A year of data visualisations


For a slightly different take on the year past, I have been looking back over all the data visualisation links I have posted on twitter — there has been quite a number of really interesting ways to try and show off the big (and not so big) numbers making the headlines.

Perhaps not the most visually appealing implementation, but placing an area in the news over somewhere familiar really helps to give a sense of scale — sometimes smaller, more usually bigger, than I’d expected. It would have been good to see the BBC’s ‘Dimensions’ website at the time of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, rather than after the fact; but it is still interesting nevertheless.

The updated graph of CO2 emissions from Eyjafjallajoekull versus the aviation industry doesn’t look anywhere near as impressive as the original — due to the initial estimate being low by a factor of 20 — but it is still interesting that the emissions saved due to the grounded flights were probably greater than those from the volcano.

Not a visualisation, but a post on cartographic clarity, however I found it interesting. Why Google maps are more ‘readable’ than competitors. Less is more when it comes to mapmaking. I had never consciously thought about it, but that post makes a lot of sense to me.

Facebook privacy was in the (tech) news pretty much every other week this year, and there are a couple of interesting ways to look at the complexities of their options: The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook (via flowingdata.com) and the New York Times graph of the Bewildering Tangle of Options for Facebook Privacy

Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing data visualisations I’ve seen this year are from
Eric Fischer, with his set of maps for geotagged photos uploaded by Locals and Tourists to several major cities worldwide.