As a kid I spent a lot of time on the Maryland shore. Squinting out across the endless blue expanse, I could have sworn I saw the edge of Portugal once or twice. I was shocked recently to learn that my childhood imagination had it all wrong. (Truly, a first.) With telescopic vision, I wouldn’t see the coast of Europe.…
The Star Wars expanded universe is huge. Really huge. Like, you just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly huge it really is. To grasp the full extent of this hugeness, a team of data scientists used a new computer program to analyze it, revealing some unexpected things about the extended saga.
If you have’t taken a moment to appreciate the fact that hundreds of Earth-orbiting satellites are photographing our planet right now, and that this is a goddamn technological wonder, here’s your opportunity.
You can’t fit much information about yourself on a postcard... if you insist on writing it out in words like a weakling. Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Prosavec, two friends on separate continents who both work in data-driven design, have a more efficient method. For their project Dear Data, Lupi and Prosavec have spent…
The remaining 90%, of course, inhabit the regions colored white. (That’s how math works!)
If the world were mapped according to how many scientific research papers each country produced, it would take on a rather bizarre, uneven appearance. This image makes a dramatic point about the complexities of global inequalities in knowledge production and exchange. So what is driving this inequality and how can it…
Oxford University’s Max Roser has meticulously pieced together a chart showing the global death rate from war over the past 600 years—and it paints a surprisingly optimistic picture.
Just how different does the country look today than it did 141 years ago? Nathan Yau over at Flowing Data has recreated the original 1874 version of the U.S. Atlas of census information using modern data. It includes everything from maps of the road system to charts of where all the country’s money comes from.
Where in the U.S. are UFO sightings most common? What shapes do these unidentified objects usually take? What time of day do we typically notice them? Datavisualization expert John Nelson combined census data with nearly 90 years of statistics, compiled by the National UFO Reporting Center, to find out.
It’s difficult to conceptualize excessively large numbers, particularly when they pertain to human tragedies. But this highly-engaging animated data visualization by Neil Halloran makes WWII-related deaths all too comprehensible.
There are just 32 pieces on a chessboard, but the number of patterns in which those pieces can move in the course of an individual game are astronomical. Still, as these maps show, despite all those different possibilities, each piece has a pretty clear pattern behind it.
Particle physicist and musician Piotr Traczyk has taken data plots from the historic discovery of the Higgs boson and converted it into music that can be played by two guitars. Heavy metal guitars, to be more precise. The result is as nerdy as it is excellent.
Next time you're strolling through a museum, pay attention to just the colors of the paintings and the years. Notice anything? Paintings have been getting progressively bluer.
Do all popular musicians live hard and fast, take risks and die young?
If you've ever wanted to hear the difference between traditional funk and Memphis soul, or understand where they fit in the context of more than 1300 musical genres, you might want to clear your schedule. An interactive project called Every Noise at Once is about to devour the rest of your day.
Just how much has the United States depended on immigrants to build itself throughout its history? This chart lays out the last few hundred years of the nation's immigration rates to show how pivotal it was.
If you've ever encountered a sinkhole, dug a hole, or even just picked up an old Jules Verne novel, you've probably wondered idly what it might be like to travel to the earth's core. This interactive visualization lets you get a sense of the scale, without ever having to pick up a shovel.
There's a single question you can ask that instantly reveals the differences between America and the rest of the world — and it's not about income, religion, lifestyle, or politics.
Above we see seven seconds of an audio recording from November 11, 1918. On the left we can see three seconds of guns firing. In the middle? The official time of the ceasefire to end World War I and a sudden reprieve from the staccato of weapons blasting. On the right, the first three seconds of peace. An uneasy…