Visualization is a relatively new field, but we seem to be developing an understanding of what it is and what it can be used for. This year, we refined existing methods. With less emphasis on novelty of visual forms, we focused more on what we wanted to communicate.
I’m looking forward to what the next decade brings.
As I do every year, I picked my ten favorite visualization projects. Here they are in no particular order.
Best Blend of New and Vintage
3D elevation 1878 USGS Yellowstone Geology Map
Best Font Doubling as Commentary On Gerrymandering
Gerrymandering is often presented as a technical topic that sometimes makes people’s eyes glaze over. Gerry, a font by Ben Doessel and James Lee that used actual district boundaries for letters, distilled the topic down to its WTF-ness. [See the Project / On FlowingData]
Best Climate Change Alarms
Climate Coverage by The New York Times
Climate change is difficult to cover for many reasons, but from a data point of view, you have to deal with scale, reader preconceptions, relatability, and immediacy. The New York Times came at it from many angles. I hope they keep going. [See the Project / On FlowingData]
Best Comic Chart
Best Test of Statistical Concept
Taste the Rainbow
Skittles packages say the following: “No two rainbows are the same. Neither are two packs of Skittles. Enjoy an odd mix.” Possibly Wrong was like, yeah right. They did the math and put it to the test. [See the Project / On FlowingData]
Best Knitting to Represent Data
The Sleep Blanket
Best Natural Disaster Aesthetic
Mapping America’s wicked weather and deadly disasters
Best Atlas of Things in Space
The Atlas of Moons
National Geographic went all out to show the interesting moons in our solar system. Spinning things, orbits, craters, oh my. You might want to run this on a modern browser and a good computer for maximum effect. [See the Project / On FlowingData]
Best County-to-Bubble Transition
Try to impeach this? Challenge accepted!
Best Unexpected Use of R
My original plan was to pick my favorites for the decade, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There’s too much good work. It felt too permanent, and my favorites can easily change based on when you ask me. If I liked something, I posted it.