Lessons learned from making covid dashboards

For Nature, Lynne Peeples spoke to the people behind many of the popular covid dashboards and the lessons learned:

Among the shared themes for the dashboards were simplicity and clarity. Whether you are producing visuals and analytical tools for policymakers or for the public, Blauer says, the same rules of thumb apply. “Don’t overcomplicate your visualization, make the conclusions as clear as possible, and speak in the most basic of plain-language terms,” she says.

Yet, as other data scientists point out, presenting data simply might not be enough to ensure viewers get the message. For one thing, attention to detail matters. Ritchie recalls how she and her team spent hours focused on the titles and subtitles of charts, “because that is ultimately what most people will look at”. And in those titles and subtitles, the analysts made sure to specify ‘confirmed’ deaths or ‘confirmed’ cases. “An emphasis on ‘confirmed’ is really important because we know that it’s an underestimate of the total,” says Ritchie. “It might seem very basic, but it’s really crucial to how you understand the data and the scale of the pandemic.”

Tags: , ,

A visual and audio tour of sound at Nap Nap Swamp

When I think swamp noise, I imagine a blob of sound that’s some mix of water and wildlife, but that’s because I don’t know anything. Mitchell Whitelaw, in collaboration with ecologist Skye Wassens, used recordings of Nap Nap Swamp in New South Wales, Australia to show you a breakdown of what the individual sounds are.

You hear the sounds of running water, wind, and different animals with various patterns. This is all framed over time and a subtle visualization to show water levels. The sound profile at the swamp changes as the water rises. Nice, calming work.

Tags: , , , , ,

Illustrated color catalog of minerals

Between 1802 and 1817, James Sowerby cataloged and illustrated 718 minerals across seven volumes. Nicholas Rougeux restored all of the illustrations over several months, carefully arranged them by color, and made them browsable on a page. The result: British & Exotic Mineralogy.

Read about the slow process here. Also in poster form.

Tags: , , , ,

Nature Observations. January 1, 2020. #iNaturalist #Birds #BirdPhotography

So one of my New Year's resolution is to try to make and post nature observations of some kind every day this year. I am hoping to post pictures and also post observations to iNaturalist.

On January 1, I made some observations in my yard. I posted some pics to iNaturalist: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/phylogenomics/2020/1/1.

I am trying to just copy straight from that iNaturalist page into this blog - not sure how well that will work

 8 birds

See below for embedded versions of these posts though I really do not like the way the embed works right now.

2,774 miles traveled by a lone wolf

From the Voyageurs Wolf Project, a map shows the travels of a lone wolf over an 11-month period. Check out the animated version for full effect.

Tags: , ,

Posted by in GPS, maps, nature, wolf

Tags: , ,


A view on despair

Sonja Kuijpers used abstract imagery to represent some sobering numbers:

You might be wondering what you are viewing here. This landscape, each element in it represents a person who committed suicide in the Netherlands in the year 2017.

The cityscape leads into more traditional views, which in turn feel much more heavy.

Tags: ,

Nature Publishing Group continues to deceive about #OpenAccess to genome papers

I was reminded today about the wonderful history of Nature in it's claim that it would make all papers reporting a new genome sequence freely and openly available. I wrote about how this was, well, not the truth, in 2012: The Tree of Life: Hey Nature Publishing Group - When are you going to live up to your promises about "free" genome papers? #opengate #aaaaaarrgh. And today I decided to recheck this.

So I searched for "Genome sequence" on the Nature site

And, well, I found a doozy of an example of a paper that is supposed to be openly available but is not. Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome

That's right.  The "public" human genome paper is not freely or openly available.  It is $4.99 to rent or $20 to purchase.  Is this Nature's way of saying "We think the Lander et al. paper did not actually report on a genome?" and that the Venter paper truly won the race?  I don't think so.  I think this is a way of Nature saying "How can we make money off of our past papers? Which one gets a lot of looks? What? It is freely available? Change that." or something like that.

Want to bet they will say this is a mistake?  Want to bet they will not refund anybody's money who paid for this?

Here is a simple solution for everyone out there.  Do not trust Nature Publishing Group to make something available even if they say they will.

UPDATE 9/25 1 PM

But wait - there is more.  The Plasmodium genome paper, which I wrote about in 2012 not being available and which Nature promised to fix is again behind a pay wall

And more

UPDATE 10/16/17

Nature has apologized and said they fixed the issue and will refund any money people spent to buy these articles

Charting bird egg shapes, and why so many varieties

Bird eggs come in all shapes and sizes, and people didn’t really know why. After analyzing a number of variables, researchers think they found their answer.

After crunching the numbers, the scientists found the links they’d been looking for: the length of an egg correlates with bird body size. The shape of an egg—how asymmetrical or elliptical it is—relates to flying habits. And the stronger a bird’s flight, the more asymmetrical or elliptical its eggs will be.

Lots of charts and probably more information about bird eggs than you ever thought you wanted to know.

Tags: ,

Immersive digital waves to visualize nature

FLOW is an interactive art installation by Maotik that represents real-time weather data in the form of digital tides and waves that fill a room.

I used 11 parameters to define the ocean form, we connect ourselves to a database and retrieve data such as sea levels, tide coefficient, humidity, weather cast, wind force, wind direction, weather cast, moon cycle, location, time of the day. When parameters such as wind force or sea levels will affect the movement of the sea others such as weather cast or humidity will change the colors.

How do I install this in my garage?

Tags: ,

Visual collection of bird sounds

Different species of birds make different sounds. However, the sounds are so quick and compressed that it can be tough to pick out what is what. So Kyle McDonald, Manny Tan, and Yotam Mann created a “fingerprint” for each bird song and used machine learning to classify. Through the visual browser, you can play sounds and search for bird types. Similar sounds are closer to each other.

Tags: , , ,