Visualizing 16th century letter correspondence of the Tudor government

Kim Albrecht, Ruth Ahnert, and Sebastian Ahnert visualized the network of communications over time and space:

The Tudor government maintained a communication network that criss-crossed the globe. This visualisation brings together 123,850 letters connecting 20,424 people from the United Kingdom’s State Papers archive, dating from the accession of Henry VIII to the death of Elizabeth I (1509-1603).

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Decision tree for the presidential election result

While we’re on the topic of election scenarios, Kerry Rodden provides a radial decision tree to show possible outcomes. Select paths or specify state wins to see what might happen.

It’s based on the New York Times piece by Mike Bostock and Shan Carter from 2012(!).

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Anatomy of an outbreak

For Reuters, Manas Sharma and Simon Scarr animated a coronavirus outbreak in Singapore between January and April, going with the force-directed bubble view. It starts small, then there’s the spread, and clusters form.

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UK government org charts

When I think government structure, I tend to think in general overviews where you have some branches that check and balance each other. But when you look closer, within organizations that make up the bureaucracy, you’ll find lots of variation. Peter Cook laid it out for the United Kingdom with org charts for each department.

And apparently org charts are also known as organograms? Where have I been on this one? [Thanks, Peter]

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Interactive explainer for how disease and ideas spread through a network

Kevin Simler uses interactive simulations to explain how things — ideas, disease, memes — spread through a network. It always looks like concentrated chaos to begin, but then the things infect quickly. Adjust variables, press play, and watch them go.

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Connections and patterns in the Mueller investigation

While we’re on the subject of distributions, Fathom used a collection of beeswarm charts to show documents about the Mueller investigation over time and connections between individuals. It’s called Porfiry. Filled circles represent documents that represent connections, and circle size represents the number of documents.

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Distorting geography to show train travels

Jan Willem Tulp visualized train travel times using distance and color as an indicator. His reasoning:

When a train starts running from one station to the next station, conceptually, these two stations will temporarily be closer to each other. And that is exactly what this visualization shows: whenever a train moves to the next station — and only for as long as a train is moving — the origin station moves towards the destination station.

Be sure to watch the animation run with organic-looking behaviors.

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Recursive painting in real life

It started with a mom holding her painting of a bird. Then someone painted that photo and took a picture of himself holding the painting. Then someone painted the photo of the man holding the painting of the picture of the mom holding the bird. The recursion continued. Luckily someone diagrammed all of the iterations:

Just wow.

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See every member’s path to the House of Representatives

For The New York Times, Sahil Chinoy and Jessia Ma visualized the path to Congress for every member. See it all at once like above or search for specific members. The vertical scale represents previous categories of work and education and looks like it’s sorted by how common the categories were among Republicans and Democrats. The horizontal scale represents time, which starts at undergraduate and finishes at the House. Nice.

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Tree of Life

From Evogeneao:

This Tree of Life diagram is based primarily on the evolutionary relationships so wonderfully related in Dr. Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale, and timetree.org. The smallest branches are purely illustrative. They are intended to suggest the effect of mass extinctions on diversity, and changes in diversity through time. This diagram is NOT intended to be a scholarly reference tool! It is intended to be an easy-to-understand illustration of the core evolution principle; we are related not only to every living thing, but also to everything that has ever lived on Earth.

Design-wise, there are many things that could’ve made the graphic more readable, but something about it makes me like it just the way it is.

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