Splendor is nice example of how simplicity in data visualization can provide a fresh perspective on data research.

In this project, the positions of photos of landmarks (such as monuments, famous buildings etc.) are connected to the geographical position of the landmark itself. As a result, each landmark can be characterized with respect to its “best viewed angle”, the distance at which it is typically photographed, etc.


NYTLABS produced Project Cascade a visualizing tool for understanding the impact of a New York Times article on Twitter. It provides insight on how much impact a tweet has, how much conversation can occur with 140 characters, what people are more influential, among other things.

This first-of-its-kind tool links browsing behavior on a site to sharing activity to construct a detailed picture of how information propagates through the social media space. While initially applied to New York Times stories and information, the tool and its underlying logic may be applied to any publisher or brand interested in understanding how its messages are shared.

Information is Beautiful is the site of David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer. Today he is a freelance data journalist and information designer.

I’m interested in how designed information can help us understand the world, cut through BS and reveal the hidden connections, patterns and stories underneath. Or, failing that, it can just look cool!

His site contains his work which includes a variety of visualizations raging from simple static designs to interactive. His site includes other useful information such as data sources.

Another good example of data visualization providing insight on a topic that can be hard to understand only textually. Not visually stunning but data-wise shows the impact the recession had on the job market. By Slate:

The economic crisis, which has claimed more than 5 million jobs since the recession began, did not strike the entire country at once. A map of employment gains or losses by county tells the story of how those job losses first struck in the most vulnerable regions and then spread rapidly to the rest of the country. As early as August 2007, for example—several months before the recession officially began—jobs were already on the decline in southwest Florida; Orange County, Calif.; much of New Jersey; and Detroit, while other areas of the country remained on the uptick.

Visualization tool that explains how a large sum of money like a billion is spent. A great example on how visualization can provide an explanation on a topic that otherwise is hard to grasp. From Information is Beautiful:

This image arose out of a frustration with the reporting of billion dollar amounts in the media. That is, they’re reported as self-evident facts, when, in fact, they’re mind-boggling and near incomprehensible without context. But they can start to be understood visually and relatively, IMHO.