Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Get Your Geek Chart!

Rtkrum's Geek Chart

Recently I found the Geek Charts BETA, which looks up your usernames on a few of the popular social sites, and charts out your usage. It's charting all activity within the last 30 days.

The embedded chart is also live, so it will change over time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Amazon Book Map

Now this is impressive.  Chris Harrison has created the Amazon Book Map using data scraped from Amazon and which books Amazon thinks are related to each other.
Aaron Swartz, who runs theinfo.org, contacted me back in January '08 with an interesting data set. He had built a list of 735,323 books by crawling Amazon. Of course a gigantic list is pretty boring, but Aaron had also captured similarity data between books. In particular, he had amassed a whopping 10,316,775 connections (edges) between books Amazon believed were related. This allowed me to throw the data into my old wikiviz engine to spatially layout a huge mosaic of books (I let it run for a 140 hours). Items that were noted as being similar had attractive forces, bringing them together, often into large groups. Unsurprisingly, when we color coded by Amazon book category, there was an obvious coalescence. The way various high-level categorizations mix and meet also seems fairly logical.
I produced a few versions of what I am dubbing the Amazon Book Map. The first visualization is a huge mosaic of book covers, tinted by their respective category colors. I can't produce this in one go at full resolution because the memory requires are enormous. The second version uses color-coded dots. 
As you zoom into the image, you can see its built using the book cover images with a color overlay depicting the category of the book.

Thanks to @anniesmidt on Twitter for the link to this one!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What is Wolfram|Alpha?

I'm not sure I understand what Wolfram|Alpha is yet, but so far it's pretty impressive.  Developed by Stephen Wolfram and his team, it claims to be a "computational knowledge engine".  The input box looks like a search engine, but it is definitely NOT a search engine.

When you type in a question, it attempts to show you all of the relevant data it can find.  It is actually calculating and charting this information real-time in order to present it to you.  Because its built on top of the Mathematica Engine, it can also handle math problems.

I think this will be an important tool for many designers of infographics, because you can get some of your raw data directly from Wolfram|Alpha.  As they add more data into the system over time, this will become one of your best resources for information.  They have a pretty extensive page of examples by category that is a great place to start.  Also watch the short video by Stephen Wolfram showing what the system can do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: The Move of the Millenium

Found on MagaMaps.com, I like the multiple elements included in this infographic.  Plus, I remember this lighthouse, and I can't believe they actually moved it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Evolution of the Modern Skateboard

From The Odeus Skate Blog comes this timeline infographic showing the history of skateboard design.  I got my first skateboard in the 70's, so it already had the kicktail, but it was still really narrow.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Sushi Etiquette

This is from Food & Wine magazine (Sep 2005), and I've kept the hardcopy of this issue for the last four years because of this illustration.  I came across this magazine again today, so I thought I would share.  Apparently I eat sushi completely incorrectly, so I refer back occasionally to remind myself how to eat properly. (I love mixing the wasabi into my soy sauce!)

Here's the link to the original "Sushi In America" feature from the magazine.  You can find these and many other illustrations from Peter Arkle on his website.

Mmmm, fatty tuna is one of the best!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who is Coming to America?

From GOOD magazine.  If you look closely, this is essentially a bar chart dressed up, but it's the dressing up into the shape of the U.S. flag that catches your eye.  I love it!
Immigration may have taken a back seat during the financial crisis, but the issue still needs resolving. While illegal immigrants sneaking over the border is still a primary concern, it’s good to know who came to our country legally, and from where. Our latest Transparency is a look at the 20 countries from which the most people came to America in 2008, how many immigrants already had family here, and how many received asylum when they arrived on our shores.
Found on SimpleComplexity.net, thanks Nathan!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins Nationwide

A study from Kansas State University has plotted the prevalence of the Seven Deadly Sins across the U.S.  Follow the link to see all seven.
Geographers from Kansas State University did a study called "The Spatial Distribution of the Seven Deadly Sins within Nevada." They also looked at sins nationwide. 
Reported by the Las Vegas Sun, I found links this this on Twitter.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quub.com Infographic Demo Video

Introduction to quub from quub.com on Vimeo.

Quub.com is an interesting service that facilitates updating your status often to create "ambient communication".  This is a form of micro-presence, that helps you keep your status up to date, which keeps it relevant to your followers.  Quub.com created three infographic videos to help explain their service.

Currently the service in in Beta, but there are still many slots available if you want to join the Beta program.  You can use their service with many different social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIN, MySpace, Hi5, Tumblr, Plurk, etc.
Even though the ambient model has established itself as a popular form of communication, it requires you to continuously update your status in order to work effectively. This is a problem. Coming up with new status updates requires time, effort and creativity. Additionally, you are forced to consider a number of complex factors before updating. Is your update appropriate? What should you type in? Who is your audience? Does anyone care? Is your message even relevant?  Because of this, many people neglect to update their status and it's value decreases. Without consistent updates, the ambient model falters.
Found the link Information Aesthetics and on Twitter!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bestselling Movies are Not the Most Pirated Ones Online

Posted by metrobest on Flickr, a cool infographic showing that the most pirated movies on the web are not the bestselling, blockbusters you might expect.  Not sure who the author is, but it may be "5W Infographics EspaƱa"

Check out the other posted infographics while you're there.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Effing Hail, The isometric infographic game!

"Effing Hail" is a cool web game you play in your browser from Intuition Games!  The isometric animation is very reminiscent of the Royskopp video for "Remind Me".  You control the wind to hold the hail in the air so it continues to grow in size before releasing it to crush the objects below.

Found on Information Aesthetics and a bunch of Tweets on Twitter!

Monday, May 4, 2009

50 Cars or 1 Bus? Infographic Advertising!

Great visual ad by Flygbussarna in Sweden!  Combining a physical construction of a bus made out of cars on the side of the road, a live webcam, and live infographic information on the website!
Every day thousands of cars are driven to and from Swedish airports. Every car holds only 1,2 persons on average which is to be compared with the Airport Coach that takes over 50. Needless to say, this makes no sense whatsoever from an environmental standpoint. To highlight this, an enormous bus was built out of 50 cars on the side of the highway to the airport. On the website, a live camera not only shows the installation 24/7 but also analyses the image and tracks each and every car going by. This data is then being used to highlight just how much emission we could save just by going by bus instead.
 Thanks to @yplim on Twitter!