The Art of Transforming Data into Great Stories

What happened last week in the world of data visualization? This category provides you with remarkable visualizations – they can be remarkably beautiful, remarkably interactive or just remarkably interesting. Visualizations differ on so many levels, and so does their content. Let’s take a look at what week #5 brought us.

Time to celebrate

Last friday, January 15th, Wikipedia was celebrating its 15th anniversary. Time for many editors throughout the world to recap on its achievements. Unsurprisingly, there are many people out there, who created tons of visualizations based on Wikipedia. One of them is the Israeli Graphic Designer Matan Stauber. He recognized Wikipedia’s high potential and developed an outstanding visualization that shows historic events based on Wikipedia entries.

Under the simple but catchy title “histography” Stauber created an interactive timeline, where each dot corresponds to an historic event. Starting with the Big Bang the user can move through history by delving into different centuries, all the way up to the present.

On a visual level the interactive graphics by Stauber are simply a pleasure to play with. Though, navigation takes some time to understand. Nevertheless, this is one of the most beautiful and content-rich visualizations we have seen making use of the treasure chamber called Wikipedia.

histography - visualizations based on wikipedia history events

You might die of…

The d3.js based visualization “Causes of Death” shows the likelihood of dying because of a certain disease. The creator of the graph is Nathan Yau, a statistician specialised on information design. Yau seems so have a morbid side, since he also developed a graph called “Years You Have Left to Live, Probably” that confronts you with your life expectancy.

However, Yau’s ‘Cause of Death’-visualisation is very well done; it is straightforward, presented in a very clean way and also somewhat interactive (the site lets you filter for sex and race). Furthermore, he added something that he named ‘Nerd Notes’, where he provides some short and comprehensible insights about the tool used to create this, his inspiration and so on. If it were up to us, we would gladly welcome more ‘Nerd Notes’ throughout the world of visualisation.

Causes of Death


Cashing in on Crossovers

Currently the North American International Auto Show takes place in Detroit. Since the car industry is still one of the world’s most important economics sectors, it gets a lot of media coverage – and Bloomberg just finalized a visualisation dealing with one particular aspect of the industry.

Using the headline “Cashing in on Crossovers”, Bloomberg authors created four visualisations that supposedly reveal the economic strength of so called “Crossovers”. The center of the story is a cool timeline that allows users to interactively explore U.S. crossover sales for each car model. The visualisation looks fancy and excels the remaining graphs. A little bit more white space in the overall article would be desirable – enhancing readability. Nevertheless, the general structure of the story is well thought out. May the show begin!

Cashing in on Crossovers


About the author : Eva Lopez (DW)