Mikaela Shiffrin pulling away for gold

Mikaela Shiffrin won her first gold medal in PyeongChang with a fraction of a second lead. In events where athletes race side-by-side, it’s easier to see how close such a lead is. But with alpine skiing, it feels more like a race against a clock. So to capture some of the dramatics of the former, Derek Watkins and Denise Lu for The New York Times imagined the results had all skiers raced down at the same time.

It reminds of The Times’ coverage of Usain Bolt in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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Fantasy map generator

This is fun. It’s a fantasy map generator with the following rules:

Project goal is a procedurally generated map for my Medieval Dynasty simulator. Map should be interactive, scalable, fast and plausible. There should be enought space to place at least 500 manors within 7 regions. The imagined area is about 200.000 km2.

Just click and there’s a new map generated on the fly.

Martin O‚ÄôLeary’s generator is still my favorite, but I think there is plenty of room in the world for procedurally generated fantasy maps.

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Visual introduction to the Fourier Transform

One of my least favorite electrical engineering courses in college was on signals and communications. I remember there being a lot of Fourier Transforms. I also remember falling asleep a lot, because it was a two-hour lecture with the lights turned off. Maybe if the demos were more visual like this, I would’ve stayed awake. (Probably not.)


Where constituent input ends up

When you have input to send Congress, you have a number of communication options available to you: phone, email, social media, etc. Many of the bigger issues have dedicated sites that help automate some of the process, which of course leads to a large volume of input that lands in a congressperson’s voicemail, inbox, and notifications tab. Where does it all go?

The OpenGov Foundation looked into it and produced the From Voicemails to Votes report. The flowchart above is part of the report. Full version here.

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FiveThirtyEight datasets available for download

If you’re looking for some data to play with, FiveThirtyEight just made it easier to download their data and code. They’ve been on GitHub, I think from the beginning, but this data page is even more straightforward and to the point.


Olympian mechanics

Well this is awesome. The New York Times highlighted four olympians with a mix of video and graphics: figure skater Nathan Chen, alpine ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin, snowboarder Chloe Kim, and snowboarder Anna Gasser. These are fun to watch, and it’s so fascinating to hear from the individuals who strive to be the best.

Also, I am glad that graphics editors (and us) can take a break from other matters for a bit.

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People font

You know those graphics that use icons of people to represent units or counts of people? The Wee People font by Alberto Cairo and Scott Klein makes it easier to use such icons on the web. Just add the CSS file and you’re ready to go.

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How Different Income Groups Spend Money

After living expenses, where does the money go, and how does it change when you have more cash available? Read More

Olympians in your living room through augmented reality

Well this is awesome. The Winter Olympics start this Friday, and The New York Times published this piece using augmented reality. Point your phone’s camera somewhere flat in your room, and you see four olympians in a still action shot. Walk around them, walk up to them, and see the details.

My four-year-old got a kick out of it.

For the last Winter Olympics, The Times aimed to make the extreme scales that athletes compete on more relatable. So it’s interesting to see them go the other direction, zooming in close to individuals.

I’m looking forward to the 2022 Winter Olympics when I get to experience the events through the athletes themselves and then pick the tricks that they do Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style.

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Roger Federer career in rankings and wins

Professional tennis player Roger Federer won his 20th Grand Slam title recently. He’s in year 20 of his career, and over time, he rose, he dominated, he declined, and he came back. Schweizer Radio and Fernsehen visualized Federer’s achievements over the years and compared him to other tennis stars in the process.

It reminds me of the Serena Williams piece by The Los Angeles Times a while back. This one is more refined though. I especially like the updating time series line that stays with you as you scroll. It shows where you are contextually, and provides progression for different parts of Federer’s career.

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