Data is an abstraction of something that happened in the real world. How people move. How they spend money. How a computer works. The tendency is to approach data and by default, visualization, as rigid facts stripped of joy, humor, conflict, and sadness — because that makes analysis easier. Visualization is easier when you can strip the data down to unwavering fact and then reduce the process to a set of unwavering rules.Nathan Yau
The world is complex though. There are exceptions, limitations, and interactions that aren’t expressed explicitly through data. So we make inferences with uncertainty attached. We make an educated guess and then compare to the actual thing or stuff that was measured to see if the data and our findings make sense.
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I suspect the spike on Dec 28/29/30 here has something to do with taxes.
Also, it’s good to see how considerate babies are w/r/t not arriving on Xmas day.
How many babies were born in the United States on each date between 1973 and 1999. From the New York Times:
Jan. 1, for example, was the 364th most popular birthday for a baby during those years; only Dec. 25 and Feb. 29 were less popular. Sept. 16 was the most popular birthday.
An international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners - including from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Helsingin Sanomat, La Nacion, the New York Times, ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune, Verdens Gang, Wales Online, Zeit Online and many others.
Journalists are now drowning in documents and data. The tools we have to deal with this are actually pretty primitive.
Jonathan Stray, interactive technology editor for The Associated Press, which won a Knight News Challenge grant to develop data visualization tools so that journalists can find the stories contained in mountains of data and documents.
More info about the project here: http://overview.ap.org/
This is absolutely worth watching all the way through.
Data can be a great storytelling tool, as Google’s Aaron Koblin explains in his 2011 TED Talk. However, it’s the interface, and how we get to comprehend and massage the data that determines how useful it can be.
19th century culture was defined by the novel, 20th century culture by cinema, 21st century culture will be defined by the interface.