Best of the visualisation web… October 2021

Since 2010 I have compiled and published monthly collections of links to some of the best, most interesting, or thought-provoking data visualisation-related content I come across. These collections are not always published immediately after the month in question has ended, but I try to do so as soon as my workload permits!

Here’s a collection of some of the best content I encountered during October 2021.

The items listed may not have been necessarily published in the month, rather I will have discovered them during the month to which this post relates. Note that some links point to paywall items so may not be accessible to everyone. The details included are the platform or site each item is published on – not necessarily the actual author – and a brief description.

Visualisations & Infographics

Covering latest visualisation, infographic or other related design works.

Strait Times | ‘Climate Code Red: Slowing Down CO2’ part of an incredible 3-part series (others covering ‘Corals’ and ‘Rising Seas’ can be reached from this page)

@adolfux | ‘Today, our back page at SCMP news tells you the rainy records in Hong Kong for the latest 47,765 days.’

New York Times | ‘This Is How Everyday Sexism Could Stop You From Getting That Promotion’

@defilippovale | ‘London Under the Microscope reimagines the geography of the city through the iconic morphology of the Covid-19 virus to visualise and sonify how the pandemic has transformed the city.’

Bloomberg | ‘How Hong Kong’s National Security Law Is Changing Everything’

@jonollington | ‘Goal kick profiles from La Liga, 2009/10’

Truth and Beauty | ‘Suchströme: Google Search Trends for the 2021 Federal Election’ [Translated from German]

Flowing Data | ‘How the Longest Running Shows Rated Over Episodes’

@BBGVisualData | ‘For 20 years, the NYPD has overrun its annual police budget. Here’s what we found digging through data on overtime pay and crime rates.’

Scientific American | ‘Climate Change Drives Escalating Drought’

Flourish | ‘One dataset, ten visualizations: Exploring the possibilities, strengths and weaknesses of different chart types’

Youtube: MetaBallStudios | ‘Ocean Depth Comparison’ by Álvaro Gracia Montoya

Financial Times | ‘How green is your electric vehicle?’

GPPi | ‘Follow The Money: Investing in Crisis Prevention’

@GurmanBhatia | ‘Collated examples of #photoviz for a class I am teaching’ (amazing thread of collections)

New York Times | ‘Yes, There Has Been Progress on Climate. No, It’s Not Nearly Enough’

The Pudding | ‘Can Data Die: Why One of the Internet’s Oldest Images Lives on Without Its Subject’s Consent’

@chiquiesteban | Even if there isn’t much in the way of visualising the data in this piece, it demonstrates through the illustrations and photo-editing how you can still bring flair to the styling of your data presentation

@ftweekend | ‘The FT has made its first music video, telling a story about immigration in music and numbers’

New York Times | ‘See How the Dixie Fire Created Its Own Weather’

Series Heat | ‘Search for a TV Series to see a heatmap of average IMDb ratings for each episode’ by Jim Vallandingham

Autogol | ‘The Poundshop Messi Machine’

@JanWillemTulp | ‘Power Switcher: An interactive model of the energy future of Switzerland’

UCLab Potsdam | ‘Corona Moments: What stuck with us throughout this pandemic?’

Reuters | ‘Vanishing tropical rainforests’

The Economist | ‘Russian elections once again had a suspiciously neat result’

The Guardian | ‘The climate disaster is here’

OelDiario | ‘Spain lives in flats: why we have built our cities vertically’ [Translated from Spanish]

@observablehq | ‘Working with data that changes over time is tough. Our team created this amazing resource’

@sobrgr | Summary thread of the climate change concepts from the IPCC Report 2021 from Sophie Berger

River Runner | ‘Click to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up’

ABC | ‘Hitting the Jackpot’

El Pais | ‘A ‘hot spot’ under the Canary Islands feeds the volcano and will create new islands’ [Translated from Spanish]

Washington Post | ‘Russia allows methane leaks at planet’s peril’

Junk Charts | ‘Thinking about color schemes for choropleth maps’

The Guardian | ‘How the world’s carbon ‘centre of gravity’ moved over 200 years’

@ladataviz | ‘¡LATINO GANG! An analysis of latin music collaborations’

Mac Bryla | ‘Energy heartbeat’

Washington Post | ‘Scientific reclamation: How the iconic Jefferson Memorial was restored’


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

Observable | ‘Experimenting with “No Use of Color Alone” in Data Visualizations with Sequential, Diverging, and Circular Color Scales’

Eye on Design | ‘Herbert Bayer’s World Geo-Graphic Atlas Anticipated the Age of Infographics’

Medium: BorisM | ‘Design for yourself! (Sometimes): Individual creativity is a remarkable source for innovation.’

