Best of the visualisation web… April 2015

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 April 2015.


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

De Statis | Nice interactive violin plot of the population in Germany by gender and over time

Dataphys | …and here’s a 2013 project to show the ‘Walkable Age Pyramid’ of the German population

Wall Street Journal | Collection of interactives celebrating ’50 Years of Avengers’

Tableau Public | A super slick Tableau project by Shine Pulikathara exploring five decades of crime in the US

Wait But Why | Exploring different ways of showing 7.3 billion people

Fast Print | ‘An interactive visualisation of all keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC’

Washington Post | Smart way of showing changes in Arctic ice extent over time (over many years) but when the focus is on the changes by month

SCMP | Exploring ‘China’s overseas investments’ by country over time

JMP Blog | Good effort from Xan Gregg to create a reworked version of the 3D yield curve using JMP

Domestic Streamers | ‘Domestic Data Streamers is a team of developers that have taken on the challenge of transforming raw data into interactive systems and experiences.’

Guardian | Whilst the UK election has been and gone, there are some tremendous techniques on show in this interactive ‘what did the opinion polls say about your seat?’

Telegraph | Whilst we’re talking about the elections, here’s a nice 5-way venn diagram showing the different possible outcomes

Metrocosm | ‘Filmed in NYC’ – mapping 3 years of film permits

Bloomberg | ‘For These 55 Marijuana Companies, Every Day is 4/20’

FastCo Design | ‘From Homer To J.K. Rowling: The World’s Greatest Storytellers, Visualized’

Wall Street Journal | ‘Is the Nasdaq in Another Bubble? A virtual reality guided tour of 21 years of the Nasdaq’

Jill Hubley | ‘NYC Street Trees by Species’

Washington Post | ‘Mapped: How hard it is to get across U.S. cities using only bike lanes’

Washington Post | ‘How happy is your country?’

New York Times | ‘Messenger’s Collision Course With Mercury’

Michael Pecirno | ‘Minimal Maps is an ongoing project that explores how single subject maps can give us new ways to understand our landscape.’

Vimeo | ‘Netherlands from above – Migration of Honey Buzzards’

Quartz | ‘This map shows where the strongest earthquakes are expected to strike

National Geographic | Detailed study of Detroit’s fall and rise

Visual Loop | ‘Revisiting the work of Hugo A. Sanchez’

Yale Environment | Finally a visualisation that merits using the architecture of the periodic table, not sure about the 3D graphic at the bottom though.

TheUpshot | ‘Tax Day: Are You Receiving a Marriage Penalty or Bonus?’

Pew Research Center | Interesting analysis of the ‘Future of World Religions’

Washington Post | ‘The history of American inequality, in 1 fascinating chart’

National Geographic | ‘On the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, explore the servicing missions that have made its 570,000 pictures of the universe possible.’

TheUpshot | ‘The Upshot Is One Year Old Today. Here Are the Stories You Clicked the Most.’ (What an amazing body of work already)

Politico | ‘This graphic shows how America’s partisan divide grew’

Washington Post | ‘An illustrated guide to all 456 deaths in Game of Thrones’

HBR | ‘Visualizing Sun Tzu’s The Art of War’


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

VizPainter | A relevant piece about the frustration of dealing with dates in Tableau (though to be honest you could extend that to most applications)

AIGA | ‘The case against paying designers by the hour’

Cartonerd | Kenneth Field explains the three different tests he applies when looking at and critiquing maps

Print Mag | ‘Chromatic Abstraction: Color as Data, Part 1’

Print Mag | …and here’s ‘Chromatic Abstraction: Color as Data, Part 2’ (it is from May but who cares about the rules of this post)

PolicyViz | ‘Communicating research: build a unicorn, don’t look for one’

Eager Eyes | Conference report from CHI 2015

New York Times | From all the way back in 2009, an interview with some of the NYT’s ‘interactive news collaborative’

5W Blog | ‘Is Lego the future of infographics?’

FiveThirtyEight | Like the tilted scatter plot to form the 2×2 matrix

99u | ‘Michael Bierut on Finding Your Voice’

Medium | An interesting and detailed criticism about a NYT visualisation of the Israeli conflict in Gaza (don’t agree with the accusations, knowing the journalists involved in creating the work)

Pew Research Center | ‘State of the News Media 2015’

Wired | ‘The cartographer who is transforming map design’

Guardian | ‘The hidden biases of Geodata’

Yanofksy | ‘There appears to be some disagreement on the location of Alaska’

Scientific American | ‘There’s No Infographic without Info (and other Lessons from Malofiej)’

HBR | ‘What to Do When People Draw Different Conclusions From the Same Data’

ONS | A style guide for the ONS to advise on the most appropriate use of language to use in descriptive commentary

Learning & Development

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

OpenVisConf | All the videos of the talks at OpenVisConf 2015, presented via the typically brilliantly designed interface

Lena Groeger | One of the talks at OpenVisConf was by Lena titled ‘That’s the Power of Loops’, here are the slides.

Eventbrite | A collection of “D3.js Resources to Level Up”

BBC Internet Blog | ‘8 things I learnt while creating my first animation’

Webstock | Talk by Nicholas Felton: PhotoViz – ‘At the intersection of photography and data visualization is a place where optical techniques reveal complex phenomena and data viz starts to resemble a photographic process.’

Juice Analytics | ‘A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use’

Subject News

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

Tate | The Tate gallery has released a dataset that contains the ‘Concise catalogue entries’ for all wholly owned artworks in the Tate collection’

University of Chicago Press | pdf release of first three volumes of the book: ‘The History of Cartography’

Steve Haroz | New paper: ‘ISOTYPE Visualization: Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement’ by Steve Haroz, Robert Kosara and Steven Franconeri

Politico | ‘Nate Silver to Vox: Stop stealing our charts!’

PLOS | New Paper: ‘Beyond Bar and Line Graphs: Time for a New Data Presentation Paradigm’, by Tracey Weissgerber , Natasa Milic, Stacey Winham, and Vesna Garovic


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

Washington Post | Artisan Politics – ‘We asked four cartoonists to critique some presidential doodles’

Boing Boing | ‘Christopher Nolan’s hand-drawn Inception timeline’

New York Times | ‘How to Walk in New York’

Twitter | Another black and white printing fail…

Mirador | ‘Mirador is a configurable, extensible, and easy-to-integrate image viewer, which enables image annotation and comparison of images from repositories dispersed around the world’

Quantified Breakup | Discussing the digital consequence of a relationship breakup

BBC Technology | ‘Sat-navs and mobile apps threaten map-reading skills’

Guardian | ‘The best alternative election posters’

New York Times | The importance of editing: ‘The Man Who Makes the World’s Funniest People Even Funnier’

The User Is Drunk | ‘Your website should be so simple, a drunk person could use it. You can’t test that. I’ll do it for you.’ (for $500 per site)