Road accidents in Cardiff over 10 years, mapped and visualised

Ten years of road accidents in Cardiff:

Road traffic accidents, Cardiff, 2000-2010

This is a screenshot from an interactive map on The Guardian, which covers the entire UK:

The numbers are horrific: 32,955 killed, nearly 3m injured between 2000 and 2010. This is 10 years of deaths and injuries on Britain’s roads. But how do you visualise that level of disaster? Transport data mapping experts ITO World have taken a little-known but forensically detailed police dataset called Stats19 – published by the Economic and Social Data Service – and produced this powerful map ahead of Sunday’s world day of remembrance for road traffic victims. You can zoom around the map using the controls on the left or search for your town. Each dot represents a life

via Road casualty UK: 10 years of deaths mapped and visualised –

Note: The final sentence ‘Each dot represents a life’ is disingenuous inaccurate at this scale*. Each dot represents an effect on a life, but only the big squares represent a fatality.

A rising tide raises all boats. Nice, if you can afford a boat.

Chart showing how in The US the average salary rose as production rose, until the 1980's. The charts below are from a September 2011 New York Times article, The Limping Middle Class. I moan a lot about shoddy infographics on this blog, but this isn’t one of those – this takes some complicated information and turns it into a story to make a very powerful point.

An informational graphic. See how it’s supposed to work?

I wonder if a similar presentation of UK data would be equally eye-opening?

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Women defy biology to avoid giving birth on Halloween

Graph showing that births take a dip on Halloween

“But wait, what does Halloween Day have to do with giving birth? Or any day, for that matter? Don’t women just have babies when the time comes?” Well, apparently not, because, according to researchers at Yale, women can and do choose to avoid bringing their babies into the world concurrently with the “Festival of the Dead.”

I’m not just talking C-sections — the phenomenon inexplicably holds true for C-sections and spontaneous births. And Halloween isn’t the only holiday that has women strongly influencing their birth timing, either. This research ultimately leaves me with more questions than answers, but sometimes that’s the best kind of science.

(via Women defy biology to avoid giving birth on Halloween –

A guide to brand colours

This graphic from Usability Post draws data from Cymbolism, a web site attempting to classify the meanings behind colours:

One of the key elements of building a strong brand is color selection. Every color has a different feel and various associations. By choosing a color or a combination of colors for your brand identity, you will take on those associations. Colors will evoke certain emotions and feelings towards your brand so it is vital to choose a color that will represent your identity effectively.

A Guide to Choosing Colors for Your Brand –

I also appreciated the insight in this post on the function of rounded corners.

Sentiment analysis of the Bible

Now this is how you make an infographic:

A sentiment analysis of the Bible

Things start off well with creation, turn negative with Job and the patriarchs, improve again with Moses, dip with the period of the judges, recover with David, and have a mixed record (especially negative when Samaria is around) during the monarchy. The exilic period isn’t as negative as you might expect, nor the return period as positive. In the New Testament, things start off fine with Jesus, then quickly turn negative as opposition to his message grows. The story of the early church, especially in the epistles, is largely positive.

Applying Sentiment Analysis to the Bible – (via FlowingData)

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Off Book, Typography by PBS Arts.

In episode 2 of Off Book, typeface designers Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones outline the importance of selecting the right font to convey a particular feeling. Graphic designer Paula Scher talks about building identity in messaging, while Eddie Opara uses texture to create reaction. Infographic designers Julia Vakser and Deroy Peraza map complicated data sets into digestible imagery, mixing color, graphics and type.

The evolution of the web

Here’s another infographic that looks pretty, but fails at conveying information in any useful way: The Evolution of the Web.

[…] To pay homage to the goodness of the web, we’ve put together an interactive infographic, built in HTML5, which details the evolution of major web technologies and browsers:

via Happy third birthday, Chrome! –

I understand the timeline aspect, showing major revisions, but what are the coloured lines illustrating? According to the page:

The color bands in this visualization represent the interaction between web technologies and browsers, which brings to life the many powerful web apps that we use daily.

