Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cool Infographics has Moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new site.

Please update any links and bookmark to http://coolinfographics.com

Pardon my dust - Cool Infographics is changing

Please accept my apologies for any problems you may have reading Cool Infographics for the next few days.  I'm taking some time over the holidays to move the Cool Infographics blog to a new host, since traffic is really low during this time.

What you, the reader, should expect from the new site:
  • The URL, www.coolinfographics.com, will stay the same.  You don't need to change your bookmarks at all (unless you're still using the old URL: coolinfographics.blogspot.com).
  • If you use an RSS reader, that will stay the same also, so no changes should be necessary
  • With the new site, I'll be able to offer some additional value-added services like an updated design, an infographics job board, how-to design infographics features,  an infographics bookstore, infographic software and links to infographics posters available for purchase.
You feedback on these changes is very welcome.  So please feel free to use the contact page in the new site design to let me know what you like or don't like.

Visualizing Gravity Wells - infographic comic

Another great new infographic comic from xkcd.com.  A mix of real science and humor, this one plays on the words "gravity well" by visualizing the strength of each planets gravity as the depth of a crater scaled to Earth's surface gravity.
The chart shows the "depth" of various solar system gravity wells.
Each well is scaled such that rising out of a physical well of that depth - in constant Earth surface gravity - would take the same energy as escaping that planet's gravity in reality.
Click on the image to go to the xkcd.com site to see the high-resolution version.

Thanks for sending in the link Ruben!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Higher Education = Lower Unemployment

From USCollegeSearch.org, a fairly simple but good chart showing the relationship between unemployment rates and education levels.  Although lacking a good title, this chart does a great job of communicating one message really well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that people who finish degree programs in college earn much more over the course of their lifetimes than those who only earn high school diplomas or drop out of college. Sometimes the difference can be over a million dollars before retirement.  But even more interesting, it was noted that people with undergraduate and graduate degrees manage to stay employed for longer periods, but also find jobs they qualify for more quickly.  They spend less time searching and more time working.

Thanks Jim!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas by the Numbers!

BillShrink.com presents this holiday infographic, Christmas by the Numbers, visualizing the decline in holiday spending in the U.S. and some other fascinating holiday figures.  Click the link to see the high-resolution version.
‘Tis the season for Christmas trees, lights and gifts, and in the past that has also meant the season of outrageous spending. While the holidays may not be cheap, hard times sometimes call for desperate measures and drastic budget changes. Here’s a look at the hard facts and numbers of this most wonderful time of the year.
Merry Christmas from Cool Infographics!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Holiday Economy

Our Present Economy is a look at holiday spending from 1997-2007 with some specifics about 2007.  It doesn't say explicitly, but I believe this is for the U.S. only.  From GOOD Magazine, this Good Sheet was available at Starbucks during the holiday season in 2008.

I wonder how 2009 compares?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Cliché Find-It Graphic from Xplane.com

Check out this fun Holiday Cliché Find-It graphic from Xplane.com!  It's available as a 11x17" sized PDF so you can view or print it out.

“Get your ducks in a row” so that you aren't “caught with your pants down” this holiday season! After all, it can be like “herding cats” out there this time of year, and you definitely don't want to get stuck “in the weeds.” So, go ahead and take a minute to “shop this around,” “see if it sticks” and celebrate from a “10,000-foot view.” It's all “blue sky” from here on out, nothing but a “win-win situation!”
Think you know your business clichés? Find where they're hiding in this holiday XPLANATiON™ created by your friends at XPLANE! Just click the image above to download the tabloid-sized 11x17" PDF.
Thanks to Parker at Xplane.com

Monday, December 21, 2009

Infographic Posters for Data Lovers

Both Infosthetics.com and Datavisualization.ch have posted great stories about what to give the data lover in your life for Christmas.  From books to posters to software to conferences.  Please visit those sites to get the whole list of ideas, but here I'd like to present a few of my favorite posters made by the friends of Cool Infographics.  Just click on the images to be taken to somewhere you can purchase these.


