Archive for Category: "Data visualization"

Sightsmap plots most photographed places on planet

Sightsmap plots most photographed places on planet

Governments around the world protect places for a variety of reasons. There are landscapes set aside for critters and memorials to fallen warriors. In the United States and elsewhere, one of the biggest motivations for creating national parks and other preserves is that they’re pretty to look at and photograph. Beauty may be in the […]

Deep brain freeze: visualizing the polar vortex

Deep brain freeze: visualizing the polar vortex

For the second afternoon in a row, a potent cold front has swept across Denver, marking the return of a deep freeze for much of the country. Yesterday, my weather station recorded a 32-degree drop in less than 90 minutes (here’s a chart). This latest cold snap is sure to revive talk about the polar […]

Trulia’s mapping tool goes far beyond real estate

Trulia’s mapping tool goes far beyond real estate

You may quibble with how Trulia values your home, but the real estate website provides an impressive interactive map with detailed views of social and environmental variables. In addition to offering a treasure trove of information on real estate down to the parcel level, Trulia’s mapping engine also visualizes high-resolution data on things like commute […]

Our SXSW Eco presentation and the PowerPoint paradox

Our SXSW Eco presentation and the PowerPoint paradox

I was in Austin last week, speaking at the annual SXSW Eco conference, so I wanted to share my presentation and a lesson or two I learned about PowerPoint. The presenter’s job is becoming even more difficult in a harried era of micro attention spans. With audience members carrying multiple Internet-enabled devices at all times, […]

Drop on the planet: 3 visualizations of Earth’s most precious natural resource

Drop on the planet: 3 visualizations of Earth’s most precious natural resource

Scarcity of freshwater is a defining feature of the American West, and planet Earth. Nearly 97% of the world’s H2O is in the oceans. More than two-thirds of the globe’s freshwater is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. Below are a trio of graphics to visualize water on Earth. I’ve found these slides useful […]

The black and blue marble: 10 whole Earth views from space

The black and blue marble: 10 whole Earth views from space

It’s been called one of the most famous and widely distributed images in human history. The “blue marble,” a 1972 color photograph of the Earth from the Apollo 17 spacecraft, has also been credited with expanding environmental awareness around the globe and highlighting the vulnerability of our home planet. In the four decades since the […]

Mapping the green on the blue planet

Mapping the green on the blue planet

Scientists have released new high-resolution maps that illustrate the lushness of vegetation, or lack thereof, around the globe. Researchers at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used satellite data from April 2012 to April 2013 to create maps like the ones below (click to enlarge). “The darkest green areas are the lushest […]

Google Timelapse animates Earth’s changing landscape

Google Timelapse animates Earth’s changing landscape

Google has just released an interesting tool for tracking environmental changes through satellite imagery. Timelapse shows changes to the Earth’s surface over nearly three decades, from 1984 to 2012. Each frame in these animations is a year of imagery from the Landsat satellite program. Google has put together some pre-made views and below I’ve pasted […]

Go with the flow: Sankey diagrams illustrate energy economy

Go with the flow: Sankey diagrams illustrate energy economy

Energy flows through everything, so it’s only fitting to use flow charts to depict our complex energy economy. Since the early 1970s, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been producing such graphics, not only for energy, but also for water and carbon dioxide. Technically known as Sankey diagrams, these data visualizations summarize flows through a […]

2012 Graphics Highlights from The New York Times

2012 Graphics Highlights from The New York Times

The New York Times does some of the best data visualization in journalism and the paper has assembled highlights of its 2012 work. A few of these graphics relate to Western environmental issues and some are accompanied by descriptions of how they were created. Here are my favorites:   1) The drought’s footprint Brilliant use […]