Real-world Data Visualization Examples

Answering questions both trivial—“What time is brunch, exactly?”—and serious—“Just how sexist is Hollywood?”—these data visualization examples serve as sources for inspiration and learning.

What the 2018 Campaign Looks Like in Your Hometown

This analysis of 3 million election ads for 2018 congressional and gubernatorial races found the most commonly discussed issue in 210 local television markets. Maps abound. - Bloomberg

The CDC Is Publishing Unreliable Data On Gun Injuries. People Are Using It Anyway.

The CDC’s report of a steady increase in nonfatal gun injuries is out of step with a downward trend shown in data from multiple independent public health and criminal justice databases. Since many journalists and researchers rely on CDC numbers, the uncertainty of the data has serious implications for the national-level understanding of gun violence. - FiveThirtyEight

How Connected Is Your Community to Everywhere Else in America?

In an age where we talk about political and ideological divides, our social bubbles are defined by something much simpler: distance. - The Upshot

Visualizing Toxicity in Twitter Conversations

An enlightening walk-through of visualizing toxicity and Twitter threads as “withered trees” using 3D computer graphics software Houdini. - Cortico

How A Booming Population And Climate Change Made California’s Wildfires Worse Than Ever

Across most of California, human activities and infrastructure—like campfires, arson, electrical equipment, and power line—start the vast majority of fires. - BuzzFeed News

Women’s Pockets are Inferior

Women have known for decades that their jean pockets are woefully inept at their primary function: to carry things. Now we have the data to prove it. - The Pudding

Is the US Leaning Red or Blue? It All Depends on Your Map

“People see maps of any type, and particularly election maps, as the result, the outcome, but there are so many different types of maps available that can portray results in shades of the truth.” - Wired

An Extremely Detailed Map of the 2016 Election

Unsurprisingly, how people voted mostly lines up with population density. But there are some unexpected voting enclaves to explore: Trump precincts in the middle of urban centers, blue Clinton pockets in overwhelmingly red states. - The New York Times

A record number of folks age 85 and older are working. Here’s what they’re doing.

“Overall, 255,000 Americans 85 years old or older were working over the past 12 months. That’s 4.4 percent of Americans that age, up from 2.6 percent in 2006, before the recession.” - Wonkblog

Migrants Are on the Rise Around the World, and Myths About Them Are Shaping Attitudes

Here’s just one tidbit from this incredible feat of data journalism: “Almost a quarter of French respondents, as well as nearly one in five Swedes and about one in seven Americans, think the average immigrant gets twice as much government aid as native residents do. In no country is this true.” - The New York Times

The best Mario Kart character according to data science

The next time you bust out your Wii or Nintendo Switch, you’ll know which character/kart/tire configurations will get you across finish line first. - Civis Analytics

Working Remotely and Where the Time Goes

These charts reveal that the advantage remote workers have over non-remote workers isn't more free time, but more flexibility. - FlowingData

Here's every volcano that has erupted since Krakatoa

At least 404 terrestrial volcanoes have erupted since 1883—the year of Krakatoa's historic eruption. Nearly 200 of these eruptions have occurred since the year 2000. - Axios

The US has more baby names than ever—but they all sound the same

In 1991, it took fewer than 100 girl’s names to make up more than 80% of all common names given to girls. Today, it takes over 250. But that doesn’t mean parents are getting more creative and individualistic. - Quartz

How 2 M.T.A. Decisions Pushed the Subway Into Crisis

For years, overcrowding was incorrectly blamed for being the root cause of delays on the NYC subway, but ridership actually stayed mostly flat from 2013 to 2018. This simulation of a line of subway trains moving as minutes pass illustrates how these slowdowns led to the current crisis. - The New York Times

The Structure of Standup Comedy

Unlike most stand-up, Ali Wong's Baby Cobra adds up into something bigger. She’s telling not just 100 individual jokes, but a story that is deliberately arranged, much like a comedy film or a TV series. - The Pudding

Yes, there really is a lot of space junk

The U.S. military’s Joint Space Operations Center has recorded 15,723 objects in low-Earth orbit—including nearly 13,000 that are classified as space debris. - Axios

The Differences in How CNN, MSNBC, and FOX Cover the News

Everyone should be taking notes from The Pudding when it comes to creating focused data exploration experiences. - The Pudding