The History of the Supreme Court of the United States
from Nathaniel and Frank at TimePlots.com

Death & Taxes
from Jess at WallStats.com

Two posters: "Cities of Champions" and "The Taxonomy of Team Names"
from Jeremy at InfoJocks.com

Web Trend Map 4

The Conversation Prism 2.0
from Brian Solis and Jesse (Jess3) at theconversationprism.com

Friday, December 18, 2009

Word Spectrums! The Online Infographic Battleground

On Chris Harrison's site, there are a number of graphics that he calls Word Spectrums.  More like a battleground, Chris is using the enormous amount of data from websites that has been made public by Google.  This is an advanced form of a word cloud that visualizes related words and their relative connections to the two topics.  (FYI, since this is based on raw Google data, foul language does appear in some of them).

Using Google's enormous bigram dataset, I produced a series of visualizations that explore word associations. Each visualization pits two primary terms against each other. Then, the use frequency of words that follow these two terms are analyzed. For example, "war memorial" occurs 531,205 times, while "peace memorial" occurs only 25,699. A position for each word is generated by looking at the ratio of the two frequencies. If they are equal, the word is placed in the middle of the scale. However, if there is a imbalance in the uses, the word is drawn towards the more frequently related term. This process is repeated for thousands of other word combinations, creating a spectrum of word associations. Font size is based on a inverse power function (uniquely set for each visualization, so you can't compare across pieces). Vertical positioning is random.

Chris has created and shared a number of different versions on the Word Spectrum page of his website, and you can see high-resolutions PDFs of each there.

Want to try your own?  Building on Chris' idea, Jeff Clark from Neoformix has created interactive Word Spectrums using either Twitter or News as the source that lets you enter your own terms to compete.  I especially like the idea of pitting two competing brands against one another.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Simpsons 20th: Comedy [Family] Tree

The Simpsons celebrate their 20th anniversary this week on Thursday, and CNN Entertainment published this chart "The Simpsons Comedy Tree" on Monday.  A combination Nightingale Rose Graph (also called a polar area diagram), family tree and timeline, this simple chart connects the influences that impacted Matt Groening and the creators of the Simpsons as well as the shows that came after.
"The Simpsons" stands on the comedic shoulders of many that came before -- and has influenced countless works that have arrived since. Here are just a few of the roots of the "Simpsons" comedy tree and the branches of those it gave life to. (The following, illustrated by the doughnut at the top of the story, is by no means complete, and each member has its own, sometimes overlapping influences.) 
Thanks to Tony Hendra's "Going Too Far" for inspiration and cartoonist Art Spiegelman for having his fingerprints all over the place.
The article also includes descriptions of the actual influence for each of these shows.

Thanks for the link Matt!


For those Simpsons fans of you, here is also the poster created exclusively for Entertainment Weekly celebrating the release of the 20th season DVD set on Jan 12.  Dude, make sure to go look at the large, scrollable version.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FREE Infographic Holiday Cards!

Once again this year, Funnel Inc. is offereing a free set of Holiday Infographic Cards to anyone who registers on their mailing list "while supplies last!"  You won't find the link on the main website, but here is the link for readers of Cool Infographics.

Also, there are four FREE Holiday desktop infographic images available on the same page at various resolutions.

Thanks to Lin at Funnel Inc. for keeping the link up for my readers!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Digital Life - personal infographic

My Digital Life, is an quick infographic by me!  A mindmap or network map of the digital products in my life, and how they all interconnect. Each connection is color-coded by the connection type (USB, wireless, ethernet, etc.) including its respective standard icon.  High-res version is on Flickr.

This started as a simple sketch to help me determine how to add a new external hard drive I got on Black Friday, but it quickly became much more fun to see how far out I could push the network.  I already know of some more that I want to add, so someday there may be a 2.0 version.  Apparently, I could use an IT manager at home.

I did ignore some differences within the connection types to keep this fairly simple.  I don't distinguish between USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 connections.  I use "Display" as a connection type, but its a DVI connection for the MacBook, a HDMI connection from the AppleTV and a composite connection from the DVD player.  I also show only one "Wireless" connection, but I know that the iPhone only uses 802.11g and the laptop uses 802.11n.

I did this using OmniGraffle, with a little help from Pixelmator and Keynote to clean up the images.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Send your own Augmented Reality Christmas Cards!

Merry Christmas from Cool Infographics!

What better way to share your Christmas wishes than with augmented reality?!?  You can send your own AR Christmas cards courtesy of arwishes.com.  You can choose from an assortment of animated images that will appear on screen when you friends and family hold up your Christmas card in front of their computer's webcam.

The cards are printed with the marker, disguised as a holiday image.  In this case, the marker is obviously the Christmas Tree.

