Best of the visualisation web… August 2013

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from August 2013.


Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

YouTube | NASA animated portrayal of temperature data from 1880 to 2011

Flickr | 10000px wide infographic from 1944 about Electromagnetism (via @Frencil)

New York Times | Detailed timeline and map to track the explorations of the Mars Curiosity Rover

Data Blog | Visualising the London-Surrey 100 bike ride

Andrewxhill | A series of super mapping demos using CartoDB and Leaflet

Cooper Center | Racial Dot Map, profiling one dot for every person in the US, created by Dustin Cable

New York Times | Reshaping New York: From buildings to bike lanes to painting over Broadway, how the city changed in 12 years of Bloomberg

Washington Post | Long-form digital storytelling about ‘The Perils at Great Falls’

VisualLoop | Portfolio of the Week: Richard Johnson, one of North America’s most recognized visual journalists

Washington Post | Second long-form entry from WaPo, this time profiling ‘Nasa’s mission improbable’

FastCo Design | An Epic Timeline Of Wardrobe Colors In “Breaking Bad”

Byjess | Talking about the history and future of the ‘Death and Taxes’ infographic

La Sombra del Asno | This was a busy week of infographic work for Adolfo Arranz, with four full-page releases of typical beauty

Washington Post | Another fabulous multi-faceted digital story, this one about the ‘Black Budget’

MartinGrandjean | Here’s a single page alternative view of the black budget data reimagined

FastCo Design | An Interactive Map Of Every Stream In The U.S.

Washington Post | Nice use of small multiples in this interactive graphic of stock price changes

Imus Geographics | Think I’ve posted this before but its worth another go – a collection of the most beautiful wall maps of the USA

Scientific American | Where (in the World!) Your Fruits and Vegetables Come from: An Interactive Finder

Scientific American | Second graphic from SA, this is an interactive titled ‘The Flavor Connection’ by Jan Willem Tulp

FlowingData | Plotting a sample of locations across the US and the distances to the nearest grocery store

YouTube | A visual and narrated tour of the Yosemite Rim fire using Google Earth

Washington Post | OK it has been a bit of a WaPo love-in this month but this is really nice to see, a Sankey on the front page! | Expert Galleries: Stefanie Posavec

Wired | Visualize London’s Underground With This Mesmerizing Interactive 3-D Map

NNVL | Sadly unavailable right now (due to US Government staff furlough) but (from memory!) this was a great work tracking cyclone frequency


The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse and interviews

PJIM | Third quarterly publication of Parsons Journal for Information Mapping

Brainpickings | The Art of Looking: What 11 Experts Teach Us about Seeing Our Familiar City Block with New Eyes

Silicon Angle | The Hardest Part of Data Visualization : Simplicity + Consumability

Visual Complexity | Visualization Metaphors: Old & New. Acknowledging the importance of analysing and understanding the long history of visualisation techniques.

JSK | Nuno Vargas’s 2013 Knight Talk: Re-engineering journalism

Statistics Views | Visualising Data that Changes Over Time, talk from Alan Smith OBE

Unintuitive | ‘Designers. Get over your fear of code and on with your lives’ (part 1)

Unintuitive | ‘Designers. Get over your fear of code and on with your lives’ (part 2)

The Functional Art | Infographics shouldn’t be done just by professional designers

The Why Axis | Bryan finds potential in the ‘Pitfalls of Google Databoard’

FastCo Design | Designers Challenge Bucky Fuller’s Geo Worldview: re-drawaing the lines of the geopolitical dymaxion map

EagerEyes | Robert discusses the idea of ‘the perfect visualisation’ | Comparing information graphics: a critical look at eye tracking (pdf)

The Functional Art | In infographics, steal what you need, but credit your sources

Government Digital Service | A few notes on typography

Big Times | Let the data speak: Interview with Jer Thorp

Twisted Sister | 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World

HBR | To Go from Big Data to Big Insight, Start with a Visual

The eLearning Coach | Interview with Alberto Cairo: How To Design Real (Not Fake) Information Graphics

UX Magazine | A Look at Flat Design and Why It’s Significant

Stamen | A reflective report from Zoe Padgett about her internship at Stamen

Michael Babwahsingh | Michael discusses the ‘other’ visualisation – imagination.

Visually | CNN Tells Stories With Data, in Six-Second Vine Videos

BusinessInsider | There are probably many more worse choices but there are some beauty baddies in here…

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, learning opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Visually | Superb series of articles from Rob Simmon (NASA) about the subtleties of colour. A must read if ever there was one.

VisualLoop | The making of a tide chart infographic by Jessica Suen ‘Redwood City Tide Predictions’

BBC Internet Blog | Process narrative behind last year’s James Bond ‘parallax scrolling’ infographic

Dominikus | How to make fast animated HTML5 visualizations – in-depth article about the new HTML5 version of the Better Life Index

DataRemixed | Interactive tool for accessing worldwide Open Data sites | LivingCities: A shared cartographic experiment from HERE and CartoDB

Creative Bloq | Decent summary of some of the key principles to help ‘design more compelling data visualisations’

thinkDataVis | Use D3.js on your desktop to publish static visualisations

Vimeo | Tech Talk: Data Visualization Meetup with Kim Rees

VizWiz | Slides from the Facebook talk @ #TCCEU13 – Creating a culture of data… and making everyone an analyst in the process

thinkDataVis | How to make a heat map with hexagons, D3.js, hexbins.js, Open Street Map, Inkscape, and Paint.NET

Data Remixed | How to View your Website Stats in Tableau

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new sites, new (to me) sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Tableau | Tableau Public Gets A Million Rows!

Perceptual Edge | Brief announcement from Stephen Few about his latest book project: ‘Signal’

Nature Graphics | New blog providing a collection of graphics from the pages of Nature, curated by the Nature art team.

Storytellingwithdata | Review of Nathan Yau’s ‘Data Points’ book

UK Data Explorer Blog | New blog about data visualisation and open data from James Trimble

If We Assume | CUBEHELIX colour scheme now available for Tableau

WTF Visualizations | The site the world has been waiting for. Thanks to Drew Skau for starting this collection of the finest worst work in our field

Datawrapper | Overview of the new version of Datawrapper (1.5)

Random and miscellaneous

Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

BuzzFeed | Simpsons Fan Art: 18 Posters For Troy McClure Movies

Typehunting | Great source for type inspiration

HBR | This is my favourite useless article in the history of time: ‘2 Things your data visualisation needs’. Adapted from ‘3 elements of successful data visualisations’. Genius.

Core77 | A user-configurable dashboard on the Corvette Stingray

360gigapixels | Explore 360 degrees of Tokyo’s panorama with this incredibly high resolution view

YouTube | How do Japanese multiply?

Super Graphic | A visual guide to the comic book universe