Developer Survey Results 2018

This year, Stack Overflow collected responses from more than 100,000 developers. One of the most notable discoveries concerns ethics: “Developers are not sure how they would report ethical problems, and have differing ideas about who ultimately is responsible for unethical code.” - Stack Overflow

300 years of data visualization

Explore the origins of some of today's most used chart-types, from choropleth maps to venn diagrams. (And if you want to learn how this infographic of infographics was made, check out this post.) - info we trust

Waiting For a Table

The next time a restaurant greeter tells you “It’ll be a 5 or 10 minute wait,” pull up this interactive simulation. (Seriously, what would we do without Nathan Yau?) - FlowingData

‘Exodus’ from Puerto Rico: A visual guide

Hurricane Maria sent thousands fleeing devastation in Puerto Rico. Federal data obtained by CNN suggest migrants have moved to every US state—even Alaska. - CNN

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

It’s worth bubbling this back up in the wake of (yet another) mass shooting. - New York Times

Probabilistic Cookies!

Nothing says “I love you” on Valentine’s Day like a cookie shaped like a probabilistic distribution made with Python and a 3D printer. - Fast Forward Labs

Olympian mechanics

These stunning compilations of video and data visualization make it clear just how much speed U.S. Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen needs to pull off a quad jump or snowboarder Chloe Kimneeds to land back-to-back 1080 spins on the half-pipe. - New York Times

Two theaters or 1,000? How to release an Oscar-winning film

A number of this year’s Oscar nominees are showing in less than 15% of theaters in North America right now. That’s no mistake. - MarketWatch

The Brutal Lifecycle of JavaScript Frameworks

It’s official. JS frameworks are the startups of UI development. - Stack Overflow

Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea

How the only two words for tea spread around the world offers a clear picture of how globalization worked before “globalization” was a term anybody used. - Quartz

Where Athletes in the Premier League, the N.B.A. and Other Sports Leagues Come From, in 15 Charts (paywall)

This year, most of the top professional sports leagues in North America and Europe will be more international in composition than ever before. - The Upshot

The list of 2017 visualization lists

Lists inside a list (inside a dream?—no wait, that’s Inception). - Maarten Lambrechts

The Next Bechdel Test

This study pitted 50 movies against 12 new ways of measuring Hollywood’s gender imbalance, built on top of original data collected by clipboard-armed FiveThirtyEight staffers. - FiveThirtyEight

Analyzing Customer Success Performance With 3D Visualization

Adding a third dimension to your visualizations can help you compare customer success rep performance across multiple metrics. - Mode

How Generative Music Works

Generative music is created by a system to be ever-different and changing. This detailed visual presentation surveys the landscape of systems (including, yep, machine learning) for making such music. - Tero Parviainen

Heatmap of NYTimes Crossword grids by day of week

This is a fun one for crossword aficionados. A member of the New York Times Games team created a set of visualizations to examine patterns within all historic puzzles. - r/dataisbeautiful

The three-degree world: the cities that will be drowned by global warming

Worldwide efforts have been focused on limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but the latest projections point to a 3.2C increase by 2100. These interactive maps explore how sea-level rise will affect the most-impacted cities. - The Guardian

Need a ratings boost? Make a Halloween episode.

This analysis of over 24,000 episode ratings from 184 television shows proves that Halloween TV episodes aren’t just filler. - Kaylin Walker

The Anatomy of a Thousand Typefaces

Say goodbye to endlessly scrolling through the font menu in your word processor. Instead, use this database of typefaces, classified by characteristics like width, spacing, and stroke contrast. - Florian Schulz

Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards

Explore some of the most inspiring and inventive data visualizations of 2017 (and vote for your favorite!). - Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards

When to Avoid the Subway

If taxis and bikes aren’t your preferred mode of transportation, this analysis of a decade of NYC’s MTA alerts has you covered. - Iterating

When Are Citi Bikes Faster Than Taxis in New York City?

The next time you need to commute from Williamsburg to Manhattan, grab your helmet instead of hailing a cab. - Todd W. Schneider

Visualizing Nonlinear Narratives with Story Curves

There's finally a way to visually make sense of all those flashbacks and flashforwards in Tarantino and Nolan films. - IEEE

Cognitive Hollywood: Data Shows Box Office Economics in Turmoil

Film studio execs say poor Rotten Tomatoes' reviews are to blame for the summer box office slump. This analysis debunks that myth and surfaces something more profound: “Audience scores and critic scores are increasingly correlated, meaning that audiences are becoming expert at smelling a 'bad' movie and staying away.” - Vantage

Lego color themes as topic models

If each Lego brick color were a word, which Lego sets would have the most limited or diverse vocabularies? Find out in this analysis, which applies techniques associated with text mining to the color themes of Lego sets. - Nathanael Aff

How far is too far? An analysis of driving times to abortion clinics in the US.

