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In fact, approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data (2.5 followed by 18 zeros!) are created every day, but only a tiny fraction of that is actually sifted through, visualized and put into a larger context so that the rest of the population can understand what the numbers are really saying.
Here is where data visualization comes to the rescue. The beauty of it lies in the way it provides the general population with the tools needed to comprehend underlying trends and put data into perspective.
From pieces that explain how Donald Trump can win the GOP nomination to beautiful animated timelines that reveal immigration patterns to the U.S. in the last 200 years, these innovative and enlightening data visualizations will change the way you perceive reality and, at the same time, provide you with some ideas for your own creations.
Here they are in no particular order. (Just click on each to view the full-screen interactive version.) Enjoy!
Which movie, actor or actress was winning the race to the Oscar on Google search a few Sundays ago? Here is an interesting look at Google search trends during the night of the Academy Awards. (Just scroll right to see trends for actors and actresses.)
This interactive piece by the New York Times does a phenomenal job of elucidating the GOP nomination process by presenting three hypothetical situations in the form of easy-to-understand interactive data visualizations and then allowing readers to experiment with their own scenarios.
Did you know that marketing and sales managers are more likely to marry teachers than any other type of professional? Or did you know that female dancers apparently gravitate toward male welders? These and other interesting trends are visualized in this unique and eye-opening data visualization by Bloomberg.
Immigration is all over the news these days with the 2016 U.S. presidential election less than a year away. The issue exploded on the national scene when Donald Trump, the bombastic billionaire turned politician, announced his candidacy for president in June of last year.
For those who are perplexed by this and want to delve deeper into the actual numbers behind the hot-button issue, this animated data visualization puts immigration figures of the last 200 years into perspective.
This colorful and entertaining simulation puts into perspective the activities of a typical work day for average Americans, based on the results of a survey to 1,000 people. Each of the color-coded dots represents one person and changes color in accordance with the activity he or she is engaging in.
As with the rest of the data visualizations in this list of hand-picked pieces, this one does a wonderful job of making boring data come alive with motion, colors and basic shapes.
Did you know that in the entire history of the Academy Awards, there have only been eight non-white winners in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories?
This simple but effective interactive data visualization provides unique insight into the controversial issue by comparing previous years’ winners in terms of race, age, height, hair color and eye color.
Another hot topic driving the current presidential election is the threat of terrorism. After the Paris attacks last year, a Berlin-based designer decided to put the event into context by visually representing each of the attacks that has taken place over the last 15 years.
Using simple shapes to represent casualties, this time-lapse map is effective in displaying the impact of isolated events and also highlighting the frequency of targeted attacks by allowing the shapes to pile up.
Another event that shook the country because of its political ramifications was the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
It not only left the ideological makeup of the Court hanging in the balance with an equal number of conservative and liberal justices, it also left the country wondering which presidential candidate would best uphold their interpretations of the Constitution.
This simple data visualization attempts to add some clarity to this situation by visually representing the ideological voting patterns of each of the Supreme Court justices.
Want to know who in the world is tweeting this very second about March Madness or Super Tuesday? Easy. Simply type in the hashtag or keyword and you’ll see a map of tweet clusters to identify the regions with the most Twitter activity. You can even see individual tweets as they’re being published, represented here with tiny red dots.
This cool-looking map visually represents wind patterns in real time across the entire United States. The use of animation effects to depict astronomical amounts of information makes this a very useful data visualization for students, teachers and those interested in understanding climate patterns better. The use of only two basic colors, black and white, also makes it easy to interpret and understand, while the ability to zoom in and out allows users to visualize data from any geographical location within the country.
Gun control and mass shootings are two more topics that elicit strong emotions and divide the population along strict ideological lines. This data visualization attempts to make sense of the politically charged issue by graphically representing each of the victims of mass shootings over the last 50 years, as well as the types of guns and shooters involved.
Some of the most effective data visualizations use metaphors to elucidate a complex subject for a general audience, as in this example.
By likening China’s economy to a tethered ball that weighs down on the rest of the economies of the world, this interactive piece allows users to experiment with different scenarios and see how they would affect the rest of the world.
Did you know that the rate of working women in the United States has fallen in the last 15 years? And that workforce participation among women is highest in the northeastern and midwestern states?
This data visualization does a superb job of allowing users to visualize their county’s workforce participation rate in comparison with the rest of the counties by using an effective color-coded legend.
This interactive chart published by the New York Times shows detailed climate patterns for more than 3,000 cities in the U.S. and around the world. It allows you to visually see that 2015 has in fact been one of the hottest--if not the hottest--year on record.
If you’re a movie buff, this interactive visualization might keep you entertained for a few hours. It not gives you a list of every major film released since 2008, it also helps you visualize them in relation to each other using different metrics such as budget, domestic and worldwide gross numbers, genre and Oscar winners for Best Film.
Do you have a favorite data visualization that you don’t see here? We would love to hear about it. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and impressions with us in the comments section below.
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