Animated Infographic Using BLS Data: the Volunteers

Do you volunteer? Do you want to volunteer? If you do, do you prefer education and youth services, the environment and animal care, hospital or other health care, or another kind of volunteering?

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, GOOD collaborated with Design Language to create this animated infographic of volunteers in the United States. The animation is by Dorian Orange.

The team has this to say about their project, and the people who made the data possible:

In these still-tough economic times, it can be hard to find ways to give back. But new data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people across the country are still taking the time to volunteer in their communities. This is a look at some of that data, showing who volunteered in 2009 and what kind of work they’re doing. A tip of the hat to everyone who finds the time to do some good.

Continue reading “Animated Infographic Using BLS Data: the Volunteers”

An Analysis of Topics and Story Sources — Bloggers vs. the Traditional Press

Have you ever wondered where bloggers and tweeters find their stories and topics? This is the question asked by, in a study conducted to determine the topics and sources of social media stories. Next, GOOD and Part & Parcel collaborated to created an infographic of the results of the study. Dorian Orange created an animation of the data to complement the infographic.

So, why the study? Who cares where bloggers get their topics and from what media source? Well…the word is that traditional — especially, print — journalism is under siege, primarily due to the effects of “new media”. So…if the new media relies on the old media for their stories, then perhaps the old media “just” needs to figure out a new economic model? And that reports of the journalism profession’s death have been greatly exaggerated?

[Note: a discussion of this issue is beyond the scope of this blogger, but comments are welcome.]

First, I’ll show the animation. Second, I’ll show the infographic. Last, but hardly least, I’ll post some of the data from the study itself.
Continue reading “An Analysis of Topics and Story Sources — Bloggers vs. the Traditional Press”

Mean Happiness Infographic: Which Countries Are Happiest?

How happy are we? Does the level of happiness vary by country over time? By events in a country?

GOOD and OPEN collaborated with Dorian Orange to demonstrate our mean levels of happiness by country, over time, via this animated infographic. The smiley faces represent, well, happiness, and the dips in the smile represent rising or lowering happiness. The authors used historical events (i.e., a truce with the IRA for Great Britain) to indicate a dip where happiness levels either rose or fell.

The creators write:

For decades, the World Database of Happiness has surveyed how happy people are—not at all happy, not very happy, quite happy, or very happy. As it turns out, most of us are mostly happy, even when things aren’t going so well. Here is a look at how happy people in various countries said they were (on average) over the last 30 years.

I like how they are trying to represent numbers as graphics, with side by side comparisons. I would like the animation to be a bit slower, though, as I found it hard to read the historical moments that led to a change in the mean happiness level. Either that, or a brighter font color.

Is your country listed in this animation? If so, how well do you believe it represents “happiness” in your country?

Animation of the Tsunami Across the Pacific After the Chilean Earthquake

The earthquake in Chili on February 27th, 2010, caused massive damage within the country, but also generated a massive tsunami across the Pacific Ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Tsunami Research created the animation below of the tsunami as it traveled across the Pacific.

With regards to the saying that a picture is worth more than a thousand words, I must say that an animation of science data is worth more than the data used to create it.


On Febuary 27th 2010 a massive tsunami was generated by a Mw 8.8 earthquake (35.846°S, 72.719°W ), at 06:34 UTC, 115 km (60 miles) NNE of Concepcion, Chile. The tsunami was first recorded at DART® buoy 32412. Forecast results shown below were created with the NOAA forecast method using MOST model with the tsunami source inferred from DART® data. The tsunami waves first arrived at Valparaiso, Chile (approximately 330 km northeast from earthquake epicenter ) earlier than other tide gages, at 0708UTC, about 34 minutes after the earthquake.

All I could think as I watched it was, “I bet Australians are glad New Zealand could ‘break’ the tsunami for them before it hit their eastern coast!” Well, the non-surfers, anyway.


The Internet’s Black Holes by Reporters without Borders

Where on earth can data roam free, and where is it filtered, controlled, and contained? Where are the black holes of information flow on the Internet?

According to Reporters without Borders, the Internet’s “Black Holes” are Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Maldives, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. How do Reporters Without Borders determine whether or not a country is a “black hole”? By the amount of press censorship.

Big Think found the following press censorship rankings on the Reporters Without Borders web site.

As the list of the 15 internet-restricting countries (followed by their ranking on said list) indicates, internet censorship is a strong indicator of press censorship in general:

1. Maldives (144)
2. Tunisia (148)
3. Belarus (151)
4. Libya (152)
5. Syria (153)
6. Vietnam (155)
7. Uzbekistan (158)
8. Nepal (159)
9. Saudi Arabia (161)
10. Iran (162)
11. China (163)
12. Myanmar/Burma (164)
13. Cuba (165)
14. Turkmenistan (167)
15. North Korea (168 and very last on the list)

The provocative graphic above was created by Fabrica; you may click on it to see the larger graphic.

The ad certainly grabbed my attention. What do you think of it?


Visualizing and Projecting Data into Real Space

If you could take a few statistics, codify the numbers, and represent them visually in real space, how would you do this? Christiane Keller did just that with dataMorphose as part of her diploma project. I think this is a very artistic and beautiful way to visualize data in real space — to tame it, if you will. I like the funky retro groove beat she used in the background. Christiane writes about her project:

dataMorphose is an interactive installation which projects data into real space and visualizes it three-dimensionally. Information is represented by spanned and moving sails directly in the room. Thus abstract and virtual data becomes real and tangible. As the user takes new positions and perspectives, he can experience a completely novel and sensual perception of data.

Three spatial displays visualize statistical data, web activities and the current time. The coding and procurement of data is visualized by the tension of the canvas, the pace of movement, the position of the canvas and the change of their shape.

I encourage you to read the longer write up of dataMorphose, which is available on Christiane’s site.

Team Digital Preservation and the Planets Testbed

Last week, Team Digital Preservation released the 5th animation in their amusing take on the digital preservation problem.

In this episode, the topic is…virus protection and analysis!

Blizzard and his band of evil cronies, Team Chaos, have developed a devastating new weapon. But Never Fear trusty Viewers, tune in now to find out what those wonderful whizz-kids at the top-secret Team Digital Preservation research lab have cooked up to protect Digiman this time!

I enjoy watching these, but then again, I am a preservation dork.