Elsewhere in the data journalism world, The Pudding continues to kill it. Check out these impactful maps of “abortion deserts” across America. - The Pudding

Thirty years of Atlantic hurricanes

Speaking of data viz about disasters, Axios has released a chart that clearly renders the history of every Atlantic storm tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 1987. - Axios

Good, Evil, Ugly, Beautiful: Help Us Make a ‘Game of Thrones’ Chart

Place 50 GoT characters on a matrix of morality and physical appearance, and then see how your choices compare to the general consensus. - New York Times

What makes an R talk popular? Scraping useR2017 attendance information to find out!

Have this on hand before you submit your next conference proposal. - Dean Attali

Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters

Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted? - The Pudding

ChartCaps

You probably won’t want to set this chart-inspired font to default, but that doesn’t stop it from being a downright delight to look at. - info we trust

The Word Choices That Explain Why Jane Austen Endures

“What traits make Austen special, and can they be measured with data? Can literary genius be graphed?” Spoiler: the answer is yes. - New York Times

Five Boroughs for the 21st Century

What happens when you abandon the century-old five borough partitioning of New York City and remap the city to reflect the realities of 2017? - Topos

Visualizing High Dimensional Data In Augmented Reality

When you’re trying to understand the relationships in a really big dataset (three-million-grocery-orders big), a 2D scatterplot might not cut it. This immersive 3D visualization technique offers a way to make sense of data with multiple attributes and improve machine learning features and models. - Inside Machine Learning

Tabs, spaces and your salary - how is it really?

Data from a recent Stack Overflow survey shows a correlation between developers who use spaces in their code and higher pay. Follow along with this deep data dive, and you’ll discover there’s more to tabs and spaces than first meets the eye. - Evelina Gabasova

Visualizing Uber and Lyft trips in San Francisco: more than 200,000 trips a day.

This “data explorer” from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority is a great example of visualization in the public sector—and just downright fun to click around. (Plus, check out the entirely open source stack used to build it.) - Hacker Noon

Gun Emoji Pairings

Ever wonder what emoji come before and after the gun emoji? Now you know. - Lexical Items

Beyond the sea

What would you see if you could stare directly across the ocean, from shore to shore? It’s not always the place you think. Find out with this interactive map, constructed in D3. - Andy Woodruff

These days in baseball, every batter is trying to find an angle

In 2015, the MLB introduced a new metric— the “launch angle.” Since then, batters have become obsessed with hitting higher and harder and baseball saw the biggest surge in home runs since the steroids era. Coincidence? Probably not. - Washington Post

Beautifully Animate Points with WebGL and regl

A great tutorial for making interactive graphics that’ll dazzle on the web. - Peter Beshai

Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001

Convinced Fred Rogers’ favorite color was red? Think again. - The AWL

A Dozen DataViz-Related Pinterest Profiles to Follow

Has your inspiration dried up? Get those creative juices flowing with work from some the greatest data viz practitioners around. - PolicyViz

The Emoji States of America

A quick scan of these modified Chernoff faces (a visualization technique that maps statistics to facial features) reveals how each state stacks up in terms of uninsured rates, unemployment rates, poverty rates, and more. - Axios

How the Average Adult Spends Days

“Each square represents a single day between age 18 to a life expectancy of 78.8 years, or 22,573 days including leap days.” - FlowingData

Soma Water Filters Are Worthless: How I Used R To Win An Argument With My Wife

If only all marital differences could be solved with unbiased experiments and some statistics. - Tyler Morgan-Wall

Why We Feel So Squeezed in the Skies

“People are flying more often, in fuller planes and paying higher fees.” How did we get here? - New York Times

Seeing Theory

This project offers a visual introduction to probability and statistics. Even if you don't need a primer, this is a great example of what can be accomplished with D3. - Brown University

The Stats of the Furious

A by-the-numbers break down of the first seven movies in The Fast and The Furious blockbuster franchise, from “engine revving time” to the number of “Corona sips.” - Bloomberg