Datawrapper | ‘Your favorite chart type is more flexible than you think’

Medium: Kontinentalist | ‘Tips on creating illustrative visualizations’

Jane Zhang | ‘Failing to freelance in data visualization’

@Jasonforrestftw | ‘In preping for a lecture that I’ll give at the end of the month, I’ve been looking into the more recent history of dataviz – mostly the 1970s. I just realized that celebrating the VISUAL in dataviz is totally a concept that could “only happen now” – a thread:’

Nightingale | ‘Interview with the South China Morning Post Infographics Team’ (RIP Darren Long)

@NElmqvist | ‘Last year and this year, my Data Visualization graduate class has continued this tradition: writing short popular articles on current research. I thought I would write a thread summarizing Fall 2021 posts’

The Economist | ‘Between the lines: Parties of all stripes’

Nature | ‘Colour me better: fixing figures for colour blindness’

Learning & Development

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

Alice Thudt | ‘Visualizing Google Search Interest in the German Election Year 2021’

@alundgard | ‘Descriptions, captions, and alt text can help make visualizations more accessible. But what should they say, or not say?’

@chezVoila | ‘The latest project in our portfolio shows how an infographic request can lead to many places…’

Substack: FILWD | ‘Small Multiple Area Charts vs. Line Charts’

Frontiers | Collection of 8 articles about ‘Uncertainty Visualization and Decision Making’

Geomob | ‘Geomob Podcast – 99. John Nelson: Edgy Cartography’

Youtube: NACIS | Hours and hours and hours of videos to work through from NACIS (North American Cartographic Information Society) 2021

VIS 2021 | The collection of papers presented at VIS 2021 (login required to click further but acts as a useful directory to search for elsewhere)

@tamaramunzner | For a more personal curation through the highlights of VIS 2021, Tamara always does the best threads

Northwestern University | Paper: ‘Declutter and Focus: Empirically Evaluating Design Guidelines for Effective Data Communication’ from Visual Thinking Lab

Baryon | ‘Small datasets to practice your data visualization skills’

Subject News

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

BStreams | Interesting new tool ‘Connect your data and build amazing visualizations for the web’

Graphica | …and another ‘Scimago Graphica: A new way to explore, visually communicate and make sense of data.’

@datasonif | ‘Finally! We released a major update of the Data Sonification Archive, now close to its first 300 entries.’

@fedfragapane | Congrats to Federica Fragapane who was awarded ‘The Pierre Keller Award at the #HublotDesignPrize in London’

@JZarracina | …and to Javier Zarracina for winning the ‘2021 Majeri Award for Innovation and Leadership in Graphic Journalism’

Information is Beautiful | New Book: ‘Beautiful News’ by David McCandless

Apple Podcasts | ‘Am I Normal? New podcast with Mona Chalabi’


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

@AlexSelbyB | ‘You know good design when you see it’

CNN | ‘Some of the most iconic 9/11 news coverage is lost. Blame Adobe Flash’

This Is Colossal | ‘Polluted Water Popsicles: Faux Frozen Treats Highlight Taiwan’s Water Pollution Problem’

Independent | ‘”You’ve got 30 seconds before they tell you to f*** off”: Inside the world of the T20 analyst’

DataIQ | ‘Next slide please: How Covid made data literacy a public skill’

Quartz | ‘I profiled Kat Norton (@themissexcel), a.k.a. Miss Excel, who preaches spreadsheet expertise on TikTok.’

The Times | ‘Why do the modellers always seem to get Covid infection rate wrong?’

C82 | ‘Sylva Britannica, a poster of 50 illustrations from Jacob George Strutt’s 1830 collection of special trees around Britain’

@moritz_stefaner | ‘Guesstimate — A spreadsheet for things that aren’t certain.’

Adobe | ‘Convert PDF to PowerPoint’