Best of the visualisation web… May 2020

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 2020.

Note: the items listed may not have been necessarily published during this month, rather discovered during the month. Some links point to paywall items. The details shown below label the platform/site each item is published on – not necessarily the actual author – and a brief selective description.

Visualisations & Infographics

Covering latest visualisation, infographic or other related design works.

New York Times | ‘New York is quiet. Listen to the birds’

@katemclean | ‘Version 2 of the hospital corridor #smellscape’

@theneilrichards | ‘Now on
@tableaupublic – all 31 days of my self-appointed #31DaysOfFlood challenge’

SCMP | ‘United States passes 100,000 coronavirus deaths: If New York was a graveyard’

New York Times | ’54 Ways Coronavirus Has Changed Our World’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Without A Vaccine, Herd Immunity Won’t Save Us’

New York Times | ‘An Incalculable Loss’

BBC | ‘Which Premier League squads need work in the transfer window?’

Reuters | ‘For cops who kill, special Supreme Court protection’ (Like the stringy Sankey)

Gabrielle Merite | Really nice portfolio of work (and site)

@ftdata | ‘SpaceX has become the first private company to launch humans into orbit’

@PostGraphics | ‘One hundred thousand Americans dead in less than four months. Each of those deaths is represented as a ray of light.’

@tjukanov | ‘Northern (Finland) Growth Zone Information Service: Regional indicators, live traffic data and mobile location data visualized with #KeplerGL’

@CraigTaylorViz | ‘Los Angeles Bus Journeys’

@PostGraphics | ‘A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19’s new surge across rural America’

@joshbegley | ‘Every coronavirus story on the front page of the New York Times. This is 2020 so far.’

Reuters | ‘Anatomy of Singapore’s outbreak’

Happy Data | ‘Hopeful views of the world through data and drawings.’

PolicyViz | ‘PolicyViz Data Visualization Catalog’

Heineken | ‘A tool that offers employees across the globe transparency about their career opportunities’ (work by Jan Willem Tulp)

New York Times | ‘A Study Said Covid Wasn’t That Deadly. The Right Seized It.’

@rastrau | ‘How is our mobility changing because of #COVID19 & as a result of easing?’ [Translated]

@AlexanderVar7 | ‘The Consciousness on Nations’


These are references to written articles, discourse or interviews about visualisation.

DesignObserver | ‘Birthing Dataviz’

Online Journalism Blog | ‘Coronavirus: 3 ways journalists need to get to grips with uncertainty during the pandemic’

LSE | ‘The public do not understand logarithmic graphs used to portray COVID-19’

Robert Janezic | ‘Experimenting in Data Visualization’

Medium | ‘Discovering ‘Moments that Matter’ for truly meaningful Data Design’

Nightingale | ‘Really pleased that my second essay on building a career in #dataviz is published!’

Nightingale | ‘How Do You Simulate a Pandemic?’

@kennethfield | ‘I had a great time chatting to the FT’s Alan Smith a couple of weeks ago about coronavirus coxcombs and waffles’

@AlbertoCairo | ‘The Dawn of a Philosophy of Visualization’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, podcasts, academic papers, case-studies, how-tos etc.

Nightingale | ‘COVID-19 Data Literacy is for Everyone’

UncertaintyVizBrowser | ‘The UncertaintyVis Browser: An Interactive Survey of Uncertainty Visualisation Research Publications.’

YouTube | ‘How coronavirus charts can mislead us’

@EeDanhi | ‘Off the charts: user engagement enhancers in election infographics’

@jwato_watson | ‘Pixelate to communicate! Varying pixelation is a powerful tool to show point estimates & uncertainty estimates in a single plot/map’

Data Stories | ‘Visualizing COVID-19 with Carl Bergstrom’

@Living_WithData | ‘The Living With Data review of existing research has been published today.’

@lisacrost | ‘Dear #dataviz peeps, let’s discuss: Is it ok to differentiate between categories with lightness, or should we use hues?’

HAL archives-ouvertes | Paper: ‘What is Interaction for Data Visualization?’ by Evanthia Dimara and Charles Perin

@driven_by_data | Excellent thread explaining approach to min-max scales for line charts

Voila | ‘Domesticated Honeybees: Improving conservation through communication

@wattenberg | ‘I’ve been seeing unusual “tornado plot” diagrams floating around, and wrote a tiny interactive tool to help myself understand them.’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, such as new sites or resources, new book titles and other notable developments.

@J_CD_T | ‘New, Free Data: We have just published the code and data behind our excess mortality tracker on Github.’

(This wasn’t really the month for news of a data visualisation flavour)


Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data, technology or visual theme.

Cinephilia & Beyond | A thorough dissection of George Miller’s ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ but I especially love the concept art panels half-way down the article

@mslima | ‘What makes a great tool? One of the most elegant definitions I’ve encountered was…’

@visualizevalue | Some nice simple designs to represent thoughts, ideas, mantras etc.

BBC | ‘Why time seems to be going faster while we are in lockdown’

BBC | ‘Why Admiral’s ‘flashy’ England strip now commands respect’

New York Times | ‘Taking Lessons From a Bloody Masterpiece’

The Paris Review | ‘How to Draw the Coronavirus’