Analyzing Scrabble Games

How do you get a leg up on the competition in this beloved word game? Insist on playing first. - RPubs

Hundreds of Guardian blind dates

Each week, the Guardian fixes up two of its readers. Using R, one fan of the column scraped and analyzed the data from hundreds of post-date interviews. - Maëlle Salmon

How The Internet Talks

And by “Internet,” we mean mostly young, mostly male Reddit users. Search for a word or phrase and see how its popularity has changed over time—from late 2007 through the end of 2016. - FiveThirtyEight

Partisan Conflict and Congressional Outreach

This analysis of more than 200,000 press releases and Facebook posts from members of the 114th Congress quantifies how often legislators “go negative” in their outreach to the public. - Pew Research Center

The top weekend programming languages — based on GitHub’s activity

Which languages do people prefer to code in their spare time? - Felipe Hoffa

Quantifying and Visualizing “Deep Work”

In the zone. Heads down. Deep work. Whatever you call it, you know that feeling—when you’re intensely focused and everything just flows. One professor analyzed a year’s worth of these sessions. Productivity insights abound. - Enrico Bertini

Exploratory or Explanatory?

How one data visualization practitioner balances the art of storytelling with the desire to let folks discover insights on their own. - Questions in Dataviz

‘Duck Dynasty’ vs. ‘Modern Family’: 50 Maps of the U.S. Cultural Divide

America’s cultural divide looks very similar to its political divide. Explore the fissures and points of unity based on the popularity of 50 U.S. TV shows. - The Upshot

Star Wars, In One Chart

How does the most fearsome military force in the galaxy get whittled down from 6.8 million troops to 700k? This chart chronicles the casualties sustained by the Empire, from Rogue One to Return of the Jedi. - FiveThirtyEight

Got ticked off about Skittles posts, so I decided to make a proper analysis

We all have our favorite Skittles flavor (even if it happened to be replaced with Green Apple). But is the distribution of Skittles skewed toward a particular color? - Reddit user zonination

The Rhythm of Food

A downright stunning and delicious exploration of the seasonality and popularity of foods, from old favorites, like chili con carne, to obscure ones, like the humble gooseberry. Mouth watering yet? - Google News Lab and Truth & Beauty

EndorsementDB: Predicting the U.S. election without polls

By now, we know there are pitfalls to relying on opinion polls to predict elections. So what data might we use instead? This in-depth analysis presents congressional endorsements as another way to forecast results. - Data Driven Journalism

How the Circle Line rogue train was caught with data

When a series of signal interferences led to massive disruptions on a Singapore subway line, a team of data scientists stepped in to solve the mystery… with Python! - Data.gov.sg

Shift Your Point of View to When America Was “Better”

“Back in the good old days…” Were they so good? It all depends on when you are and your criteria for “better.” These charts let you select a year as a point of reference, and see how other years compare in terms of unemployment rate, minimum wage, and more. - FlowingData

Westworld in Data

Unravel the mysteries of Westworld through data visualization. - Mode

Here’s What “24 hours” of Running in Boston Looks Like

Come for the beautiful video of runners’ paths unfurling through Boston, stay for the explanation of how it was made. Plus, there’s an interesting bit at the end: some thoughts on tackling the problem of sharing fun proprietary data without compromising user privacy.

Visualizing Career Paths: Quantifying the evolution of individual scientific impact

Is a scientific career predictable? Not in the slightest. Turns out, it’s completely random which paper in a scientist’s career becomes the most successful one. - Northeastern University

The Gone Girl With The Dragon Tattoo On The Train

It feels like every other book on the bestseller list has “girl” in the title. But who are these girls? And why are there so many of them? - FiveThirtyEight

Every Trump/Clinton Photo used by the Top News Media Companies

“About one in 10 posts feature an image of the major-party nominees. Trump appears more than twice as often than Clinton. Whether the news media is biased or not as he claims, they certainly love using his mug.” - Polygraph

The David Spade Index: Which Actors Are Hated by Critics but Loved by Fans?

