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Data Visualisation - a selection of my favourites Oct 2015

Category : Data Visualisation
If you’ve been reading these summaries of what I like about data visualisation then you’ll know that one of the things I like best are visualisations which creatively represent large amounts of information or sets of data; and that another is charts which convey a story very quickly, with succinct neatness. Oh, and I also like to play.
So this month, my favourites span these themes.

A timeline of history

Every event in history (that Wikipedia knows of) has been illustrated by a single dot on this interactive visualisation, which I found via Nathan Yau’s visualisation blog. You can filter by categories such as Music, Politics, Inventions and can scroll across timelines from “The Beginning” all the way through to present day.

Every dot links to a Wikipedia image of the event. The navigation through the site is delightful and I’m sure you’d learn new things in any time spent browsing.

Deaths in Syria

Topical across most of the world right now is the displacement of refugees into Europe, particularly from Syria. My next visualisation choice, also using dots to represent individual data points, shows deaths in Syria during this period of conflict.

Scroll down the page to see smaller sub-sets of types of death. There are some potential surprises there and the visualisation dots are, I think, more impactful than the numbers would be alone. Normally, I would perhaps not appreciate a visualisation which requires the data value to be written explicitly, but in this case the differences between sizes of groups is significant and easily discernible by the naked eye.

America’s gun violence

There have been a lot of charts depicting trends in America’s gun usage / ownership / opinion on gun control over the past couple of weeks and these charts presented by Andy Kriebel are the ones which I think conveyed the most stark view of all those which I saw. I’m deliberately not choosing one to clip out into this article. If you’re interested then please look at them all.

London underground map

I think I’ve previously shared here a map of the London underground which shows where the “best” coffee shop near each station is, or maybe one showing the walking distances between adjacent stations. There are lots of alternative maps that have been created, maybe because the map is so familiar that its visual representation of London is a better way to apportion data points to areas than a more faithful geographical map would be.

This map shows the median rental value of one bedroom properties in the regions near each tube stop. I was particularly interested because the area near my one bed flat is apparently £200 pcm less than the stops either side. Well, if I ever come to rent it out, I’ll have to market it in the area to the East rather than to the West and nearer the city. Intriguing to know.

Colour Fun

And finally … how good are you at recognising colours? This is a great way to waste some time finding out.

About the author

Cathy Buchanan
Cathy Buchanan
Working in Operational Research for over ten years, as a consultant my goal is to help clients understand the value that data brings to their organisations. Before consultancy, I spent 5 years working in call centre design and am now very interested in promoting “the contact centre of the future”, utilising & combining multiple customer channels efficiently. My areas of specialisation are Optimisation, Simulation and Data Visualisation.
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