Best of the visualisation web… May 2016

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 May 2016.


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

Climate Lab | ‘The animated spiral presents global temperature change in a visually appealing and straightforward way.’

New York Times | ’40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today’

Nuclear Secrecy | ‘American Nuclear War Plan, 1956’

athenahealth | ‘A visualization of athenahealth network data’

ABC | ‘Vote Compass is a tool developed by political scientists for exploring how your views align with those of the candidates’

BBC Earth | ‘How much of your body is your own?’

Guardian | Small-multiple grid map of sankeys. (That’s right, you read that correctly)

Polygraph | ‘How music taste evolved’

Washington Post | ‘How the economy is doing this month’

Creative Review | ‘How the Toronto Symphony Orchestra uses graphic design to guide its audiences though its music’

FT | ‘Leicester’s incredible run: Started from the bottom, now they’re here’

Vimeo | ‘Kung Fu Motion Visualization’ by Tobias Gremmler

Guardian | ‘How Leicester City’s triumph compares with other title winners’

Stamen | ‘Introducing the Atlas of Emotions, our new project with the Dalai Lama and Paul & Eve Ekman’

Polygraph | ‘The Universe of Miles Davis: His legacy, represented by every Wikipedia page that mentions him’

Tech Insider | ‘These mind-blowing comparisons put Earth’s true size into perspective’

NASA Earth Observatory | ‘Natural Beauty at Risk: Preparing for Climate Change in National Parks’ | ‘Poemage is a visualization system for exploring the sonic topology of a poem.’

Tableau Public | ‘Look back at US presidential election results from 1920-2012 utilizing a small multiples approach’

Quantified Selfie | ‘Quantified Selfie is a project that explores identity through data’

VeloViewer | ‘Road Orientation Distributions’

New York Times | A new VR project: ‘Set foot on an alien world, three billion miles from the warmth of the sun.’

BSC | ‘Simulados: A documentary around the lives of a prehistoric virtual family trying to survive the moody conditions imposed by the scientists studying them.’

National Geographic | ‘Sizing up sharks, the Lords of the sea’

Swanh | ‘Star Wars Episode IV in one picture’

Tableau Public | ‘What if superheroes visualized data…’

Vimeo | ‘A projected mapped interface for a ping pong table to show data visualisations for trainers and players.’

Flowing Data | ‘The Changing American Diet’

City Lab | ‘Mapping the Incredible Spread of Million-Dollar Homes Across San Francisco’

Five Thirty Eight | ‘The Sumo Matchup Centuries In The Making’

Morgenpost | ‘These are Germany’s greenest cities’

WSJ | ‘What’s Your Pay Gap?’

Flowing Data | ‘Who is Older and Younger than You’


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

Medium | ’39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes’

Eager Eyes | Helmets on… ‘3D Bar Charts Considered Not That Harmful’

Medium | ‘A guy just transcribed 30 years of for-rent ads. Here’s what it taught us about housing prices’

Eager Eyes | ‘A Pair of Pie Chart Papers’

PolicyViz | ‘An Interview with Jorge Camões’

ProPublica | ‘An Unintended Side Effect of Transparency’

Uber | ‘Engineering intelligence through data visualization at Uber’

DPR Barcelona | ‘Honeycomb City Networks: What if bees had mobile phones?’

Washington Post | ‘How this year’s ‘it’ colors came to be’

ProPublica | ‘How Typography Can Save Your Life’

Nesta | ‘The state of interactive data visualisation’

The Memo | ‘Making big data beautiful’

Medium | ‘Mobile-First News: How People Use Smartphones to Access Information’

Nautilus | ‘Science Should Be Totally Beautiful’

Journalism | ‘How the data team at the FT is moving forward as audiences go mobile’

Vox | ‘The bad map we see every presidential election’

Quartz | ‘The data visualization tweet that made my head explode, and the women who put it back together’

Tiny Letter | ‘The Dataviz Pioneer You’ve Never Heard of’

Scientific American | ‘The Feynman-Tufte Principle: A visual display of data should be simple enough to fit on the side of a van’

The Functional Art | ‘”Our reader” won’t understand something as complicated as that!’

Eager Eyes | ‘The Scrollytelling Scourge’

HBR | ‘Visualizations That Really Work’

Nieman Lab | ‘Want to start a small data journalism team in your newsroom? Here are 8 steps’

The Visual Communication Guy | ‘What Does Your Font Choice Say about You (and your document)?’

Medium | ‘What I learned about doing great data journalism in 3 hours at the New York Times and ProPublica’

Learning & Development

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

Ben Collins | ‘Excel tutorial: build a dynamic bump chart of the English Premier League’

Storybench | ‘How to build an interactive county level map like the New York Times’

sirvizalot | ‘How To: Small Multiple Tile Map in Tableau’

Lisa Rost | Brilliant pair of investigations by Lisa Rost, firstly… ‘One Chart, Twelve Tools’

Lisa Rost | …and secondly, ‘One Chart, Twelve Charting Libraries’

Visual Cinnamon | ‘Which books to read to learn more about data visualisation’

Royal College of Art | Paper: ‘Visualising Cultural Data: Exploring Digital Collections Through Timeline Visualisations’, by Florian Kräutli

Subject News

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

PolicyViz | Details of Jon Schwabish’s upcoming book (available for pre-order) ‘Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks’ which will be great

Exploratory/ | New tool I’ve come across: ‘Exploratory Desktop provides an interactive and reproducible real data wrangling and analysis experience powered by R and visualization.’

St Andrews | ‘iVoLVER (Interactive Visual Language for Visualization Extraction and Reconstruction) is a tool that allows users to create visualizations without textual programming’

Caleydo | ‘Pathfinder is a visual analysis tool for the exploration of paths in large networks that was built with Caleydo Web’

Questions in Dataviz | New site: Always good to see a new data visualisation blog emerge and here’s a new one from Neil Richards

FT | Launch of ‘The Chart Doctor’ a column about visualisation and infographics’

Terrapattern | ‘The alpha version of Terrapattern, a visual search tool for satellite imagery’

iTunes | New podcast (to me): ‘What’s The Point: A show about our data age’ by FiveThirtyEight


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

Sploid | ‘100 Years of Film History Retold with the Best Shot in Each Year’

Twitter | ‘YouGov surveyed voters on how they think fictional characters would vote in the #EUref…’

Spicytec | ‘Deconstructed buildings looks like Fair-Tale Houses’

Nerdist | ‘Does Sean Bean really die more than other actors?’

Twitter | ‘The next kind of #infographics might need a new kind of page layout. 2D graphics in 3D space, who would have thought’

Vox | ‘I fly 747s for a living. Here are the amazing things I see every day.’

DataPhys | ‘Jller: A Robot Rearranges Pebbles by Geologic Age’

Vimeo | ‘Michael Bay: What is Bayhem’

Quartz | ‘Programmers imagine the most ridiculous ways to enter a phone number into a form’

Guardian | ‘Quiz: can you identify the city from the blank street map?’

Reveal | ‘Image Verification Assistant helps you to analyse the veracity of online media’

xkcd | ‘Guide to figuring out the age of an undated world map’

WSJ | ‘The phrase “the Leicester City of” has appeared in numerous news reports this year…’