Turns out critics LOVE Seth Rogen. Who knew? - Priceonomics

Raising Barriers: A New Age of Walls, Episode 1

In a great example of interactive data journalism, explore how globalization has led to the explosive growth of barriers between countries. - Washington Post

The Data of the Chicago Marathon

Examine the numbers behind various aspects of marathon performance, including how to avoid hitting the wall, the best indicator of finish time, and how women are more disciplined runners than men. - Running with Data

The Simpsons by the Data

America’s favorite family has been around for 27 years, providing plenty of data to analyze. Find out who’s the most talkative side character in Springfield, if Homer was always the star, and how much longer the show’s ratings can last. - Todd Schneider

Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards - Shortlist

The shortlist for the Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards has been released, highlighting the best work in data visualization over the past year. Check out the nominees across six different categories, including data journalism, infographics, and interactive visualizations. - Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards

This Map Shows Who Would Win The Election If It Were Held Today

Learn how media outlets use different styles of cartograms to visually represent the state of the race, and explore who the polls predict to win each state with this interactive visualization. - Time Magazine

DataViz in the Movies

From chalkboards to 3D holograms, the next time you need some visualization inspiration check out how Hollywood’s best directors use data to tell stories. - Info We Trust

Why the age of 40 is so important in Hollywood

You may have to rethink why certain actors are in the movies they're in. - Wonkblog

The Reel Truth: Women Aren’t Seen or Heard

- The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Visualizing Hundreds of My Favorite Songs on Spotify

A deep statistical dive into defining songs with attributes—such as tempo, energy, and valence. - Cuepoint

Incomes across the Distribution

This entry looks at the growth of disposable incomes over time. - Our World in Data

A Timeline of Earth’s Average Temperature

“When people say the climate has changed before, these are the kind of changes they’re talking about.” - xkcd

Swing states: how changes in the political landscape benefit Trump

The increasing polarization of the U.S. electorate has made old-fashioned election blowouts essentially impossible. This election cycle demonstrates how changing demographics leave only a few swing states up for grabs. - Guardian

Is urban cycling worth the risk?

We’ve all heard the horror stories about bicycle accidents on city streets. But if you take into account other dangers like heart disease and air pollution, choosing not to cycle may be far worse for your health. - Financial Times

Usain Bolt and the Fastest Men in the World Since 1896 – on the Same Track

The Olympics are over, but we wanted to squeeze in one last data viz from Rio before the long wait ‘til 2020. - New York Times

Crime in Context

Trump says crime is up. Obama says it’s down. Most Americans believe crime is worse, but far fewer believe it’s worse where they live. So who’s right? The Marshall Project sliced 40 years of crime data from several angles to find out. The result is a great example of bringing together human perspectives and data to tell a compelling story. - The Marshall Project

Was There a Problem with the Rio Pool?

No, we’re not talking about the green water hullabaloo. This detailed data exploration covers a different issue: Was there a current in the Rio pool affecting swimmers’ speed? - SwimSwam

Visualizing Clusters of Clickbait Headlines Using Spark, Word2vec, and Plotly

Facebook recently announced they’ll limit exposure to articles with clickbait headlines in News Feed. Might heuristics and machine learning help separate the wheat from the chaff? - Max Woolf

Old Olympians Ride Horses; Young Ones Do Flips

For each sport of the 2016 Games, I looked at the median age of the participants — overall, men and women — using data from athlete profile pages on the Rio 2016 website. - FiveThirtyEight

Text analysis of Trump’s tweets confirms he writes only the (angrier) Android half

This sentiment analysis of Donald Trump’s went viral went this week. Apparently, tweets from Trump’s Android account are more negative than those from his iPhone account, leading to the conclusion that the iPhone tweets are from Trump’s campaign staff, and the Android tweets are from The Donald himself. - Variance Explained

A Visual History of Which Countries Have Dominated the Summer Olympics

Just 10 countries — the United States, Australia and eight European nations — earned medals in the first modern Games, in Athens in 1896. More than 100 years later, in Rio, there were 87 medal-winning nations, from Algeria to Vietnam. - New York Times

Which Olympic Sport Is Hardest On Its Goalies?