A number of companies did this last year, sending out cards with an AR marker printed as part of the card, and a number of them are still online.  You can also print out a card from the sites to see the image yourself.  There will probably be a few more this holiday season as well, but here are some videos from last year's AR cards and links to sites if you want to experience them yourself.


Special Moves Augmented Reality Xmas Card from Iain Tait on Vimeo.


Tellart 2008 Holiday Card from Tellart on Vimeo.

Stella Artois:

Total Immersion:

There's even a video of sending your own AR Christmas Cookies!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Carbon Economy - Infographic Video

New infographic video from Xplane.com.  The Carbon Economy takes a look at the political landscape around climate issues and new, green markets are emerging.
Created with The Economist, the video conveys the state of global climate change and what steps must be taken to reach a positive outcome. The piece was shown at The Economist's recent Carbon Economy Summit in November 2009.
Timed with the publication of a special report in The Economist, The Carbon Economy summit examines how the political environment has changed since Kyoto and how committed regions and industries are to a sustainable carbon strategy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bill Nye Videos on the Scale of the Solar System

Two videos from Bill Nye the Science Guy showing the size and scale of the planets and the Sun.  He may have done similar examples, but these are the two I know about.  The one above (Planets & Moon) starts at about 4:00 into the video, and the one below (Outer Space) starts at about 2:00.  "Outer Space is HUGE!"

Thanks to @DannyDougherty on Twitter for sharing!

The Origins and Paths of Epidemics

This world map shows the origins and spreading paths of Malaria, Leprosy and Small Pox. No legend, but the implication is that as the main arteries diminish in width down to small capillaries represents the number of infection cases.  Key dates and locations are also identified with event description.

There is no designer byline on the graphic, but map is credited to Haisam Hussein.  I don't see the map in the gallery on Haisam's website, but he is given credit for the map on Lapham's Quarterly.

Found on digg.com.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Infographic Coins!

What a great infographic product design idea!  From designer Mac Funamizu on his site, PetitInvention, Infographic Coins that use the physical analogy of a pie chart to help consumers figure out the currency, especially when visiting a foreign country.  You have to ignore some of the benefits of all round coins, but the idea is spot-on.  Feeling in your pocket, you could almost always pull out the right coin.

The round shaped coins must have a lot of benefits that other figures such as a triangle or a square don’t. Also, non-rounded coins may have many demerits. Aside from those, travelers and other people who are not accustomed to the currency would be able to easily remember how much each of these coins is (as long as she knows how to read pie charts).

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Visual History of the Supreme Court - New Infographic Poster!

Today, I want to share the launch of Timeplots.com.  A new infographic site focused on designing visual timelines by Nathaniel Pearlman and Frank Hamilton.  The Timeplots.com site launched today highlighting their first project; a poster called "A Visual History of the Supreme Court of the United States".
This large-scale (48″x32″) print displays the full sweep of American federal judicial history from 1789 to 2009. It combines biographical information on every Supreme Court justice with a visualization of the influence of U.S. presidents and their political parties on the Court over time, and includes vote counts and summaries of landmark cases.
Months of work went into researching the history of the Supreme Court, and that effort really shows through in the level of detail in this poster.

It's a good thing they offer this as a large format poster, because the detail draws you closer to discover the events and landmark decisions that are the colorful history of the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States).

I love that even on their About page, they created small, infographic timelines as a visual of their individual experiences and career histories.  Here's Nathan's:

Timeplots has also started a new service, Timeplots on Demand:
Timeplots’ dedicated staff is ready to work directly with you to honor your own organization—your company, school, nonprofit, team, church, or family—with a custom Timeplot of your institution’s history. Let us help you collect data, create memorable images, and visualize the developments of your institution.
Congratulations to both Nathaniel and Frank!

Scale Model of the Solar System

The Scale Model of the Solar System (from phrenopolis.com) shows both the relative sizes of the planets and the Sun as well as representing the distances from the Sun on the same scale.  This image is huge (just over half a mile wide), and as you can imagine mostly black.
This page shows a scale model of the solar system, shrunken down to the point where the Sun, normally more than eight hundred thousand miles across, is the size you see it here. The planets are shown in corresponding scale. Unlike most models, which are compressed for viewing convenience, the planets here are also shown at their true-to-scale average distances from the Sun. That makes this page rather large - on an ordinary 72 dpi monitor it's just over half a mile wide, making it possibly one of the largest pages on the web. This means you'll have to do a bit of scrolling if you want to find the planets, but don't despair. They are reasonably bright and labeled, so you can probably catch them flashing by in the blackness even if you are scrolling fairly fast.
Found on Information Aesthetics.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Enter the "Visualize The BCS" Infographic Contest! #BCSvisual

Think you can design an infographic?  Well now's your chance to prove it!

