Best of the visualisation web… December 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 December 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.

@juledurg | ‘Just got my hands on a copy of our Africa’s rising cities special from last week’

Washington Post | …and related, ‘Africa’s Rising Cities: How Africa will become the center of the world’s urban future’

@AJEnglish | ‘Visualising the FIFA Arab Cup 2021’

The Economist | ‘How prepared for Omicron are America and Europe?’

@nataliexdean | ‘A sketch to explain how a new variant may appear milder even with no change in underlying virulence’

@s0_s0el | ‘In Latin America, environmental defenders are being killed for protecting resources that are being destroyed’

The Pudding | ‘How Bad Is Your Streaming Music?’

Washington Post | ‘Cold, heat, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes: The year in weather disasters’

New York Times | ‘What Data Shows About Vaccine Supply and Demand in the Most Vulnerable Places’

SCMP | ‘How Covid-19 could change our cities of the future’

@Mariano_Zafra | ‘Space science will advance with the imminent launch of the James Webb Telescope’ [Translated from Spanish]

Bloomberg | ‘Jealousy List 2021’

CNN | ‘Race and ethnicity across the nation’

@geokaramanis | ‘Cricket World Cup team wins for this week’s #TidyTuesday… recreating Moritz Stefaner’s “Notabilia”‘

FiveThirtyEight | ‘The Nation’s Best Punter Is Changing The Game’

The Economist | ‘2021’s biggest stories were covid-19 and America’s presidential transition’

@duc_qn | Excellent charts that combine covid-19 case trends, death trends, and vaccination rate progress

Washington Post | ‘Without access to charging stations, Black and Hispanic communities may be left behind in the era of electric vehicles’

@_rospearce | ‘Keep thinking about this chart I drew up last week, which shows how different Omicron is to other variants’

Anthropographics | ‘List of Anthropographics: A collection of data visualizations about people’

Pentagram | ‘Gender Equality Creative Platform: A branded data visualization system helps tell human stories about gender equality.’

@CrumpledJumper | ‘A celebration of Steph Curry’s record-breaking two thousand nine hundred and seventy-four career three-pointers’

NPR | ‘Pro-Trump counties now have far higher COVID death rates. Misinformation is to blame’

@dr_xeo | ‘The inequality map of Spain 2019’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘The World Chess Championship In 5 Charts’ – An extravaganza of ChessViz

COVIC | ‘COVIC: The Covid-19 Online Visualization Collection’

Maarten Lambrechts | Its December, so that means its time to include in this list Maarten’s ‘list of 2021 visualization lists’

Observable | ‘The Most Frequently Used Emoji of 2021’

Washington Post | ‘The race to defuse Congo’s carbon bomb’

New York Times | ‘On Syria’s Ruins, a Drug Empire Flourishes’

FT | ‘La Niña expected to intensify global rain and drought after second consecutive year’

@tomlarkworthy | ‘I have worked with Observable for the entirety of 2021 and here are what I think are some of the best notebooks’

USA Today | ‘Explore Taylor Swift lyrics, songs and patterns over time’

The BMJ | ‘A new BMJ infographic helps people decide what to do in everyday situations to protect themselves, and others, from covid-19’

Bloomberg | ‘Pret Index: Demand for Airport Coffee Soars Amid Travel Rebound’


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

The Why Axis | ‘One hilariously bad chart: What were the Democrats thinking?’

Observable | ‘Future of Data Work: Q&A with Mike Bostock’

The BMJ | ‘The eyes have it: getting the gist of covid-19 transmission’ – short article to reflect on the thinking behind the graphic listed above

Learning & Development

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

SAGE Journals | ‘The Science of Visual Data Communication: What Works’ by Steve Franconeri, et al

@Data_Soul | Behind the scenes of a stop-motion video to visualise the complex subject of drug pricing in the US

@tableau | ‘Jock Mackinlay visualizes the history of Tableau innovation across 40+ product releases and shares his predictions for the future of analytics.’

YouTube | ‘Data Design: un linguaggio che amplia la nostra visione del mondo’ by Valentina D’Efilippo for TEDxParma [With English subtitles]

@eagereyes | ‘What common wisdom or “rule” about charts or data visualization would you like to see more evidence about (or suspect might be a myth)?’

@f_l_o_u_r_i_s_h | ‘This #DisabilityHistoryMonth, we wanted to spotlight three ways to make your data visualizations more accessible.’

Subject News

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

Domestika | ‘Effective Data Visualization: Transform Information into Art’ a new course by Sonja Kuijpers

Data Visualization Society | The new location for the data visualisation jobs board

Tableau UI Kit | ‘The ultimate Tableau prototyping tool’

@stamen | ‘Our new #podcast “PLN8” launches on December 9! Join us every month w/ designers, data scientists, and cartographers on their personal journeys and favorite dataviz projects and practices’

Stat Modelling | Just one of many written accounts charting the influence of Lee Wilkinson who sadly passed in December 2021

New York Times | ‘We’re excited to announce that Marco Hernandez is joining the New York Times as a Graphics editor.’


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

@CSMFHT | [Excellent gag] ‘During the Trojan War, the Greeks noted that their Achilles units would return from battle wounded in many areas except around the heel’

Rest of World | ‘Fifty percent of Facebook Messenger’s total voice traffic comes from Cambodia. Here’s why’

Washington Post | ‘Millions of Americans can trace their ancestry back to tenements like this one…’

@ChrisLDutton | Bits of data vis stuff but, more broadly, just a really interesting thread investigating the sudden mass death of fish in the Mara River

@DangerFarm | ‘[HACKER VOICE] “I’m in”‘

Dries Depoorter | ‘Shortlife v2: A clock to remind you that life is short.’

@eaton | ‘This is the best opening to a technical book the world has ever seen and i will fight anyone who says otherwise’

@EdConwaySky | ‘A few tweets on how we treat absence of evidence and neutrality of science.’

@thefercook | ‘Data visualization manipulation is a key twist in a Disney series on drug abuse’

@TimMacAndErny | ‘Six years ago I was lucky enough to be commuting to work when Paris metro workers discovered this secret treasure…’