Soccer and field hockey keepers have the “easiest” jobs, generally saving around 70 percent of shots. - FiveThirtyEight

How the U.S. Crushed the Competition in the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final

The American women’s gymnastics team won the gold with 184.897 points, an 8-point lead over second-best Russia. - New York Times

Michael Phelps vs. Himself

By charting all of Phelps’s individual race times since Sydney, we can see how his performance has changed over the last 16 years - New York Times

See What’s Really Going On In Your Company’s Slack With This New Visualization App

Ever wanted to visualize your team’s Slack communication? Startup Moovel built #teamchatviz to see if their goals for interdisciplinary, company-wide collaboration were playing out in Slack. It’s free and open-source. Try it out with your own Slack data. - Co.Design

Star Trek Viz

Explore this network visualization of the entire Star Trek universe (except for Star Trek: Beyond). Filter by episode, movie, series, or character to see the bonds formed amongst the Starfleet crew. Live long and prosper, folks. - Datascope Analytics

Visualizing the Summer Games

It’s Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympics. If you’re ready to take a break from watching, check out this gallery of cool data viz about the games from the Tableau community. - Tableau

How terrorism in the West compares to terrorism everywhere else

Since the beginning of 2015, the Middle East, Africa and Asia have seen nearly 50 times more deaths from terrorism than Europe and the Americas. - Washington Post

Analysis of 7 million Amazon reviews

Ever seen this message at the bottom of an Amazon review and raised an eyebrow?: 'I received this product for free or at a discount in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.' Sure, these folks claim to be impartial, but are they really? The data says no. - ReviewMeta

67 Years of Lego Sets

An analysis of how the color, size, and connectivity of Lego sets have changed over the years. - Mode

Most Common Family Types in America

54% percent of U.S. households fit the nuclear family model, but that other 46% leaves room for a lot of variety. Explore a diverse group of family structures in this visualization. - FlowingData

Musicmap

How are disco and post-punk music related? Where did dubstep even come from? This interactive network visualization traces the genealogy and history of popular music genres since 1880. Make sure to zoom in—there’s a lot to explore here. - Musicmap

Five Years of Drought

A stunning visual exploration of five year’s worth of data on U.S. drought—and a peek into the process of mapmaking. - Adventures in Mapping

Fatal Force: a database of police shootings in 2016

This database is based on news reports, public records, social media and other sources. - Washington Post

Theories of Everything, Mapped

For all you physics folks: a map of questions from the frontier of fundamental physics, weighted by their importance in advancing the field. For all you data viz folks: an interactive experience you can’t miss. - Quanta Magazine

Data Mining Reveals the Six Basic Emotional Arcs of Storytelling

Scientists at the Computational Story Lab performed sentiment analysis on over 1,700 English language works of fiction to identify the fundamental shapes stories can take. They also found out which of these arcs make for the most popular narratives. - MIT Technology Review

The Police Are Killing People As Often As They Were Before Ferguson

Alton Sterling's and Philando Castile's deaths have driven renewed attention to the more than 1,000 people killed each year by police officers. - FiveThirtyEight

Is it brunch time?

One man’s quest to discover 'the exact time of day in which brunch maximally occurs' using Twitter data. Bonus for you Python users out there: this analysis includes some beautiful charts made with pandas and matplotlib. - The Startup

Fallout From Britain’s Exit: Markets, Immigration and Trade

Investors, policy makers and countries face a messy breakup with vast financial, economic and political implications. - New York Times

EU referendum results

Last week U.K. citizens voted to leave the European Union, and the fallout was massive: Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and markets dropped worldwide. Many people were shocked by the outcome, despite the fact that polls showed 'Leave' and 'Remain' as dead even the day before the vote. - Financial Times

When you will most likely hit your creative peak

An analysis of the ages at which hundreds of painters, writers, and classical composers created their most “valuable” works. - Wonkblog

How does ‘Hamilton,’ the non stop, hip-hop Broadway sensation tap rap’s master rhymes to blur musical lines?

The Wall Street Journal made an algorithm that unpacks Hamilton’s incredibly complex rhyming lyrics—and the results are fascinating. Pop in your headphones, pump the volume, and check out the methodology behind it all. - Wall Street Journal

Spies in the Skies

Data storytellers, take note. BuzzFeed recently published an exposé on the activity of FBI planes monitoring American cities. It’s a major feat of data journalism in its own right, but what’s really impressive is that the reporters made every detail of their analysis available on GitHub. - BuzzFeed

Text Mining 50 Years of Popular Music

What percentage of the Billboard Hot 100 were one-hit wonders? What were the most characteristic lyrics each decade? Take a deep dive into a half-century of pop music data to find out. - Kaylin Walker

Miles Davis’ legacy, represented by every Wikipedia page that mentions him

From Apple’s “Think Different” campaign to a subgenus of trilobites, Miles Davis’ influence extends well beyond jazz. The data viz masters at Polygraph explored the 2,452 English Wikipedia pages that mention this renowned musician to celebrate his 90th birthday. - Polygraph

