Category Archives: Festival of Data

Festival of Data – Matt

Bob Beamon’s Long Olympic Shadow. New York Times.

I selected an animated infographic about the history of Olympic long jump. The graphic in the video is essentially a bar chart with a timeline as the x-axis. The animation  swoops through the chart emphasizing a few different views and points of comparison for the results over the years. The video format allows for a quick drill down about some of the athletes.

Compare the data as portrayed in the video to the interactive graphic and photos below. The interactive is limited by having to show all of the jumps in a small space within the browser window. Because the 3D camera in the video zooms in an out, that graphic is able to show details like which country each athlete is from. However, the video is really edited to tell just a few narratives. Its not practical for a user to use the video to find out what year an Italian athlete won a medal.

On the interactive graphic itself, I appreciate the basketball court overlay as a reference, but some grid lines would have been useful to help in making accurate comparisons between the different athletes.

Festival of Data – Keith

USA Today – The Ones That Get Away

If you scroll down a little bit you can find an interactive map of arrest warrant data. I really couldn’t figure out how I felt about this visualization, but I wanted to talk about it.

There appears to be some excellent data here and the drilldown is pretty slick. The information compliments the piece excellently and there is tons of data to play with. However, the starting point is blank and that really bugged me.

It’s just this empty slate until you input some information into it and I think this visualization loses a great deal of impact because of this. Could just be me.

Festival of Data – Reyna

Create your own personal dialect map! The Times had this interactive graphic that allows you to answer a total of 25 questions to see how the way you speak is related to where you are from.

The first page you are brought to is the first question of the quiz, and when you see there are 25 total questions that can seem daunting…but after each question you answer, a small heat map appears that shows how your last answer compares nationally. Instant gratification is good! It’s also interesting to see what the possible answers are for each question, like what other expressions people might have to refer to rainfall while the sun is still shining—the wolf is giving birth?

At the conclusion of the quiz you get your own dialect map, here’s my result It’s interesting b/c, yes, I’m from a suburb of Los Angeles. I also like that you can view the 3 cities that your dialect is least similar to.

For me the best part of this interactive graphic is simply the novelty of it—one of the most personalized interactive maps I’ve come across. But I don’t know how revealing/insightful the information is. It would probably have more of an effect on someone who realizes that the way they speak is completely different than the majority of people from where they are from.

Festival of data – Jillian Eugenios

Check out this interactive piece combining data and food –

I love it because it is instantly immersive and interactive. The color palette is consistent, and it is visually engaging.

A big problem here is the teeny tiny text. The opening text, which tells the story, is white on a light blue background. It’s tough to read. Having a first page like that could deter some readers.

I like the flip-book style, and the attempt it makes at a narrative. And all pie charts should be in cereal bowl form. 🙂

But look at the little text! How can we appreciate it when we can’t see it?

I would also really appreciate a birds-eye view of all of them to be able to compare.



Trauma charges in Florida

This graphic from the Tampa Bay Times is the result of a yearlong investigation into  what different trauma centers (a type of hospital) in Florida charge.

There are a few things I really like about this graphic. One, it’s relatively simple. It traces similar metrics (costs for x procedure) across the same institutions. It’s a nice simple color scheme. And it’s not too busy at the outset–but you can click on individual names to get more detailed information.

I think it’s a good example of using clear, straightforward graphics to make the point that some phenomenon has no clear justification. Health care costs are notorious for this–there is no rhyme or reason for them.

When you click through the years, some clear patterns are visible–in particular, that the cost keeps rising through the years.

One gripe I have is about the color-coding on the map. The middle range (which indicates for-profit centers that are not HCA) is indistinguishable on my computer from the nonprofit. They could easily have expanded the color range (or at least tested the graphic on a few different monitors).

Also, when you click through different procedures, the y-axis changes! This is fairly annoying and I think unnecessary–there isn’t a HUGE amount of variation in costs.

Festival of Data – Smiley

This is an interactive visualization on The Guardian where the Twitter Data team and Datablog editor Simon Rogers show the response Obama’s SOTU speech by US geography and subject. For the subject graph, they have a timeline starting at 9:15 and ending at 10:20 pm. documenting the use of the 9 most popular hashtags used in one minute intervals. They also have the entire speech transcribed, and when you scroll down it will highlight a segment of the speech and show the what hashtags were being used during that time in the map above.

It also breaks down the speech by geography. So, when you’re hovered over a certain part of the speech, a map on the right side will show you how engaged each state was with each hashtag at that particular moment.

I think this is interesting because it maps out social media data in a way that shows what Americans (who use Twitter) found most important about the SOTU and in what states. I think the biggest thing missing in this interactive is the fact that there are no hard numbers.

Festival of Data: Olympic Medal History

This interactive, created by the New York Times, gives a detailed overview of the medals won at each Winter Olympics in history. Readers can select a year, country or type of medal to sort through. When you select a certain year and country, you can then click for more information and a pop-out shows the names of the Olympians who won for that country and which medals they won in what events. Each year is displayed as a bubble and the size of the bubble depends on the number of medals earned.  If you click on the year, the countries resort in order of who won the most overall medals. One possible addition that I would like to see is the total number of medals won by each country over the entire history of the winter games, which would be especially interesting for the smaller countries.

Inequality and New York’s subway

This is the link to the data visualization that I commented in class last week:

It shows graphs for each New York subway line and each graph shows the median household incomes of the populations living near subway stations on that line.

In our class discussion we came to the conclusion that people from New York who visit the URL will most likely click on the subway line that they normally take. We therefore wondered whether other ways of presenting the data would have been more comprehensive for a user interested in inequality in New York City.

A Year of Gun Deaths

The Gun Control Debate Overlooks Two-Thirds of Gun Deaths

After the Newtown shootings, Slate started keeping a database of gun-related deaths and writing about them. The project was an interesting exercise (is, I should say — they haven’t given up) in trying to capture the full picture of a story. What they found was something interesting: that if you follow news reports you see a very different picture of gun deaths than if you follow causes of death from inside the CDC.

They also wrote about what they learned from the process.