Sand mining viewed from above

Poyang Lake is China’s largest freshwater lake, but sand mining has changed its depth and structure, which messes up the ecosystem. Simon Scarr and Manas Sharma for Reuters used satellite imagery to show the scale and disruption of the mining activities.

The ships look like little bugs slowly eating away at the coastline.

Tags: , , ,

Humorous charts to organize thoughts

When I’m feeling confused about what’s going on around me, I gravitate towards making charts, so Michelle Rial’s book of charts, Maybe This Will Help: How to Feel Better When Things Stay the Same, resonates. It’s available for pre-order.

Tags: , ,

Beautiful News, a book charting the good things in the world

From David McCandless and team, who you might know from such books as Information is Beautiful and Knowledge is Beautiful has a new book on Beautiful News:

Inspired by our ongoing Beautiful News project, the book surfaces and visualises the amazing, beautiful, positive things *still* happening in the world. Things we can’t always see because we’re fixated on the negativity of the news.

As per our previous books, this one is a welter of beautiful facts & rigorous data, visualised in riotously colourful visualisations, charts & concept maps.

The subject matter free-ranges across many topic areas. But with one thing in common: it’s all good.

It’s available for pre-order, available in the UK at the end of this month and in the US in January 2022.

Tags: , ,

Black mortality gap

Anna Flagg, for NYT’s The Upshot, used dots arranged as a stacked area chart to show the difference between two mortality rates. Each dot represents 10 people, and they start as a random cloud. A transition to show rate by age lends focus to both an absolute and relative count.

Tags: , , ,

Bitcoin power usage

You might have heard that Bitcoin uses a lot of electricity. More than some countries. You might have wondered how that could be possible. The New York Times explains with a set of graphics and illustrations.

Tags: , ,

How vaccines can make a difference with the Delta variant

We see percentages for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and people can easily misinterpret or miscommunicate the results. It’s especially problematic when people are actively trying to confirm misconceptions. For The New York Times, Lauren Leatherby tries to make things clearer imagining two groups: one that is 20% vaccinated and one that is 95% vaccinated.

Vaccines work.

Tags: , , , ,

Olympic champions versus past Olympians

With the 2020 Olympics wrapped up, The New York Times raced this year’s medal winners against previous medalists to provide context for the new records set in Tokyo. The simplified style of the animations gave me Sega Game Gear flashbacks.

NYT made similar comparisons in 2012 with videos for track and field events. The more static 2016 rendition, which focused on Usain Bolt and previous 100-meter winners, is still favorite.

Tags: , ,

Science behind running fast vs. running far

From The New York Times, the combination of video, motion graphics, and charts, packaged tightly in a scrollytelling format, clearly shows the differences.

Tags: , ,

Visual guide to redistricting

Gerrymandering continues to be an important thread that I think many people still don’t understand, mostly because it’s called gerrymandering. The Guardian provides a visual guide to explain how creative redistricting can lead to favorable votes.

If you’re still not sure, see also the game District by Christopher Walker which walks you through what gerrymandering is and how it works.

Tags: , ,

New Olympic sports explained

The 2020 Summer Olympics are here, so ’tis the season for experimental visual explainers. The Washington Post uses a combination of illustration, video, and augmented reality to show off three new Olympic sports: skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing.

The skateboarding piece with Heimana Reynolds uses a left-right hover to move back and forth through a time-lapse. It lets you see each part of the trick, which can be a challenge to see in real-time. The climbing piece with Brooke Raboutou employs AR so that you can place a 3-D model of the 50-foot wall and Raboutou in your living room for scale. Neat.

Tags: ,