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Data Visualisation - a selection of my favourites November 2016

 This month I’ve picked some great data visualisations with a tenuous geographical theme where by tenuous, I mean all the kinds of things I learnt about when I was studying for my geography GCSE more than 20 years ago.

Before I start, please note the name change … I got married since the last data viz article I wrote and changed both my “known by” name and my last name. The picture is the same, and the article content, so hopefully you can all still know who I am!

How big are countries really?

Just re-reading this article by Robin Edds of Buzzfeed, I’m reminded of how surprised I was the first time I read it, by how the way in which our standard world maps change the perspective we have of different countries.

Of course, I should have known that since the world is a sphere, a rectangular map wouldn’t provide an accurate view, but I’d always assumed that the slack was somehow picked up in the ocean.

Commercial shipping routes

Millions (literally) of ships travel the globe each year, carrying liquids, gases, raw materials, finished goods etc. This “ship map” talks a little about the way in which ships travel – and all the places they go – as well as highlighting the impact that all this movement has on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Don’t forget to press “Play”.

Hurricane routes

Also travelling across oceans – hurricanes!

The Washington Post wrote a nicely visualised article about the paths of hurricanes following on from Hurricane Matthew last month. They basically go everywhere, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of pattern to the paths or the frequency. See if you think differently.

Temperature changes

Linking back to the CO2 question, xkcd has a long cartoon on how temperatures have changed globally between 20000 BC and now. If you scroll to the bottom, it shows the sudden increase over the past century and how far it varies from anything experienced over the last 20 millenia.


And these are beautifully interesting images, showing the patterns of hot and cold in some well-known household items.  How many can you recognise without the labels?

About the author

Katie Kemmis
Katie Kemmis
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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Amazing Blog... :)

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