Which sounds a bit hand-wavy to me. Lets look at the interaction of JavaScript with web browsers in more detail, for example:

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Cardiff Rorschmap

Cardiff Rorschmap

Do these streets look familiar?

Rorschmap screenshots taken of various Cardiff locations. Continue reading

Graphs speak louder than numbers

With President Obama and Republican leaders calling for cutting the budget by trillions over the next 10 years, it is worth asking how we got here — from healthy surpluses at the end of the Clinton era, and the promise of future surpluses, to nine straight years of deficits, including the $1.3 trillion shortfall in 2010. The answer is largely the Bush-era tax cuts, war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recessions.

(via How the Deficit Got This Big –


The 20 most expensive keywords (and another misleading infographic)

This infographic shows that just over half of the top AdWord keywords fall into insurance and loans categories … but hang on … 24% and 12.8% add up to 36.8%, not 50% or more. I’ve knocked up a quick chart in Numbers showing what I think the pie should look like in reality. Am I missing something? Why would somebody even want to misrepresent that data? So they can overcharge finance companies for SEO work?

Still, the data itself is quite interesting (if you still trust it):

The 20 keyword categories with the highest search volume and highest costs per click, thereby netting Google the most money, are:

  1. Insurance (example keywords in this category include “buy car insurance online” and “auto insurance price quotes”)
  2. Loans (example keywords include “consolidate graduate student loans” and “cheapest homeowner loans”)
  3. Mortgage (example keywords include “refinanced second mortgages” and “remortgage with bad credit”)
  4. Attorney (example keywords include “personal injury attorney” and “dui defense attorney”)
  5. Credit (example keywords include “home equity line of credit” and “bad credit home buyer”)
  6. Lawyer (“personal  injury lawyer,” “criminal defense lawyer)
  7. Donate (“car donation centers,” “donating a used car”)
  8. Degree (“criminal justice degrees online,” “psychology bachelors degree online”)
  9. Hosting (“hosting ms exchange,” “managed web hosting solution”)
  10. Claim (“personal injury claim,” “accident claims no win no fee”)
  11. Conference Call (“best conference call service,” “conference calls toll free”)
  12. Trading (“cheap online trading,” “stock trades online”)
  13. Software (“crm software programs,” “help desk software cheap”)
  14. Recovery (“raid server data recovery,” “hard drive recovery laptop”)
  15. Transfer (“zero apr balance transfer,” “credit card balance transfer zero interest”)
  16. Gas/Electricity (“business electricity price comparison,” “switch gas and electricity suppliers”)
  17. Classes (“criminal justice online classes,” “online classes business administration”)
  18. Rehab (“alcohol rehab centers,” “crack rehab centers”)
  19. Treatment (“mesothelioma treatment options,” “drug treatment centers”)
  20. Cord Blood (“cordblood bank,” “store umbilical cord blood”)

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Informationless graphics

A picture is worth a thousand words right? But what about a picture AND a thousand words? Whoa. You may just have an infographic on your hands.

From airline safety manuals to complex data visualizations, I have always been fascinated by infographics. A well done infographic has the power to capture one’s acute attention span and convey information that would have taken longer to simply read (oh no, not reading!). However, for every brilliantly thought out and well executed mashup of art and data, there now seems to be an influx of mundane and formulaic counterparts infesting the very internet that we hold so near and dear.

(via An Intimate Look at Infographics –

The backlash against pointless infographics has begun. Let’s speed this one along…

So you found something cool on the internet…

So you found something cool on the internet...

Loldwell and Rosscott created this handy “So you found something cool on the Internet” comic flowchart to help encourage proper attribution of people’s work found on the Internet.

“See Something? Cite Something.” Amen brother!

Help support these awesome guys by buying one of their t-shirts or posters.

(via Comic Flowchart That Encourages Attribution of Work Found Online –
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