisation of the Washington Post.

The budget proposal overview
The budget proposal overview

The main visualisation shows spending by department compared against revenue, the difference between being the grey box of deficit. Of note is that this piece also contains the revenue, and not just the spending, unlike the New York Times version. You can also see that the level of granularity is different; the Post looks only at department-level data while the Times delves into specific programmes. Critically, the arrangement of the budget components in this graphic makes it easier to attempt comparisons of area and thus weigh Education against Defence.

Defence spending details
Defence spending details

If you click a particular department, you swap out the revenue side of the budget equation with the details of previous spending in that area, broken down into presidential administrations that are coloured by party. The same holds true for revenue, clicking on those reveals the amount of revenue taken in by administration. Of some note is the deficit, which shows how we did briefly have a budget surplus back in the 1990s and how that compares to the deficits of today.

Deficit details
Deficit details

All in all, while the level of detail is not present in the Post’s visualisation, I find that the comparison at the departmental level stands strongly in the favour of the Post. The Post also benefits from presenting the other side of the budget story, revenue. Unfortunately, if you care to dig any deeper into any particular part of the budget, say weapons procurement or education grants, you cannot in the Post. That leaves space for a nicely designed, detailed, clear, and informative piece should someone or some organisation be so inclined to build it.

Credit for the piece goes to Wilson Andrews, Dan Keating and Karen Yourish.

Campaign Ad Spends

I don’t know about you, but to me, it’s beginning to look a lot like campaign season. At least from what I read on the internet. Because, according to this interactive piece by the Washington Post, there has been little local campaign spending on ads in the Chicago television market.

Mad Spending
Mad Spending

By clicking on the left, you are able to see the spending amounts and spending places of ads by both personal campaigns and interest groups. For national ad campaigns, there is a small outline of the continental US in the bottom left.

Above the map you have some facts about the spending and spending over time and a curious bit about whether the ads are positive or negative. Already if you move from the beginning to now, you can watch the positive ad number slip.

China’s Secret Nuclear Missile Tunnel System

I do not often get the chance to post illustrative works. But, the Washington Post reported on the work of Georgetown students that shows how China has tunneled thousands of miles of, well, tunnels to create a secret labyrinth for their nuclear weapons programme. The result is that instead of the few dozen warheads that China is thought to have, they could have many more times that. They included this graphic, cropping below, with the article.

Cropping of a Nuclear Tunnel
Cropping of a Nuclear Tunnel

Curiosity

In just a few days, NASA’s next Martian rover, Curiosity, will lift off for a 2012 date with the Martian surface. The Washington Post has a two-part motion graphic piece to look at the rover’s landing and scientific components.

A look at Curiosity and its mission
A look at Curiosity and its mission

Credit for the piece goes to Alberto Cuadra, Sohail Al-Jamea, and Andrew Pergram.