Employment, construction, and the cost of San Francisco apartments

When someone mentions San Francisco’s housing shortage, they usually cite a limited dataset containing San Francisco Chronicle rental listings from 1979-2001. Eric Fischer took it upon himself to collect and analyze decades of new information by transcribing Chronicle rental ads from 1948-1979 and Craigslist rental listings from 2001 onward. - Experimental Geography

Americans’ Distaste For Both Trump And Clinton Is Record-Breaking

Clinton and Trump are both more strongly disliked than any nominee at this point in the past 10 presidential cycles. - FiveThirtyEight

Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone

A fascinating analysis of piracy in the academic publishing industry using download data from Sci-Hub, a site that provides free access to paywalled academic papers. - Science

Every Betrayal Ever in Game of Thrones

Who are the most treacherous characters in Game of Thrones? Why do they do it and who ends up on top? - Venngage

A Song of Ice and Data

We figured that it will be pretty cool to design some machine learning algorithm that will answer the question that is on every Game of Thrones’ fan mind - which character is likelier to die next? - Technische Universität München

Game of Thrones: the most Googled characters – episode by episode

Google data shows us which major characters were the top five most searched for on the day each episode was originally aired in the US and the day after. - Guardian

The dark side of Guardian comments

To investigate the global rise of online harassment, The Guardian commissioned an analysis of the 70 million comments left on their site since 2006. This is a great example of how you can combine data and anecdotes to create a powerful story. - Guardian

Every shot Kobe Bryant ever took. All 30,699 of them

Take a tour of Kobe Bryant's key shots over his 20-year career, or explore the makes and misses over his long career. - Los Angeles Times

Six Degrees of the NBA

A social network analysis of NBA players who have played on the same team. - Fanatics

Data USA

Opening up government data is important, but extracting meaning from it is a whole other beast. Enter Data USA, a vast, searchable collection of visualizations of U.S. public data. - Data USA

The Largest Ever Analysis of Film Dialogue by Gender: 2,000 scripts, 25,000 actors, 4 million lines

It’s not hard to spot the gender inequality in Hollywood, but this analysis goes beyond anecdotal evidence. These fantastic interactive visualizations make the disparity between men and women with speaking roles clear. - Polygraph

Network of Thrones

Find yourself muttering “valar morghulis” in anticipation of April 24th? Check out this intricate relationship map of Game of Thrones characters. It just might be enough to tide you over until the Season 6 premiere. Maybe. - Mathematical Association of America

The Next Generation of Software Stacks

The world of software is an ecosystem, and Slack, GitHub, and Amazon EC2 are right at the center of it. - Stackshare

Explained Visually

This website is an incredible collection of interactive visualizations aimed at making tricky concepts like Markov chains and regression easy to understand. Schedule a few hours to explore this one—you’re gonna need them. - Explained Visually

A Supreme Court With Merrick Garland Would Be the Most Liberal in Decades

Even though Merrick B. Garland is considered a centrist jurist, his appointment to the seat left by Justice Antonin Scalia would result in a historic change in the court. - The Upshot

The Senate that confirmed Merrick Garland 19 years ago doesn’t look much like today’s Senate

The Republican caucus is significantly more conservative than it was then. - Washington Post

A Visual Look at 2 Million Chess Games

King’s pawn to E4. If that’s your go-to opening chess move, you’re amongst the majority. Chess fan or not, this analysis is worth the read for it’s detailed commentary and impressive visuals. - Thinking Through the Party

Britain’s Diet in Data

These days, the Brits are drinking less tea and more champagne. What would the Dowager Countess think of that? This comprehensive viz serves up four decades of diet data (and the entire dataset is available for download). - Open Data Institute

Punctuation in Code

Remember these cool visualizations of punctuation in novels from a few weeks back? This post employs the same methods to analyze punctuation patterns in Perl, Ruby, and Python. See if you can guess which is which. - Bastian Greshake

The Facebook Primary

Facebook likes aren’t votes, but if they were, Carson and Sanders would have their primary opponents beat. - FiveThirtyEight

Supreme Court Nominees Considered in Election Years Are Usually Confirmed

Since 1900, the Senate has voted on eight Supreme Court nominees during an election year. Six were confirmed. - New York Times

Galaxy of Covers

Ever wonder which artists have covered Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”? Wonder no more. This interactive website visualizes each of the 50 most popular cover songs as its own planetary system, with the original song as the sun and the covers as planets in orbit. It’s a galaxy worth exploring. - Interactive Things

Top 10 TED Talks for the Data Scientists

Need something to do on your morning commute? Pop in your headphones and listen to one of these TED talks, which run the gamut from global population growth to online dating hacks. - KDnuggets

Why is Central Africa missing from so many maps?

