Now this is the kind data journalism everyone can get behind. Chile, Argentina, Spain, and the U.S. lead the world in underreporting the amount of alcohol in their wines. You may think this is a good excuse to booze it up, but wines have gotten less alcoholic in the last few years overall. Best to break out those vintage bottles.
The New York Times has updated its interactive timeline of tornadoes and notes that, with the deaths from yesterday’s outbreak in Joplin, Missouri, 2011 is the deadliest year since 1953. Curious to see where tornadoes occur the most (realizing, of course, that this is information that I could easily find elsewhere), I combined all the years into the single map above. Blue dots represent tornado touchdowns, and yellow circles represent deaths.
An interesting observation from playing the timeline is that there is a large, step-wise increase in the number of touchdowns starting in 1996. Compare the number and spread of tornadoes since 1996 to the previous 45 years:
Except for 2011, the number of deaths for each year in this recent period is not significantly different from that of the previous years. Is the higher reported incidence of touchdowns due to better reporting, or have there really been more tornadoes in the last 15 years?
“It’s like comparing apples to oranges.” This phrase is the best way to describe the current state of data visualizations. For the designer, its easy to find good visualizations and bad ones, but how to apply the successful elements of particular designs to one’s own data set starts to get a little more complicated. Data sets vary tremendously, so one man’s brilliant solution can be another’s complete failure. Instead of seeing many excellent visualizations of all different data sets, what if you could see tons of visualizations of the same data set? What new comparisons, knowledge and structure might be developed from this?
Just in time for tax day here in the U.S., Google’s Data Viz Challenge, a five-week developer competition, ended and the Grand Prize winner announced. The winning entry is called simply “Where Did My Tax Dollars Go?” and was created by Anil Kandangath. The Google-sponsored contest asked developers to use data visualization techniques to demonstrate how our federal income tax dollars are being spent. Over 40 developers submitted entries that offered everything from pie charts to bar graphs and more in order to make this complex data more accessible and understandable by everyday taxpayers.
Click on any segment in the large pie chart to bring up a detailed break down of spending within that segment. I don’t know about you, but this seems rather alarming to me: 23% (and the largest single category) of defense spending is classified under “miscellaneous.” Isn’t that pretty poor accounting for such a large chunk of money?
Google worked with some of the larger providers of recipes — AllRecipes.com, Food Network, Epicurious and BettyCrocker.com content will be visible at launch — to ensure they were coding their content appropriately to be indexed. The new recipe search is likely to be both a boon and a curse for recipe sites — it allows people to more easily find the recipes they are looking for, but it may minimize the need to search or page through the sites themselves, potentially reducing pageviews on sites selling ad impressions.
The search giant turned its attention to recipes, Menzel said, because of the surprisingly large volume of searches — 1% — that seem to be aimed at finding recipes. “That’s quite a large number of queries, so we were inspired to make that better,” he added.
I wonder how this will affect the search return positions of our clients’ recipes. Must make sure every recipe is properly coded.
I like food. I like data. This is making me so excited it’s almost indecent. Yes, I get my jollies in strange ways.