Upward mobility through a personal lens

Aaron Williams, for The Pudding, shows upward mobility through his own experiences, moving as a child from a low-income city to a higher-income city.

It’s unclear what my mom meant by “better opportunities.” Still, I got the gist that it was about the socioeconomic measures think tanks, policymakers and researchers use to measure progress: education, housing and income.

I thought, “can I actually measure if moving made a difference?” Indeed, your environment impacts your future outcomes, but to what extent?

I like the nod to W.E.B. Du Bois through style and geometry.

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Republican and Democrat follower counts on Twitter

You might have heard that Elon Musk bought Twitter, and among the many recent changes to the platform comes what appears to be an ideology shift. Gerrit De Vynck, Jeremy B. Merrill and Luis Melgar, for The Washington Post, show the shift through the lens of a baseline chart and follower counts among popular Democrats and Republicans.

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Experimental Noisycharts sonifies data for improved accessibility

Nick Evershed, for The Guardian, describes Noisycharts, an experimental component for their in-house charting tool:

What does rising global carbon dioxide sound like? Or the crash of the pound? How about Sydney’s record-breaking rainfall, or the share value wiped out following Facebook’s pivot to virtual reality?

While all of these things have been frequently graphed, now we can turn them into audio as well.

Noisycharts is a new tool created by Guardian Australia to easily turn data into sound, with an animation to accompany it.

One of the examples uses a modulated dog bark to demonstrate how the sounds can match with the context. That seems like a fun path to explore.

Unfortunately, it’s not meant for public use (yet?). For that, you might want to check out TwoTone.

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Shifts in European energy sources

Mira Rojanasakul, for The New York Times, dug into current and historical energy sources in Europe. With the war in Ukraine, Russia cut off natural gas supplies to other countries, but based on estimates from Ember, it looks like the biggest shifts recently are in other energy categories.

Monthly line charts are used for each country and energy source. Lines for previous years rest in the background in a light gray to serve as a point of comparison, whereas the lines for 2022 sit in the front with a bolder color and thicker width to indicate the point of interest.

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Role of luck in football wins

NFL Football Operations calculated how much luck has contributed to team wins and losses this season. They considered four actions that involve a lot of randomness: dropped interceptions, dropped passes, missed field goals, and fumble recoveries. Then they took the difference between expected win probability and the chances of the actions to calculate lucky wins and losses.

Normally I live in a football-free household, but someone joined a fantasy football league, which has a way of turning non-fans into obsessive stat checkers.

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Exports through the Mississippi River

Drought has caused water levels to drop in the Mississippi River, which is a problem when millions of tons of grain are moved for export via boat. Bloomberg Green breaks it down, including a flow-ish, river-like Sankey Diagram to show where grain exports go.

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Election ad topics

Midterm election day is just about here in the U.S., so the political ads are running. Harry Stevens and Colby Itkowitz, for The Washington Post, show the spending breakdown by political party and topic. Bigger squares mean more spending, and more blue or more red mean more Democrat or Republican, respectively, share of the spending.

The chart reminds of the Shan Carter classic from 2012, which visualized word usage at the National Convention. Same split and sort, but with circles.

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Gas prices and confidence

Everywhere you go, gas prices show up on big boards, like a proxy measurement for the times.

When gas prices are really low, something exciting is happening, and in my case when I was a teen, your mom tells you to drive across town to line up for the gas that dropped under a dollar. When gas prices are high, like they are these days, something must be up.

Emily Badger and Eve Washington, for The New York Times, show how that feeling is tied to consumer confidence:

Philip Bump, for The Washington Post, used connected scatterplots to show how gas prices are tied to approval ratings:

Connected scatterplots are kind of a tricky read at first, but approval and prices appear to go up and down at the same time. Look at it like a regular scatterplot at first, and then follow the line for time.

I wonder what this looks like if you go farther back. I’m guessing similar. What else is tied to gas prices? Will electricity prices eventually replace the familiar gas prices? Is it reasonable to tie our hopes and dreams to the price of a gallon? Is sentiment flipped for people who primarily ride bikes to get places? I have so many questions.

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Word cloud + Streamgraph = WordStream

I hear it all the time from chart purists. “I love the streamgraph!” and “Word clouds are the best!” and “I wish there was an easy way to combine a streamgraph and word cloud to see textual changes over time, because that would be ultimate!” Lucky for you, WordStream by Tommy Dang, Huyen N. Nguyen, and Vung Pham combines the best of both worlds.

They released the work a few years ago, but now it comes as an interactive tool on the web. Upload your comma-delimited file with time and text columns and you get a chart. Adjust sizes, parts of speech, and the metrics you want to represent for the ultimate words over time.

All it needs is an export button and research papers may never be the same.

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Less rich Covid billionaires

With Covid came sudden shifts in daily life and work, which gave rise to certain companies that were able to fill specific needs. Some individuals’ net worth increased many times over. But as things move back closer to where they were pre-Covid, sudden wealth is also moving back. Bloomberg zeros in on the billionaires whose net worth increased and then decreased because of the life changes.

The chart above uses scaled bubbles to show the shifts from peak to present. The horizontal axis represents percentage change since the end of 2019.

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