The answer to this question signals a problem much larger than incomplete cartography. Inaccurate and missing data might be what’s holding us back from solving some of Central Africa’s most urgent problems. - Quartz

Researchers have found a major problem with ‘The Little Mermaid’ and other Disney movies

The original three Disney princesses—Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty—are classic examples of the archetypal damsel in distress. But an analysis of the dialogue in the Disney princess franchise shows that it wasn’t until “The Little Mermaid” that men significantly outspoke the women. - Wonkblog

The L Train closure—what data can tell us

This is a great example of how civilians can harness open data to analyze the impact of proposed government projects. - CartoDB

Refugee Data Tells Visual Stories of a Changing World

These two incredibly powerful visualizations show the refugee flow into Europe over the last three years. - Scientific American

A terrifying and hilarious map of squirrel attacks on the U.S. power grid

Because how could we not? - Wonkblog

A Tale of Twenty-Two Million Citi Bike Rides. Analyzing the NYC Bike Share System

This comes from the man who analyzed 1.1 billion NYC taxi and Uber trips, so you better believe it’s thorough. If you relish meaty analysis, or you just love bikes, this is for you. - Todd W. Schneider

The Missing 11th of the Month

According to Google’s Ngrams database, the 11th is mentioned significantly less than other monthly ordinals. But why? We don’t want to spoil the conclusion, but this post is a good reminder of why you shouldn’t blindly trust data. - Dr. David Hagen

Personal Data Is Beautiful in this Graphic Designer’s Year-End Reports

Over the past decade, designer Nick Felton has chronicled each year of his life in gorgeous, colorful charts. He recently released the final installment in his series of Annual Reports. From taking copious notes on his phone to recording everything with commercially available apps and devices, his reports document not just his life, but the advances made in personal data collection over the past 10 years. - The Creators Project

Was “The Force Awakens” Really the Biggest Movie Debut Ever?

The team at AngeloueEconomics examined a bunch of different factors that affect movie ticket sales—movie quality, ticket prices, population growth—to see if Star Wars really does rule the cinematic galaxy. - AngeloueEconomics

MMA styles II: ranking the top striking, submission and decision specialists

If you prefer knock outs to home runs, good news! There’s an entire blog dedicated to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) analysis. Check out a new way to rank Ultimate Fighting Championship athletes using R. - Fight Prior

The Experts Were Wrong About the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care

Back in 2009, during his push for the Affordable Care Act, President Obama lauded the community of Grand Junction, CO for keeping Medicare costs low without sacrificing quality health care. Experts believed that if the rest of the nation emulated places like Grand Junction, high medical costs would decrease. So what's the problem? those experts only looked at Medicare data. New research using both Medicare data and private insurance data shows that low Medicare costs don’t correlate to low medical costs at all. - New York Times

A Day in the Life of Americans

There are a bunch of charts out there showing how we spend our time, but Nathan Yau goes the extra mile with this one. Using data from the 2014 American Time Use Survey, he simulated one day for 1,000 Americans down to the minute. Don’t miss this. - FlowingData

Climate change data visualizations around the web

With global climate talks currently underway in Paris, Storybench has taken a look around the web for some of the most compelling visualizations of climate change data. - Storybench

19 Data Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Not sure what to get the data lover in your family? ILIKE these box plot snowflake ornaments. - Umbel

Why Google Search Results Favor Democrats

Apparently, Democrats are better at SEO than Republicans—Republican presidential candidates average only 5.9 favorable results in the first 10 Google search results, compared to Democratic candidates, who average seven favorable results. Since roughly 75 percent of people use the internet to get their news, how will Google’s rankings affect the outcomes of the 2016 election? (And if AskJeeves were still around, what would he have to say about all this?) - Slate

Why people used to look so serious in photos but now have big smiles

If you’ve ever seen a photo from the 19th or early 20th century, you’ve probably noticed that our ancestors smiled less than we do today. Now there’s data to prove it. - Wonkblog