Five creative, inspirational data visualizations!
There’s been a recent trend of data scientists avoiding lengthy, boring texts in favor of colorful infographics and charts (known as ‘data visualizations’) to draw more attention to their work. It compresses information to a more readable, understandable format while retaining the overall message that’s the data is supposed to explain.
Hundreds of them exist of the Internet, but here’s a short list of 5 unique data visualizations that could help inspire you to make your own:
1. Olympic Races, In Your Neighborhood
The New York Times has always impressed with the large amount of original visualizations they put out, but this one is incredibly fun to mess around with. It takes in an inputted address and maps out different Olympic races starting from that location.
For example, I used the Space Needle here in Seattle as my starting point. As you can see, an American track and field athlete named Brianna Rollins won her race by running what most people would consider a 1-minute walk in under 13 seconds. You can even ask for a different race to be shown, in case you want to be even further humiliated about your own personal level of athleticism. It’s a lot of fun!
2. Women’s Pockets Are Inferior
As a man, society unfairly benefits me in a variety of ways. One such way that doesn’t get as much attention as it should is how much space men’s jeans have in their pockets compared to women’s jeans. This visualization aims to change that.
It creates an average pocket size (displayed out for readers to see) for both men’s and women’s jeans and compares them in-depth. It also has a thorough list of different jeans for both genders and allows readers to filter by price, brand, and style. But more importantly, it gives a few options to place objects into the previously mentioned average pockets and see what fits. For example, 85% of men’s pockets can fit a Google Pixel but only 5% of women’s pockets can do the same. There’s much more to this visualization than that, but rather than spoil any more, I’ll let you look at it on your own!
3. Hello, Sun.
This visualization is pretty straight-forward but is so colorful and simplistic that it’s easy to waste a lot of time messing around with it. Essentially, it lets users explore the paths of the moon and the sun in various time zones around the world.
It’s not as complex as some of the others, but it sure is fun to watch!
4. Wind and Words
A team of digital specialists at the Impossible Bureau created this unique, finely-detailed data visualization centered around the entire Game of Thrones HBO series. Quite possibly my favorite visualization on this list, it breaks down each season by dialogue (for each character), vocabulary, sentiment, and overall data.
Right here, you can see the links between characters formed by their various lines of dialogue. You can even see how many lines were to a particular character by hovering over the link connecting them. It’s this attention to detail, along with the beautiful soundtrack and graphics accompanying it, that makes me advise any interested Game of Thrones fan to check it out. I highly recommend it!
5. Travel Visa Inequality
As someone who enjoys travelling, I found this visualization particularly interesting. Made as a personal project by a data scientist, it takes a look at how equal travel visas are distributed between different countries.
There’s a big list of countries and their corresponding travel visa inequality score, but what’s more interesting is actually clicking on a country on the globe seen above and seeing these results for yourself. For example, clicking on the United States shows how much of an advantage the average American has over someone from, say, India. There’s only 1 country (Iran) that Americans are disadvantaged with when it comes to travel visas, while Indians have around 100 disadvantages. If you’re interested in something like this or to use the data for other purposes, like to see if political relations or current events have had any influence on travel visa distribution, go take a look!