Announcing the "Visualize the BCS" contest from InfoJocks.com!  The Bowl Championship Series causes a ton of debate between sports fans over the holidays.  We want you to design an infographic about the BCS.  What to visualize is completely up to you, but must meet two criteria: 1) relate to the BCS and 2) use statistics.  Should be easy, right?

Prizes:  Three winners. Best Entry gets two posters of their choice and a $50.00 gift certificate to ESPN’s online store. And to keep it interesting, Most Artistic Entry and Most Analytical Entry both receive posters as well. All entrants with legitimate entries will receive a free set of our Taxonomy of Team Names gift cards.

Of course, I will post the winners here on Cool Infographics and maybe more of the entries as well.

Deadline:  All entries are due January 1, 2010. The winner will be selected before the National Championship is played. Send your entry in PNG, JPEG, or PDF format to contest@infojocks.com, along with your mailing address.

Visit the InfoJocks.com blog for complete details and some ideas.  Jeremy will be posting some links to possible resources and datasets next week.

Spread the Word!  Also, from Cool Infographics you can win a free poster by helping us spread the word.  Tweet about the contest on Twitter with a link back to this post and include the hashtag #BCSvisual.  On December 21st, I'll use a random number generator to pick a random qualifying Tweet and send you a free poster from Infojocks.  (only one Tweet per person will qualify)  An example Tweet would look like this:
Enter the "Visualize The BCS" infographic contest by Infojocks and Cool Infographics!  #BCSvisual http://bit.ly/8Fo4Ii

Remember, everyone who enters will receive a FREE set of Taxonomy of Team Names gift cards.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sports Infographic Poster Deal from Infojocks!

Jeremy over at Infojocks is offering a special discount deal for the holidays: Buy one poster, and get the second poster for half price!  (offer good through Friday, Dec 11th).  That's any two posters from his store for $30!  Choose from "Cities of Champions", "Taxonomy of Team Names" or "Road to the Stanley Cups".

For readers of Cool Infographics to take advantage of the deal, go to the Infojocks store.  No promotion code necessary, the discount will be automatic when you add two posters to your shopping cart.

Infojocks.com is a great site by our friend Jeremy Yingling who designs and produces infographic posters covering sports related topics.  Great gifts for the sports fan on your Christmas list!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ebay Visualizes Black Friday 2009 - Interactive infographic map

From ebay, a map of the transaction activity on Black Friday 2009 (the shopping day after Thanksgiving).  1 million transaction are mapped in the U.S. over the course of the day!
Activity Level Indicator The color of the point on the map indicates the number of transactions that occurred in the corresponding area.
Data Execution This transaction map was created as a study of the extensive activity that occurs in the eBay Marketplace on the biggest offline shopping day of the year. It is a visualization of all U.S.-based buyer and seller transactions on eBay on Black Friday, November 27, 2009 (12:00:00 AM to 11:59:59 PM EST). Although eBay is an international marketplace, this map is focused on U.S. data, as Black Friday is the traditional beginning of the holiday shopping season for the U.S.
It's an interactive, animated timeline, so you can watch the transactions grow throughout the day and zoom in to specific areas of the country by clicking on the map.  It's a flash animation, but there's a WMV movie file available for download too.

They also did a map of the even bigger 1.4 million transactions on Cyber Monday 2009.

Found on VizWorld

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vote With Your Dollars! - Corporate Political Contributions infographic

Vote With Your Dollars, is a corporate political contributions map.  Using the public data from the Center for Responsive Politics (2004-2008), GoodGuide.com has plotted the balance of contributions from companies.  Mouse-over a specific company logo to see the detailed data (like Dell above).
View the political contributions of your favorite companies and see how you vote with your dollars.  The data is surprising!
You can choose specific companies or business sectors, and then change the sort order.  Here is the retail sector sorted by Most Democratic Leaning:

Thanks Anthony for sending in the link.  Sorry it took so long to get posted.